June 9th, 2009
Release length: 35:47
The music on Ox is simply crushing, right from the start of the release with “The Plot Against My Love”, which will have you instantly hooked on the band’s signature technical/”math” approach to Hardcore. The release simply does not let up from the start, with only some breathing moments given through instrumentals like “Where Satires Sour” and “We Have Lost Our Will”, which are really the only uninteresting aspects of the album. Aside that, there is no better way to describe the material on this release outside of the term “heavy”. You either get a faster paced song that will make you want to punch anything and everything, like “Designed to Break a Man”, or even a slower jog-like-paced track such as “In My Wake, For My Own” which has some Southern/Western elements to it, even a brief moment that sounds like a group of slaves doing a chant to raise their spirits while in the field. These influences are also in the track “Wild Ox Moan”, but just not as much.
You also have the short but very sweet track “Dead is Dead”, which starts off with a sort of Southern war-like march due to drums that sound like they would be from the battlefield’s drummer boy to inspire the troops. This track leads into the signature Coalesce sound of “There is a Word Hidden in the Ground” that closes the album off perfectly with it’s unique Southern-tinged and sometimes droning heaviness with chanting that is slightly reminiscent of the track “In My Wake, For My Own” that fades out, only to leave you wanting more. Every track on here speaks volumes to the Hardcore scene and really does raise the bar as far as the sound presented today goes, and while that and many of the other slower tracks really will cause you to just lay back and get wrapped up in the music.
Ox is definitely a welcome album that is much needed in the Hardcore style today. With too many bands playing the same simple and often annoying chords over and over, dressing as if they got into their sister’s closet and make-up cases, Coalesce arrive with this release to set the standard for Hardcore in the heaviest way possible. If you’ve been waiting for this as long as the next Coalesce fan, or if you just want something different that you can easily get enveloped by, put this one on the top of your shopping list.
01. The Plot Against My Love – 2:59
02. The Comedian in Question – 1:40
03. Wild Ox Moan – 3:30
04. Designed to Break a Man – 2:35
05. Where Satires Sour (Instrumental) – 0:49
06. The Villain We Won’t Deny – 2:11
07. The Purveyor of Novelty and Nonsence – 3:29
08. In My Wake, For My Own – 3:21
09. New Voids in One’s Resolve – 2:31
10. We Have Lost Our Will (Instrumental) – 1:23
11. Questions to Root Out Fools – 2:48
12. By What We Refuse – 3:35
13. Dead is Dead (Instrumental) – 2:06
14. There is a Word Hidden in the Ground – 2:50
|Overall Score: 9/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.