Coalesce - 012:2 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


012:2 (2008)


012:2 is the reissued version of Coalesce's final full-length, the pulverizing 012: Revolution in Just Listening, as one might guess. Of course, some time next year the band should be releasing the proper followup, but aside from that wacky Led Zeppelin covers album, Revolution was the last real thing the band dropped before their 1999 breakup.

But what a beast it was. Coalesce's early material may have suffered a bit from an overindulgence of sludgy thickness, but by Revolution the band had given their twisting, convulsing metallic hardcore (well, metalcore) sound enough space to make sense of it. Whether it be the surprising groove-oriented foundation in opener "What Happens on the Road Always Comes Home," or the restrained, rugged fight of "Sometimes Selling Out Is Waking Up," Revolution was packed with enough surprises and bending guitars to retain interest. And it was only 24 minutes long.

What 012:2 offers in the way of extras is merely a smoggy cover art with a fetus on it and a retooled layout for otherwise standard liner notes. They probably could have made the lyrics a little easier to read, as they're in a choppy typeface that stretches each song's words across five panels.

What's a little more rewarding is the remastering on the record. Coalesce's records never hurt to have a little remixing or remastering done to ‘em, even later material like Revolution. This makes every noodly guitar riff and pulsing bassline come a bit more alive, and lets Sean Ingram's gravelly holler punch through harder instead of becoming just another aspect in a dense, aggressive smothering.

Otherwise, there aren't any bonus tracks or rarities tacked on. Granted, this keeps it the compact, incredibly concise album it always was, but still -- at 24 minutes, Relapse certainly had room for some stuff. Maybe they didn't have much to work with after There Is Nothing New Under the Sun (the aforementioned Led Zep covers disc) was reissued last year by Hydra Head with nearly every track the band's contributed to splits.

The remastering on 012:2 will likely make it clearer as to why Coalesce is considered one of the five or so most important and influential bands in metallic hardcore. But if you were already clued in the first time around, a re-purchase is questionable.