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Coal Chamber - Giving the Devil His Due
by Tim Byrnes

Coal Chamber - Giving the Devil His Due
Label: Roadrunner
Rating:

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 hadn't 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.

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