After reading some information concerning their biography, I was a bit shocked since while I do tolerate Metalcore, I’m not a proclaimed fan of the genre and Converge are being labeled as Mathcore, Post-Hardcore-Punk, Grindcore, etc, which made me confused since I did not find anything in this album related to some standard Core related musical statements, such as the infamous Breakdowns or the often stereotyped vocals.
This is totally different from those, and to be honest by the first listen I found similarities with Mastodon concerning some guitar licks and aggressiveness, but yet again Converge aren’t as sludgy as Mastodon, so I went a bit further and said well OH yes they sound a bit like Atheist, with these awkward guitar/drum rhythms accompanied by mad vocals except given a modern touch. Therefore, this is a must listen-to album and I wouldn’t personally underestimate this band as I expect great things in the future for them.
Album Quality Production/Mixing: 9/10
Album “Uniqueness”: 8.5/10
There are few albums that we can call “classics” which have been issued after the year 2000, and that’s normal since nowadays good unique bands are rare to find. Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t consider Converge or this album to be my favorite of all times, but when it comes to being exposed to something new and interesting, Converge do exactly that with this album (reviewed by many as their best so far). Their blend of several aggressive music styles will probably get this album on my favorite top 10 metal albums of 2009, but then again it doesn’t compare to let’s say Opeth or Riverside’s latest releases; in fact they are in a totally different musical category here, as you shall notice by listening to the songs yourself.
This is a very energetic, Mastodon-ish song, with great guitar/bass shops and drum fillings! I like this “organized chaos” with the signature hardcore vocals 😀 This is modern metal at its best.
Reap What You Sow
Again the weird and attractive guitar shops, a great progressive approach by the band with the impressive drumming again. The vocals might not be enjoyed by those who arent accustomed to such a performance but it’s just right for this band. They morph into a thrash metal band when needed with the raging solos ; the song is rather short but is highly enjoyable as well.
Axe to Fall
Another short one which starts in a strong aggressive way (technical weirdness / noisy vocals). Loved the experimental aspect of the band with their ‘in your face’ heaviness and musicianship! A lovely heavy riff in the middle of the song requires some needed headbanging for sure along the double vocal attack.
Again a weird guitar/vocal harmony with ‘free’ drum patterns (lovely fast beats). By this point the vocal method used would grow on the listener as I personally found it necessary for this kind of music, which would be best described as Atheist meets Hardcore and Sludge Thrash. Although another 2 minute song, it’s essential for the album’s flow.
Worms will Feed/Rats will Feast
Kicks off with a guitar lick, weird notes included. Loved the experimentation aspect here as well, their composing is weird and they know it and build upon that. Probably an inappropriate song for a first time Converge listener.
Other songs such as Wishing Well (3.5/) (Do not compare this to the Black Sabbath song!!), Losing Battle (3/5), Slave Driver (3/5), Dead Beat (3.5/5) and Cutter (3/5) are kinda similar, and this is where I started to lose interest a bit but then again the album is not meant for relaxation; this must be listened too with the volume cranked up to the maximum to enjoy the sheer destructive beauty of these synchronized playing machines.
Cruel Boom (3/5) and Wretched World (3/5) are a bit calm comparing to the rest of the album, having some atmospheric mood to them, but they are enjoyable as well, after 30 minutes of constant technical bombardment in the album.
This album is featured on the LebMetal.com’s Top 10 Metal albums of 2009!
Myspace Page (Entire Album stream-able on their MySpace)