November 28, 2017
Converge, an American metalcore band formed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1990, is known for their abrasive punk rock, metal core songwriting and a massive catalogue of music and contributions to the hardcore scene.
“The Dusk in us,” released on Nov. 3, is their first album in five years since the album, “All we love we leave behind,” which left Pitchfork with an enthralling review and a 8.6 rating on their website in 2012.
Kurt Ballou, guitarist of Converge, produced the album himself inside his own studio, Godcity.
After listening to other albums he’s produced, such as Russian Circles album “Guidance” and Chelsea Wolfe’s album, “Hiss Spun,” I’m not the least bit surprised that this came from his studio.
After a careful listen, it’s clear that Converge is using a more natural approach towards their guitar tones.
Giving the listener a clean and crisp math rock tone that gets lightly dusked with distortion, reminiscent of the tone guitarist Josh Homme, would exhibit from Queens of the Stone Age.
This technique makes the guitars heard on every track and doesn’t muddle up the mix.“Arkhipov Calm,” the fourth track on the album is a perfect example of this.
Every instrument and vocal gets a chance to shine while the controlled chaos of the drums and guitars makes the songs more tangible.
Another aspect about this element of the album is that the symbols aren’t overused, but when they are used, they are perfectly syncopated with guitar, bass and vocals making Converge sound cohesive.
With subtle hat tips in songs such as “you don’t know what my pain feels like” and “Murk and Marrow,” I’m confident go out of to bands in the realm of Code Orange and Young Widows.
Vocalist Jacob Bannon developed a visceral vocal delivery that continues to bring songs about pain and frustration into the album.
To prove this point even further, a recent press release was issued during the release of their first song, as an album teaser for the public to hear called, Under Duress Bannon goes on to say, “the track is an emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live.”
The shouting, and at times screaming vocals, cuts through, making it always at the front of the mix: an element of converges that is essential to their original sound.
The whole record makes me think of what a person trapped inside a dark room for days on end might feel like when finally loosing sanity.
The tricks they use on “The Dusk in us” is a little too reminiscent of their older material, which isn’t necessarily an aspect that makes or breaks the record, but one that is certainly noticeable when put in comparison with other Converge albums.
The weak, midi sounding drums is also another element about this record that is hard to look past on the song “A single Tear” which open up the album.
Other than that the album is entertaining and refreshing to hear in today’s world of a dime and a dozen metalcore bands.