Converge – Axe to Fall


Artist

Album

Axe to Fall

Label

Epitap/Shock

Year

2009

For Fans Of

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Botch – Curl Up and Die

Summary

Throw another release into the album of the year ring

Rating

95 / 100

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Tracklisting

  1. Dark Horse
  2. Reap What You Sow
  3. Axe to Fall
  4. Effigy
  5. Worm Will Feed/Rats Will Feast
  6. Wishing Well
  7. Damages
  8. Losing Battle
  9. Dead Beat
  10. Cutter
  11. Slave Driver
  12. Cruel Bloom
  13. Wretched World

6 Responses to “Converge – Axe to Fall”

  1. jackp

    Awesome review Kane. The solos on this one remind me of old school Entombed. Getting Neurosis on board is a big plus too, those blokes are legends

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