Coalesce – Ox (CD)

Coalesce was one of those bands that petered out just as I first started creating NeuFutur, and as a result, I never really got into them as much as I did with acts that were creating and crafting when the magazine took off. The disc begins with “The Plot Against My Love”, a tight bit of hardcore metal that kicks ass as easily as it bounces between genres. What Coalesce does better than other current acts is really imbue the tracks on “Ox” with harmony, no matter how rough or intense the current track may be. This means that a track like “The Comedian In Question” may be downright sludgy in nature, but the composition operates on a number of distinct layers.

Of course, the most easily accessible one of these layers may be this sludge metal sound, but an equally-present layer on the track has to be that which peaks with the harmonies heard during the chorus. “Wild Ox Moan” flips the script presented on “The Comedian In Question”, beginning with the harmony and allowing the heavier side to take the shadows. The instrumental interlude that is present during “Wild Ox Moan” is similarly dense: where it sounds repetitious at first cut, repeated listening will rally show the effort that the band has placed into the track. “In My Wake, For My Own” is another one of Ox’s strongest tracks, and this can be said by the time the first minute ends.

Each constituent part of Coalesce does something completely different from each other, but the members are all tuned in to what they are doing that something decidedly greater than these parts comes forth. Regardless of what particular side of Coalesce that one likes, whether it be their heaviness, versatility, or ability, I feel as if one has to step back and listen to the entirety of “Ox” to see the full glory of the band. There is nothing else that I have ever heard (even after reviewing over 3,500 CDs) that could be compared to “Ox”; regardless of whether you come to the album as a fan of rock, hardcore, or any other genre, you will come out of “There Is A Word Hidden In The Ground” with a serious appreciation of Coalesce and what they did here on “Ox”.

Top Tracks: The Plot Against My Love, Wild Ox Moan

Rating: 9.2/10

Coalesce – Ox / 2009 Relapse / 14 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/coalesce / http://www.relapse.com

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