The Pitch: The 9th studio album from Massachusetts metalcore/mathcore legends Converge via Deathwish and Epitaph. Believe it or not, it's already been 5 years since the band's fantastic All We Love We Leave Behind. Can they continue their seemingly endless upward trend in passionate, quality material?
What I Like: Yes, yes they can. As always, Converge kick things off with a ripping opener filled with Ballou's trademark hooks alongside Bannon's vicious-yet-passionate vocal delivery. And while maintaining everything I love about this band, "A Single Tear" also signals a subtle shift towards gloomy, sad melodicism more reminiscent of Jane Doe and You Fail Me than their last few releases. Similarly, "The Dusk in Us" finds them on one of their rare clean sung, atmospheric journeys. I have always appreciated Converge's willingness to explore such territory while confining it to sparing, potent doses. The placement of this track is perfection in terms of pacing, and the composition itself finds the band in perhaps its most sorrowful, indie-leanings since "In Her Shadow."
But that's not to say there aren't some straight bangers on this album as well. The chaotic drumming and infinite riff-machine of "Arkhipov Calm" are certain to melt your face along with the already familiar "I Can Tell You About Pain." "Murk & Marrow" is also worthy of note with its off-kilter time signatures and sporatic structure. It sounds more like a lost Dillinger Escape Plan song with Jacob doing guest vocals, and yeah that's just as good as it sounds. I could honestly go on and on describing how amazing pretty much every track on this album is, but I'll leave you with just one more: dat bass hook on "Trigger" is just damn sexy. Interesting approach to vocals and guitars on this one too; think These Arms Are Snakes.
Critiques: The only downside to this album is that there's nothing mind-blowingly new going on when taken within the context of Converge's discography. Experimentation is fairly low, save for the nods up above. But when you've perfected a niche as well as these guys, it's generally better not to stray too far from what works.
The Verdict: I don't like the expression "they can do no wrong," because obviousy everyone is capable of making a misstep. So more accurately I'll say this: in a world of infinite musical possibilities, Converge continue to CHOOSE to do only right. Is The Dusk In Us their best album? Probably not, but it's so rare to have a band crank out work at least on par with their classic output after nearly 30 years.
Flight's Fav's: A Single Tear, Arkhipov Calm, Murk & Marrow
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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