by Tim Birkbeck
When you have a band of the stature of Converge saying that what they have just recorded is some of their best work to date, the bar of expectation is raised sky high.
But when it comes to Jacob Bannon, Kurt Balou, Nate Newton and Ben Koller, they rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to what they produce in the studio.
So when the record kicks in with the blistering ‘A Single Tear’, right off the bat the quartet are showing what they can do. Bannon’s trademark screams layered on top of riffs which should be be able to be produced by one guitar, drumming which confirms Koller as a robot and the additional growls from Newton adding the icing on top.
As pioneers of their craft, Converge have always been attached to the hardcore / metal world, but they have never been scared to dabble into different realms of their music and test the waters elsewhere.
This experimentation is most apparent in the seven minute epic, ‘The Dusk In Us’ where it takes nearly three minutes for the guitars to come in, and relies on a poetic Bannon to carry the melody, rather than his banshee like scream. In years gone by you might have looked upon this track as being out of place, but the band that Converge has become it is actually just as strong as a song like ‘Reptilian’ which, in this reviewers opinion, is one of the strongest Converge songs ever recorded.
Even though there are tracks on this record that you can clearly distinguish as a Converge song, the four-piece are still not afraid to push boundaries. The some what disjointed sound of ‘Murk & Marrow’ does exactly that, something that we haven’t necessarily heard from the band before. Jilted rhythms, broken drum patterns and a unique under layer of guitars, shows that the band has really put its all into this record and thought about every single aspect of every single song.
For Converge fans around the world the argument over which of the bands records should be considered their best is one which has gone on for years, but now, with the imminent release of The Dusk In Us, the debate will surely ignite once more.
The Dusk in Us is out on November 3, via Deathwish Inc and Epitaph Records.