Converge - Axe To Fall
Jarring percussion controlled opener, ‘Dark Horse' races off into a melee of metalcore, punk and post hardcore, polished off by the focused, animated and gnarly vocals of Jake Bannon. Now celebrating nineteen years of boundary pushing spleen venting, Boston's bruising alternative pit inspirers, Converge combine their entire genre flitting into one punch packing full length. To give this seventh album extra adventure and bite. This is something that the snarly and rambunctious titled track combines perfectly. It uses grinding metal interludes to give extra force to the paranoid vocals, providing for a sniping sub-two minute tour-de-force.
‘Effigy', signifies the importance of their 3rd and most sturdy drummer, Ben Koller. His shaking contribution gives this number a striking edge and shuddering impetus from the off. A striking feature of this album is Koller's ability to accentuate his percussion to give a track extra impetus. Often aggressively rhythmic percussion combinations provide a cutting edge.
It is when they try a fuzzy, grinding old school rock with a metal undercurrent number ‘Worms Will Feed', in which they build up from a fuzzily grinding guitar base. That Converge loses a little of their edge. Incongruity, when done right, can show a rebellious and independent edge, but as this track demonstrates it isn't easy to pull it off. Focus and switching impact is easily retained in the topsy-turvy ambient interlude installing, ‘Damages'.
Bulleting riffing gives the tempo even more of a nudge in the snappy pelt of ‘Cutter', it's rustic metal at its best. It also displays a personal, deep seated and venomous personal lyrical touch;
"Tearing my soul to finally see, the wreckage between you and me."
The self delving lyrical punch has often gone unnoticed before amidst the fiery instrumentals and gruesome vocal delivery, but this track draws attention to the deep thought that goes into this element. An impressive ability is shown by Bannon, to put on the vocal breaks and give a slow stirring performance, ‘Cruel Bloom'. He is complemented by cushioning female backing vocals, providing for a bristling metal ballad. The fuzzily grinding guitar churn is well placed and mood invoking, showing that they do still know how to let a guitar dominate a track.
It is evident that Converge are still hell-bent on exploring many angles to communicate their bemusement and emotive leanings. They still definitely have something to say and the continuing broadness in their approach, suggests that they won't be too short of listeners.
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