I’ll admit: listening to loud music when you’re tired or stressed can be exhausting. It can also serve as a strange form of catharsis.
I read once about people who listen to metal music – I hear the common folk like Metallica – to fall asleep. Those people are likely sadists. I prefer white noise, like box fans (or, I don’t know, 7 of them in Florida).
Or any of those CDs from Target or Walmart of sound effects of lapping river banks and Amazonian rainstorms, with names like THE TRANQUIL EARTH and SEX WITH AND FOR ROBOTS.
Somewhere betwixt these two examples is the followup to Converge’s seminal 2001 album Jane Doe. You Fail Me is another masters-level lesson in destruction. Take, for example, the album’s best song: “Eagles Become Vultures” –
I love this project for the constant surprises it provides. I guess I hadn’t spent as much time with You Fail Me as I thought I had, because both “Wolves At My Door” and especially the ridiculous, fuzzy, distorted bass tone on “In Her Blood” were eye-opening. It was like listening to those songs for the first time all over again.
That’s a good metaphor for the band on the whole. Listening to Converge is like the first time you ever listened to your personal favorite band: exploring the excitement of its alien nature, founding new establishments in unfamiliar reaches of your music discovery experience.
Even if you’ve listened to the band before, be it as a casual fan or one that’s followed their 20+ year career, sometimes, going way back, deep into the catalogue can be refreshing.
And now that You Fail Me is almost a decade old, “way back” isn’t considered hyperbolic here.
From that record, this is Converge’s “Last Light” –
Standout tracks: “Black Cloud” and “Eagles Become Vultures” pummel and decimate. “Drop Out” and “Heartless” come in at a close second.
Weakest track: I’ve waffled on this before, but I’m inclined to believe the title track drags so much that it actually weighs down the mid-section of the record. Thankfully “In Her Shadow” undoes this in spite of being a longer track.
RIYL: Hardcore punk, metalcore, deathcore. Botch, Dillinger Escape Plan, Glassjaw.