Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review:Converge-All We Love We Leave Behind


Alright, lets go ahead and get this out of the way: Converge has been my favorite hardcore/metal band and band in general for a good number of years now. When I first picked up Jane Doe at the record store across the street from my high school based on the artwork alone, I had only slightly explored hardcore and more extreme music in general for a short amount of time, and it was both unfamilar and instantly intriguing to me from the first listen, incredibly abrasive but drawing me in at the same time. Over a decade from it's release it still gives me that same feeling of excitement to this day, and is one of a small number of hardcore releases that still does. It's the album that put me on a steadfast path to discovering more music with this sense of urgency, raw emotion and sincerity, and it's one of the key records responsible for my love of hardcore and extreme music today. But enough about Jane Doe, this is about their new album, and one hell of an album it is indeed.

Converge now stands at a staggering 22 years of being a band, an incredible amount of time for any band, let alone one so prolific and extreme.This new record shows a band that continues to push their limits and boundaries, as well as return to the a more organic production style the bears the stripped down rawness of You Fail Me. "Aimless Arrow" opens the record and sets a blistering pace that is congruent through the majority of the record with a few standout exceptions like the methodical assault of "A Glacial Pace" and the crushing stoner/doom influenced "Coral Blue", the latter containing a soaring chorus that is surprising in the best way possible.

 I could go song through song because every track is memorable, but I'll just leave it at this:This is some of the darkest, heaviest and most volatile material the band has released to date, period. A bold statement given this band's previous records. And as many fans of the bands are growing older and into adult lives themselves, the lyrics reflect the strain of working constantly and devoting all your time and energy at the cost of stress to yourself and those you care about. Take the opening lines of the closing track "Predatory Glow":

"I've found myself
running out of time
relating to those that
just stopped trying
clinging to those little things
and the light they bring
i bow down to you
extinguished youth"
  Lyrics like this are why no matter how far they push their sound and boundaries genre wise, Converge will always be a hardcore band in both spirit and message. Even more than 20 years after their inception, they are releasing records that prove why they are a band with an incredible amount of imitators and very few peers, and continue to stay relevant while many bands cash in, burn out or fade away. One of my favorite releases of the year, and an essential listen for all fans of extreme music.

Stream The Entire Record Below: