Oathbreaker – Ease Me & 4 Interpretations

2 out of 5

Label: Deathwish

Produced by: Various

Ease Me is a pretty great song.  It’s not really the Oathbreaker I want anymore – I guess we’re mostly going to leave hardcore and thrash behind, except probably to juxtapose some 90s alternative rock moments – but it’s admittedly a great song.  It’s got a nice, dreamy, reverby sound, which is kind of a spiritual callback to the death metal pieces of Rheia and is a better fit for Caro Tanghe’s indistinctive sing-songy vocals (i.e. when she’s not screaming), buffering them in waves of echo, and fully updates the group’s noisy assault into shoegaze-y washes of guitar and drumming.

But these remixes?  You only need one of these, and none of them are all that distinctive.  Admittedly, my taste in remixes requires the mix to give me something new, so I’m probably judging harshly, but only one of the four offerings here – Michael A. Muller’s – results in something that’s not just a slowed down / isolated vocals / added-a-guitar-track version of the song, going almost fully ambient, but because it lands at the end of the set and is rather minimalistic, it’s harder to evaluate its impact.  Otherwise, it’s all about which remix you hear first – Jesu’s, Wife’s, or Chelsea Wolfe’s – to determine which one’s sound like copies of the others.  This is ultimately too dismissive – I’m not suggesting these artists didn’t do their derndest, and that the fact that their tracks sound similar isn’t just a coincidence, but regardless – here’s “Ease Me” without the reverb, and then some looping sounds.  Jesu and Wife’s tracks are almost interchangeable (after a long and slow lead-in on Wife’s); Wolfe adds a guitar stomp that sounds like a Chelsea Wolfe guitar stomp, but the underlying elements of the song are otherwise the same as the other remixes, and her track ends rather abruptly after a couple minutes…

So: Ease Me is a good song.  But is it worth 15 bucks to also include 4 remixes that you likely won’t listen to often?