Much To Love
Punk and metal used to be good friends, but that was a long time ago. Or was it? Hardcore darlings Converge out of Massachusetts have been decimating the eardrums of unsuspecting listeners with their unique blend of chaotic, asymmetrical mathcore-infused punk since 1990, and judging from their eighth full-length, All We Love We Leave Behind, they have no intentions of ever giving up.
Opener “Aimless Arrow” features the band’s signature off-kilter riffs, but something’s different this time. Kurt Ballou’s guitar work is more melodic than before, and Jacob Bannon’s vocals skew towards the clean side of the punk spectrum, standing in contrast to his previous “dog barking through a distortion pedal” style. It’s a refreshing change for Converge. “Trespasses” channels a little Poison Idea mixed with Children Of Bodom, while “Sadness Comes Home” ricochets wildly between stoner blues and progressive thrash. “Glacial Pace” is just that: a slow, grinding slide across the land, anchored by Ballou’s curiously strange sense of melody. “Vicious Muse” gives a nod to the punk of yesteryear with its tom-heavy drum intro before launching into Converge insanity, and “Shame In The Way” evokes the giant prehistoric monsters of southern-fried sludge metal. Finally, the title track heavily showcases an ominous bass ostinato and agile guitar passages in the most “normal” song on the record, before the headbanging monstrosity that is “Predatory Glow” brings the album to an energetic close.
Converge has always walked that fine line between hardcore punk and heavy metal with ease, and All We Love We Leave Behind is yet another example of the band’s mastery of the genres. Combined with their newfound sense of melody and structure, Converge may have just entered a new phase of their career, and it’s quite exciting to see. Fans of the band will certainly love this one and fans of mathy and slightly experimental metal will want to give this a shot as well. If you’re looking for a way into Converge’s world, this just might be your ticket.