Release Date: 2006
Release Type: Full-Length
My so-called "better judgment" is saying I should be preparing for my midterm exams that are coming the day after tomorrow but honestly, fuck that. Besides, writing about Converge is heaps more entertaining than trying to memorize the Ideal Gas Laws. Anyhow, I am posting about these guys in celebration of their soon-to-be-released new album and my recent binge into metal's angry half-brother, hardcore. My little expedition into the world of hardcore punk began with this lovely band and now things have come full circle.
I know I'm quite prone to exaggeration but believe me when I say Converge are among the most influential and respected groups in hardcore. This release (and Jane Doe, commonly hailed as their magnum opus) should leave you no reason to doubt that. No Heroes storms out of the gates with the quad-barrelled assault that is "Heartache", "Hellbound", "Sacrifice", and "Vengeance". These songs showcase Converge in excellent form, with Kurt's dissonant guitar runs and Ben 's drumming whirlwind propelling the charge while Jake's trademark snarl at the forefront of the aural assault. "Weight of the World" slows down the breakneck pace, dipping into an atmospheric but unsettling instrumental, before they launch into the nihilistic title track. At this point, this is the Converge we all know and love but "Plagues" takes a turn into doomy riffage and slow, lumbering tempos. Album epic "Grim Heart/Black Rose" clocks in at almost 10 minutes, bringing to mind "Jane Doe", although it culminates in a very chaotic fashion, blasting punk beats and feral vocals riding a wave of crashing guitars.
"Orphaned" is an interesting animal, riding a sharp guitar hook that nonetheless still carves up virgin ears. "Lonewolves", a 2-minute anthem gives us a taste of Jake's "singing" voice before taking back to it's primal bark. "Versus" could be the most melodic track on this album, riding a fairly straightforward rhythm but nonetheless rips. "Trophy Scars" is another excursion into slow-paced apocalyptic atmospherics and "Bare My Teeth" hooks you in with a guitar riff that bleeds nihilistic fury. The album finishes with "To The Lions", a 3 minute barrage of dissonant tremolo picked fury and pounding drums.
Converge was and always will be one of my favorite bands in extreme music, and with any luck, they might become one of your favorites as well.
Find out here.