We open up with the come-back single; ”I.O.U. Nothing” and immediately it’s as though they never went away. The familiar growls of Fafara sounding revitalized among the characteristically down-tuned guitar sound associated with the genre, as it was intended back in the day, and it’s a welcome return to form, which is also repeated in “Light In The Shadows”. Vocally it’s fair to say Fafara retains some of the elements of his heavier work with Devildriver but it only adds to the overall feel and intensity of the record; this is some strong material right here. “Suffer In Silence” features guest vocals from infamous MINISTRY front-man Al Jourgensen and together they combine to unleash an unforgiving, visceral onslaught, like a match made in hell if you will.
The title track, slotted half way through the album is a slow, sinister number really highlighting the heritage of the band, harking back to the early underground days of their career, while “Wait”, “Over My Head” and closing track “Empty Handed” maintain the overall brutality throughout the album as a whole, never letting up, proving CC to this day, despite being dormant for so long, are still a force to be reckoned with. The genre itself may be taken with a pinch of salt these days but many bands have proven their worth in the fallout. Coal Chamber may have been forgotten by many, or even unheard of by some younger fans, but the fact is this, they rock…hard…and Rivals? They have plenty, but can more than stand their ground.