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Coal Chamber: The Devil's Rejects

As nu metal enjoys a nostalgic revival, Coal Chamber have risen from a 12-year slumber to have another go at laying claim to heavy music’s throne.

It’s April 17, 2002, and Coal Chamber are playing a show in Texas in support of third album Dark Days. Four songs into their set, guitarist Meegs Rascón whacks singer Dez Fafara over the head with his instrument, prompting the frontman to storm offstage several songs early. He returns to proclaim: “This is the last Coal Chamber show ever!”

Despite statements of unity issued shortly afterwards, it was clear that one of nu metal’s biggest bands were rapidly falling apart. Within months they were no more, disintegrating in spectacular fashion with further bust-ups and widely documented drug problems putting paid to the huge potential that they’d displayed on their gold-selling, self-titled 1997 debut album. Within a few years, Coal Chamber had gone from rising stars to something approaching a laughing stock; the band’s cartoon goth image and almost comically straightforward anthems tethering them to a very specific time and place and, for reasons unknown, precluding them from the credibility that certain of their peers took for granted.

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