Written by: AP on 21/02/2010 16:18:32

Earlier this year Coalesce dusted off their instruments after a decade of hiatus and joined arms with Burnt By The Sun, Converge, Zao and recently also Cave In to show the new kids on the metalcore block how to party like it's 1999. "Ox", "Heart of Darkness", "Axe to Fall", "Awake?" and "Planets of Old" all marked the return of some of the most enigmatic bands to ever have existed in these circles while the youngsters looked on green with envy. Not ones to rest on their laurels, as soon as "Ox" hit the shelves Coalesce hit the studio, resulting in the "Ox" EP - an extension to its namesake LP.

Unlike the LP, this disc opens and closes with an instrumental piece, the duo "Oxe to Ore" and "Ore to Earth", and features two quiet, (also) mainly instrumental pieces, "Joyless in Life" and "Absent in Death", which divide the three remaining tracks into three distinct capsules of traditional, industrially charged Coalesce battery. The main difference is that the "Ox" EP takes on a much slower, and, with the aid of the instrumental pieces, far less distressing character than the full-length. On the other hand when the band unleashes the songs "The Blind Eye", "To My Ruin" and "Through Sparrows I Rest", they sound that much heavier, and in general the focus in these songs has been shifted from technical, improvised riffing to crushing weight, with impressive bass leads and the always impressive drumming taking assuming leadership instead of the guitar.

Instead, Jes Steineger's role is limited to delivering the tranquil intro, interludes and outro. As such, the "Ox" EP stands as almost the polar opposite of the full length, something that has cunningly been captured in the artwork - identical to the full length's, but with inverted colors. Unfortunately it does leave you wondering what other purpose the EP is supposed to serve than to simply expose the band from a slightly different angle. Perhaps the most reasonable way to think about the EP then, is as an epilogue to the full-length so that Nathan Ellis can better show off his prowess with the bass guitar. Nonetheless this is solid, if somewhat redundant stuff.


Download: Absent in Death, Through Sparrows I Rest
For the fans of: Burnt By The Sun, Gaza, Keelhaul, Trap Them
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.11.2009

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