Coalesce: Ox EP

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Coalesce: Ox EP
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Coalesce: Ox EP
Hardcore
Relapse Records
November 10th, 2009
Release length: 16:18
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It had been ten years since Coalesce put out a full length studio release, but the silence was broken earlier in 2009 with the release of their full length effort Ox. Ox was a beast in itself, showing that Hardcore needs to live up to it’s name, while breathing it’s own brand of Southern heaviness to create one of the most important releases in that style for the year. Shortly after the release of the full length, the Ox EP was issued, acting as a conclusion to the full length. As if Ox weren’t enough of a gift from the band.

Now comes an EP that carries on the sound from the full length it was inspired by, including a few instrumental tracks that are actually more entertaining then those on the full length, and a few songs that easily could have just hit the cutting room floor due to time constraints. The instrumentals really are used to set the tone for the next song on here, whether it be a more intense and droning kind of feel with “Ox to Ore” or the outro “Ore to Earth”, working well for the intense track “The Blind Eye”, or even the desolate Southern feel of “Joyless In Life”, which amps up the anger that is brought with the tracks remainder of the tracks.

“Absent In Death”, which acts as an instrumental wannabe, is easily one of the most enjoyable tracks on here thanks to the spaghetti Western sound that goes right into a little bit of music before the track expires. Really the only odd balled track on here would be “Through Sparrows I Rest”, which varies. While the song does not disappoint at all, the main verses are set up, musically and even vocally sometimes, like something a Mallcore act like Slipknot would utilize nowadays, just heavier. However, the rest on here is intense, and the chords used for chorus are infectious and make you wish there was more to the song. Luckily there kind of is since the same guitars are used on “Ore to Earth”, which fades and loops back to “Ox to Ore” perfectly as the drums appear with those same guitars picking up slowly.

While Ox was an amazing album, the Ox EP shines through just as nicely. Even though there’s as many instrumentals as there are regular songs, they pack just as much impact as the songs they are building the atmosphere for. This one is simply a must have release for fans of this band, or even the style in general. The only drawback is how short the EP is, and how it leaves you wanting much more then what you have been given on this and it’s predecessor.

01. Ox to Ore (Instrumental) – 1:21
02. The Blind Eye – 2:38
03. Joyless In Life (Instrumental) – 2:06
04. To My Ruin – 4:30
05. Absent In Death – 2:36
06. Through Sparrows I Rest – 2:23
07. Ore to Earth (Instrumental) – 0:44
Overall Score: 9/10
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Dig talreview copy of this release provided by Relapse Records.