Nowadays, bands rarely get past their third album before sinking into obscurity, never to be seen again. It takes something special for a band to continually release music over a 20 year period and still find new fans to add to their ever-growing horde – especially a band that don’t fit in to the mainstream music mould. One of the bands to defy convention are the Massachusetts maulers Converge, who have just released their eighth album ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’.
Converge have been in hearts of hardcore fans since their breakthrough record ‘Jane Doe’ in 2001, and have since grown beyond the genre boundaries into metalcore and math, attracting masses of ‘heavy music’ enthusiasts in the process. The new LP picks up where they tentatively left off with a deafening, fast-paced dose of visceral hardcore punk.
Clocking in at 38 minutes, Converge cram in a whopping 14 tracks of destructive hardcore goodness. Hints of Fall Of Troy and Psyopus are forced to the surface while Converge try and decimate your eardrums through a relentless audio pounding. ‘Trespasses’ is a continual roller coaster of carnage that crashes and smashes into a wall of drum rolls and guitar thrashes, while ‘Empty on the Inside’ is the ongoing sound of a 1,000 feet robot drop-kicking your city into oblivion. It’s music to punch walls to.
In true fashion of the mathy metallers, there’s no discernible structure to their songs. Trying to find a chorus at all can be a struggle, so it’s best so strap in and let the barrage commence. Out of the 14 tracks on the LP, only five break the three minute barrier, leaving you in a dazed amorphous mess unable to put together a sentence. The album often delves into noise rock territory with its unending punishment of blast beats and fret fiddling, but keeps its roots solely in punk rock with elements of Black Flag and Fucked Up.
It’s hard to pin down exactly where ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ falls in the vast array of this year’s hardcore offerings, but it’s definitely near the top. Converge have always been innovators in music and the record undoubtedly stands out within the recent influx of hardcore releases, thanks to its deviations from the norm with hints of grind, math, metalcore and death metal. It’s an amalgamation of everything angry, passionate and venomous in modern music, and it’s brilliant. Get the windmills moving!
‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, Converge’s latest album, is out now on Epitaph Records.