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Entirely pointless release but musically decent - 60%

Noktorn, December 13th, 2008

Not sure what the purpose of this split is; maybe just promotion for each band. It's incredibly brief and seems to serve no real purpose other than filling out the collections of die-hard fans of either band. Though the music isn't bad, at only twelve minutes, I could hardly describe this as a necessary purchase.

Napalm Death's two tracks are kind of interesting. 'Food Chains' is groovy death metal very much in the 'Diatribes' vein, with almost Korn-like sliding chords all over the place and tribal-style drumming; you could almost confuse this for 'Roots'-era Sepultura if it weren't for Barney's always obvious vocals. The second half, a demo version of 'Utopia Banished''s 'Upwards And Uninterested' is a very different beast from the original version. I'm not sure if this was a rehearsal version recorded after the album version or before, but either way it sounds greatly like the material that Napalm Death would go to play on albums like 'Words From The Exit Wound', with a very streamlined sound defined by smooth tremolo riffing and rather unobtrusive drumming. It's the better of the two tracks.

Despite having two other Coalesce CDs, I've never been able to really get into this band's material; their breed of technical post-hardcore never seems to settle into something that I find comfortable to listen to. 'A Safe Place' is dominated by constantly shifting rhythmic textures over strange, sliding riffs backed by a gutturally barked vocal performance. It's an interesting song from the perspective of drumming, but like most of the band's material, seems to resist listenability at all costs. 'Harvest Of Maturity' is much more relaxed, with small variations on the main midpaced riff being used to explore the musical space with similar drum theatrics as the first track; I prefer it to 'A Safe Place'.

This is a completely unnecessary release and despite the quality of the music I can't really recommend it properly; there's no real point to getting this. If you manage to get it for less than a dollar like I did, it's a nice collection filler, but it's otherwise perfectly easy to skip.