Lately, there have been a lot of reunions and resurrections, as well as re-awakenings of bands that were dormant for years but perhaps never quite gone. All this was somewhat interesting at first, but lately the fad has begun to become a bit boring. Rather than go on citing the numerous recent examples of this, I would prefer to focus directly on one case where the “fad” has been anything but boring – Coalesce.
Their latest release – the first in ten years – sees this pioneering band blazing all sorts of new territory, and letting fans know in no uncertain terms that, rather than losing their edge over the last decade, they have just been getting smarter and more creative than ever before.
This album is quite simply their best offering yet. Not only is the production absolutely stellar, but Coalesce has honed their signature sound (changing tempos, harsh vocals, odd time signatures, etc.) into something which is quite compelling. Not to mention, they’ve lost absolutely none of their intensity whatsoever – this album is as much of an adrenaline ride as any other they have released.
Plus, there are many interesting twists here as well. Some songs have interesting intros, or lyrics that are almost sung instead of screamed, or even momentary wanderings into other genres such as black metal, sludge and even blues (witness “Wild Ox Moan”)! Coalesce has managed to do something here which is probably very challenging for them, but so rewarding for us - create an album which experiemnts on many levels, but which also retains all of what made their previous material great in the first place - all in one awesome package.
In short, this album is a very welcome return for an extremely talented band which obviously has many more new tricks to dazzle us with, even after an unfortunate decade-long silence.
Wild Ox Moan
The Purveyor of Novelty and Nonsense
In My Wake, For My Own
The Plot Against My Love