Review Summary: Coalesce find their feet following a lengthy hiatus.
Being a two track EP, ‘Salt and Passage’ probably doesn’t demand an overly detailed analysis; it is, however, quite interesting to see these stalwarts of metalcore rediscovering their sound.
On a recording hiatus for the better part of this decade, it is impressive that these musicians are able to re-emerge with some solid song writing, and an even stronger display of musicianship. Both of these songs are home to some of the more interesting guitar playing Coalesce has fashioned in their acclaimed (but deeply underappreciated) career.
The focal difference between this EP and the earlier work of the band is the level of unbridled aggression; on ‘Salt and Passage’, while still displaying some vastly pissed off metal chops, Coalesce seem to have a more sensible grip on such emotion. This can be attributed to the fact the band seems to be ‘going through the motions’ on this release, which is more than understandable, given the lack of creative activity in the past decade.
The two tracks are about equal in quality, with I Am This being a little more interesting than its counterpart. The EP represents a slightly more involved take on Coalesce’s chunky brand of metalcore/hardcore; when taking a break from pounding the listener into submission, the guitar’s tend to be on a winding journey to nowhere in particular, but the band are able to make this journey listenable, and appealing. The vocals are one-dimensional but heartily emotive, and the rhythm section chugs along with great vigor, forming a particularly bass heavy overall sound.
This release has more or less been made redundant by the class of the following ‘OX’ recordings, but if anyone can prove to be an interesting listen in 6 minutes, it’s Coalesce.