Coal Chamber - Giving the Devil His Due
by Tim Byrnes
Chamber - Giving the Devil His Due
Coal Chamber have always been one of those bands I want to like more than I do. They have, to my mind, a different take on heavy music, one that seems to have a well considered psychological basis rather than just being anti for the hell of it. The down-tuned guitars and Cookie Monster vocals are the same as other nu-metal/industrial bands, but where a band like, say, Korn, seem satisfied with being unsatisfied and content to simply yell at the devil, CC look inwardly and confront their responses to the s***storm of modern life and honestly consider just where they fit into the equation.
This CD of remixes, B-sides and demos is really a 'stand-alone' window into the mind and soul of a young band wrestling with the drama of the day to day. The clockwork guitar guitars of the CDs opener Headstone and the Walking Dead signal a band on the move. The almost spoken word vocals on the verses lend the right amount of tension (and, surprise, literacy) to a genre I fear has been running itself ragged trying to out-evil itself lately.
Throughout this CD, but especially on Big Truck (Hands on the Wheel Mix), Coal Chamber deftly escapes the ordinary death(metal)trap of bogus fear-mongering by infusing each cut with a lingering sense of paranoia, as opposed to mindless brutality. This is a fine distinction, indeed, but one that separates a band with a future, like Coal Chamber, from the myriad of scary monsters out there going through the ghoulish motions. If they hadnt of broken up I would look forward to Coal Chamber's next 'official' CD as they were clearly a band in transition and Giving The Devil His Due is a strong enough statement to keep me interested and I don't see why this shouldn't be the case for you.