Coalesce (band)

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Origin Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Genres Mathcore, metalcore
Years active 1994–1999, 2002, 2005–2010 (reunions in 2011, 2012)
Labels Edison, Earache, Relapse, Second Nature
Associated acts Reggie and the Full Effect, The Get Up Kids, The Casket Lottery
Members Sean Ingram
Jes Steineger
Nathan Ellis
Nathan Richardson
Past members Jim Redd
Stacy Hilt
James Dewees
Cory White

Coalesce was a metalcore band formed in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1994. They are considered pioneers of mathcore and were known for its aggressive style of music and reckless live shows. The band broke up in 2010 and has performed two reunion shows since then.


Formation and early years (1994-1996)[edit]

Coalesce formed on January 17, 1994, with Jes Steineger on guitar, Stacy Hilt on bass, and Jim Redd on drums. Sean Ingram joined the band on vocals in April 1994. The band was first known as Breach, but changed their name to Coalesce to avoid confusion with a Swedish band of the same name.[1][2]

The U.K. division of Earache Records was impressed by Coalesce's demo and invited them to record an EP for Earache's 7" series imprint, New Chapter. The EP, titled 002, was recorded in one day and released in 1995. 002 marked the beginning of Coalesce's relationship with Red House Studios and producer Ed Rose, who would record all of Coalesce's following material.[3]

In the summer of 1995, Coalesce embarked on their first U.S. tour to promote 002. They supported the bands Bloodlet and 108. The tour served as a cause of Coalesce's first break-up, as the clashing of personalities had amplified between vocalist Sean Ingram and drummer Jim Redd while on the road. Once Coalesce returned home from the road, Redd convinced the other bandmates to oust Ingram from the band. Sean showed up at band practice to find that James Dewees was auditioning for vocalist. Ingram engaged in a confrontation with drummer Redd, resulting in Coalesce disbanding altogether in March 1996.[2]

In July 1996, guitarist Jes Steineger called Ingram and the two decided to reform the band. Stacy Hilt was included as bassist in the reunion, and included James Dewees as drummer, the same person who had attempted to secure the available vocalist position before Coalesce had broken up; drummer Jim Redd decided not to rejoin the band again because he was attending the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland. This incarnation of the band dusted off some older material and revised it so they could release it on the records A Safe Place 7" on Edison Recordings and the Earache-distributed split EP with grind veterans Napalm Death, entitled In Tongues We Speak.

Give Them Rope and Functioning on Impatience (1997-1998)[edit]

In 1997, Coalesce wrote and recorded their first full length, Give Them Rope (released on Edison Recordings), as well as songs for several compilations and split 7" records with The Get Up Kids, Today is the Day, and Converge.[2] After weeks of performing new material on tour, including a violent show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the work began on what would become Functioning on Impatience, but mounting tension between Jes Steineger and Stacy Hilt led to Hilts departure.[4] After Stacy Hilt left the band he was replaced by Nathan Ellis, a guitarist willing to switch to the bass to join one of his favorite bands. Coalesce entered Red House Studios in the spring of 1998 to record the album Functioning on Impatience in three days. Shortly after, Coalesce recorded songs for a split 7" with Boy Sets Fire. Both the full-length and the split record were released that summer.[2]

Coalesce again entered Red House to record There is Nothing New Under the Sun, a one-off release on Hydra Head of Led Zeppelin covers, which was released in late 1998. Coalesce attempted a US tour in support of this record, managing to play the east coast dates with Neurosis, Nile and The Dillinger Escape Plan, but the tour ended abruptly as unresolvable problems with their touring van brought tensions to a head and rendered Coalesce unable to complete the tour. They discarded the van, returned home in a U-Haul and subsequently disbanded once more.[2]

012:Revolution in Just Listening, hiatus and return to touring (1999-2004)[edit]

The members recorded their next album, 012:Revolution in Just Listening, in separate sessions from each other. A lineup impervious to breaking up was something that would always elude Coalesce. The usual cause for a Coalesce breakup was either standard in house feuding between band members, lack of money, or intermittent bouts of leaving and rejoining Coalesce due to religious reasons. Coalesce reformed in 2002 sans Jes Steineger, replacing him with The Esoteric guitarist, Cory White, for a national tour and short recordings.[2]

Ox and second hiatus (2005-present)[edit]

In August 2005, Coalesce was scheduled to play Hellfest in Trenton, New Jersey with original guitarist Jes Steineger and a new drummer, Nathan Richardson, but legal problems prevented the festival from taking place.[5] Having already made travel arrangements, the band performed shows at two smaller venues in Philadelphia and in the Wilkes-Barre area.[6]

The band played what they advertised as their 'final show' in Lawrence, Kansas in September 2005. During the Philadelphia and Lawrence reunion shows lead singer Sean Ingram announced that the band was going to begin writing new music under a new moniker, but this idea was abandoned.[2]

On January 3, 2007 lead singer Sean Ingram announced on his personal blog website that Coalesce had recorded 2 new songs on December 28 and 29 at Black Lodge Studios. The songs would be on an upcoming final 7" to be self-released by the band along with a DVD and book in 2007.[2]

On February 9, 2007 Coalesce announced, via MySpace, that they intended to do some touring in August 2007. Possible areas included Europe, Japan and the United States (East Coast).

On March 21, 2007 Ingram announced on the Coalesce website that the release would be titled Salt and Passage. The tracks would be titled "Son of Son of Man" and "I Am This". It was also said that re-recording of the vocal tracks for There is Nothing New Under the Sun were completed for the re-release through Hydra Head Records.[2]

On May 26, 2007 on the official website announcements were made in regards to the upcoming 7" and DVD. Instead of releasing them together they would be released separately. The 7" to be released in a hand screened gatefold cover with limited different colors on September 11, 2007. The DVD will be a collection of as many complete shows that they could get and it is entitled No Business in this Business. The DVD was released in late August to early September.[2]

Coalesce's latest full-length record Ox features 14 songs and was released on June 9, 2009 (North America) and June 15 (international) on Relapse Records. The band has completed a two-week headlining tour of Europe in support of Ox. Furthermore, the band has released a follow-up EP titled OXEP that features seven songs and was released November 10.

On June 18, 2010, Coalesce announced they would be taking a break from making music to focus on their personal lives.[7][8]

Coalesce reunited at Krazy Fest 2011—a three-day music festival in Louisville, Kentucky in May 2011.[9]

On October 20, 2012 Coalesce played with Converge, Torche and Kvelertak at Granada Theatre in Lawrence, KS.[10]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Coalesce's music is characterized by unusual time signatures, abrasive vocals and angular-dissonant guitars.[11] They are often described as mathcore[12][13] and metalcore.[3][14] Among the band's initial influences were Earth Crisis, Tool, The Jesus Lizard and Tortoise.[3] Sean Ingram cited Lisa Loeb and Maynard James Keenan as his biggest lyrical influences, and Phil Anselmo and Karl Buechner as the vocal ones.[15] Their lyrics were poetic, defiant and personal.[11][16] In several songs, Ingram criticized and challenged the militant branches of the straight edge and Hare Krishna ideologies which were prominent in the 1990s hardcore punk scene.[3]

Coalesce's live performances were known for their reckless and energetic nature, which occasionally ended with fights and injuries.[3][11]


Coalesce is often considered pioneer of mathcore and one of its most influential bands.[13][17] Many artists have cited Coalesce as an influence or have expressed their admiration for them, including Norma Jean,[18] Josh Scogin,[19] Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance,[3] Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan,[3] Cult of Luna,[20] Don Clark of Demon Hunter and Training for Utopia,[3] The Ocean,[21] Greg Kubacki of Car Bomb,[22] Knut,[23] Rob Fusco of Most Precious Blood,[24] War from a Harlots Mouth[25] and Chris Tzompanakis of Skycamefalling.[26]

Band members[edit]

Final lineup[edit]

  • Sean Ingram – vocals (1994–1999, 2002, 2005–2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Jes Steineger – guitar (1994–1999, 2005–2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Nathan Ellis – bass (1998-1999, 2005-2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Nathan "Jr." Richardson – drums (2005-2010, 2011, 2012)

Former members[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

Side projects[edit]


  1. ^ "Coalesce". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Coalesce". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ryan J. Downey (September 2007). "History". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Pit Bull Killed at Coalesce Show, the Band Played On". Noisecreep. 
  5. ^ Kelley, Tina; Kocieniewski, David (19 August 2005). "It's a Weekend in Trenton for Stranded Punk Fans" – via 
  6. ^ "Latest Hellfest replacement show schedule, full statement from organizers". 
  7. ^ Karan, Tim (June 19, 2010). "Coalesce to go on break". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Sean Ingram of Coalesce (Part One) - As The Story Grows". As The Story Grows. 
  9. ^ "Coalesce on Krazy Fest". Alternative Press. April 25, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ Karan, Tim (June 19, 2010). "Coalesce plays with Converge on their 'All We Love We Leave Behind" tour". Retrieved June 19, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c Downey, Ryan. "Coalesce". AllMusic. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  12. ^ Oliver, Lane (March 1, 2017). "March Madness: COALESCE – "Functioning on Impatience"". Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b "THE MATHCORNER VOL. 4: SPONSORED BY THE LETTER C – GETTING DOWN WITH CAVE IN, COALESCE, AND CANDIRIA". January 30, 2013. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  14. ^ Gotrich, Lars (October 25, 2011). "Coalesce: A Tale Of Two Ropes". Archived from the original on August 24, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  15. ^ Ellis, Jackson; Herget, Liesl (2000). "Interview: Sean Ingram of Coalesce". Verbicide. No. 3. (published June 15, 2001). Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Coalesce". Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  17. ^ Gotrich, Lars (October 25, 2011). "Coalesce: A Tale Of Two Ropes". Archived from the original on August 24, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2018. [...] Give Them Rope is an underground milestone that helped pioneer what was soon called "metalcore." At the risk of sounding too reductive — too late! — metalcore was the natural progression where extreme metal and hardcore met, but with spiraling time signatures that somehow felt more aggressive. [...] 
  18. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (August 2002). "Five questions with... Daniel Davison of Norma Jean!". CMJ New Music Report. No. 797 (published January 20, 2003). p. 23. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  19. ^ Hesselink, Jasper (September 2012). "The Chariot". Archived from the original on February 28, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  20. ^ Smit, Bas (June 2003). "Cult Of Luna". Lords of metal. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. Johannes Persson: [...] You mention Coalesce and Botch and those bands were big influences in my previous band Eclipse. Especially their early work. Like the album 'Give 'em Rope' from Coalesce, it's like the hardest record there is. That's at hard as it gets. They did it. That can't be beaten. So after that, I decided I wouldn't go for the hardest album, I decided to go for the heaviest album ever made. [...] 
  21. ^ Hesselink, Jasper (December 2005). "The Ocean". Archived from the original on February 28, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. Robin Staps: [...] I really wanted to have him [Sean Ingram] on the album, because to me his low-end voice always kind of represented the epitome of brutality, and I adore Coalesce, they're one of my all-time favourite bands. 
  22. ^ Oliver, Lane (November 11, 2012). "Exclusive Interview: CAR BOMB's Greg Kubacki". Archived from the original on February 17, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  23. ^ Martinelli, Roberto (2004). "KNUT". No. 9. Archived from the original on January 14, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Rob Fusco interview". Lambgoat. August 8, 2008. Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2018. Interviewer: Do you have any favorite lyricists in the hardcore/metal scene?
    Rob Fusco: [...] Sean Ingram of Coalesce has always been a good writer. He's realistic and acerbic. I like his stuff quite a bit. [...]
  25. ^ Hesselink, Jasper (June 2009). "War From A Harlots Mouth". Lords of Metal. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  26. ^ Brown, Dean (October 15, 2014). "Cathartic Release: Divider Interviewed". The Quietus. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 

External links[edit]