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Coalesce 012:2 (Reissue)

Coalesce - 012:2 (Reissue)
1. What Happens On The Road Always Comes Home
2. Cowards.com
3. Burn Everything That Bears Our Name
4. While The Jackass Operation Spins It's Wheels
5. Sometimes Selling Out Is Waking Up
6. Where The Hell Is Rick Thorne These Days?
7. Jesus In the Year 2000 / Next On The Shit List
8. Counting Murders And Drinking Beers (The $46,000 Escape)
9. They Always Come In Fall
2008 Relapse Records

Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 7/2/2008

Back in 1999, while Dillinger Escape Plan were being hailed by many as the future of metal, Coalesce recorded what would become their apparent swansong: the band's Relapse debut and third full-length, 0:12 Revolution In Just Listening. While the band has since reunited a handful of times and even released two newly record songs in 2007, there hasn't been a tremendous amount of excitement around either. To be honest, despite having owned this album since my senior year of high school, I've probably only put it on a few times in the last couple of years. I picked up this newly "remastered" version of the disc and found it easy to listen to and hear the last ten to fifteen years of metal, sludge and doom in what was (and still is) deemed a hardcore record. In fact, it's only in this context that I can safely say this is one of the best heavy records ever made.

A careful dissection of this record reveals some of the most common elements of today's burgeoning metal scene being incorporated together in ways that still work despite the decade since the disc's release. Bands like A Life Once Lost and Veil of Maya are still getting mileage out of the whole Meshuggah-style riffing that Coalesce was doing when Chaosphere was still breaking through. The incorporation of glitchy electronics and grating noise into tracks has become common practice among many metalcore bands desperately seeking that new direction to go in, but Coalesce had already been there and done that when these kids were still listening to From Autumn To Ashes records. Album opener "What Happens On The Road Always Comes Home" simultaneously out-clutches Clutch and follow up "Cowards.com" covers territory that Neurosis and Converge are still treading. On their third album, Coalesce used the present to predict the future and did so with pinpoint accuracy and seething intensity.

At a brief twenty-three or so minutes and eight proper tracks, 0:12 is an intentionally lean album. There's no filler here (except arguably the instrumental close) and no self-indulgent bullshit. In twenty minutes, Coalesce issued a challenge to their peers and followers that still hasn't been properly met. While every aspect of the record wasn't necessarily innovative, it was certainly forward-thinking, a trait unfortunately missing from most bands and albums altogether. This record sound as if it were brought here by a robot from an alternate timeline where guitar wankery, clean singing and cheesy breakdowns never existed to sweep away the glut of such music in our own time.

Apparently someone likeminded over at Relapse Records realized that this criminally underappreciated album had become a minor footnote in the label's history and decided to revive it for a whole new generation of music fans to appreciate. The artwork has been updated from the mildly amateurish drawings of a two-headed fetus (albeit with bad ass clear ink overlay) to a series of photographs of actual fetuses. It really doesn't fit the album any better but I'll bet it's a hell of a lot easier to market. The music, however, seems almost untouched. I put both discs on side by side and was surprised to hear no increase in the disc's volume or even a substantial change in the mix. The new mix was done by Scott Hull of Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Pig Destroyer fame and the only thing I could clearly tell had been changed was that the bass guitar had been brought to the forefront. I never felt the need for improvement in Ed Rose's original production so I'm not complaining that the disc is largely unchanged, but Relapse might want to make it a bit clearer what was actually changed if they want to call it a "remaster."

Bottom Line: I'll be the first to admit that repackaging an album less than ten years after its initial release is a bit suspect, particularly when the only discernible change to the original release seems to be a beefed up bass presence. I'm just glad Relapse got this record back onto store shelves and back into the public eye. If you already own this record, double-dipping might not be necessary but do yourself a favor and listen to it today.

Dave2112_   posted 7/17/2008 8:11:11 AM
With a 9/10 I was hoping they would have remastered it or did more then "turn up the bass". The production of this album murdered it to me. Never liked it. If they want to reissue a album, let it be Functioning on Impatience, which will always be their great work & one of the greatest modern metal albums,ever. I dont get this reissue, Im confused.
thetowerofrome_   posted 7/9/2008 4:00:39 AM
amazing record
anonymous   posted 7/6/2008 4:35:19 AM
This album is boring as shit your all gay
james_   posted 7/4/2008 2:34:29 PM
i have to say that this record is wonderful but this article f*cking sucks. doesn't say anything new or add anything to the discussion. and LOL at the 18v beef, i always thought that was hilarious.
john brown's ghost_   posted 7/4/2008 5:44:44 AM
this isn't their best record. period. but it's a fine cut nonetheless. coalesce aged very well and continues to quietly influence. however, deploying neurosis and converge for a list of bands treading on their style was a terrible mistake. straight up. both bands are far too old to say such a thing. shit, neurosis are granddads to the '90s boston/kansas city alliance. see isis for more on that shit.

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