For Fans Of
Subtly has never been Converge’s thing – the band is the antithesis of musicals timid and mundane. Like a pride of lions with prey in close sight, Converge’s latest offering is deliberate and brutally direct in intent. Twelve years since their first aural assault of discordant hardcore and abstract metal, the Salem quartet returns with their most diverse release to date.
With genre defining albums such as ‘Jane Doe’ and ‘You Fail Me’ behind them, one could be forgiven for thinking Converge are ready to rest on their laurels. Thankfully, these sentiments are highly premature just as they are equally misguided. ‘Axe to Fall’ is thirteen tracks of relentless metal tinged hardcore. The result is a wall of noise that challenges any of the band previous efforts.
Opener ‘Dark Horse’ begins with an almost Maiden-esque guitar riff before launching into a trademark Converge face-kicker. Following tracks, ‘Reap What You Sow’ and title track ‘Axe to Fall’ essentially amalgamate in to one continuous musical attack that, when paired together, creates a clear tone.
What sets ‘Axe to Fall’ apart is the variety the band offers. A list of guest musicians as long as the Bible, including members of Cave In, Neurosis, The Red Chord and Genghis Tron, studio album seven changes pace with intentional and ridiculous ease. From the hardcore laden ‘Cutter’, whose opening would give Slayer a run for their money in the speed stakes, to the alternative melancholy of ‘Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast’, Converge provide the listener with a range of musical moods.
Other songs such as ‘Cruel Bloom’, which features vocals from Steve Von Till of Neurosis fame, serve to add further diversity to what has become the iconic hardcore sound of the past decade.
A pleasing late year album addition to what has already been a solid year for metal and hardcore.
Converge set the bar higher once again. For all aspiring musicians it looks like it is back to the drawing board. Hopefully we will see the band back down under in the New Year.
- Dark Horse
- Reap What You Sow
- Axe to Fall
- Worm Will Feed/Rats Will Feast
- Wishing Well
- Losing Battle
- Dead Beat
- Slave Driver
- Cruel Bloom
- Wretched World