Converge came back with their first new album in five years. And oh my, it was worth the wait. They’re as impressive and magnetic as you can imagine. The Dusk In Us achieved something many hoped for, but few believed – it’s Converge’s second best album, losing only to classic Jane Doe.
They’re aggressive, monumental, hard, heavy, yet accessible. Do not be mistaken – this is the same Converge that you used to headbang to fifteen years ago. Yet, this time they sound more mature, but without sounding old. They’re as valid, groundbreaking (literary!) as ever. And the best part is that even if you’re not that much into screaming, mathematical constructions, extreme bridges, and a lot of speedy drumming, you can really enjoy these songs because they’re just fun. However, “fun” is probably not the best word for it. They give you an opportunity to express yourself, free your emotions, scream internally while enjoying some pretty great music. However, “pretty” is probably not the best word for it. It’s just solid, heavy, and fulfilling.
Converge’s ninth LP also finds a wonderful balance between musical anxiety attacks, aggressive passages, and emotional interludes. You may be a little surprised when hearing the title song and its rather subtle character right after such a monster like I Can Tell You About Pain. But this not only gives listeners an opportunity and a space to breathe but also to explore another, great side of this band. And all those feelings that come with their music. Having such songs like The Dusk In Us and Thousands of Miles Between Us as well as Under Duress, Murk & Marrow and Cannibals show and highlights a variety of talents that Converge has and always had in their arsenal.
But the joy does not end here. However, “joy” is probably not the best word for it. The accessibility of this album is marvelous, which may lead to a popularity of this LP that will transgress narrow metalcore fan groups. Some of these songs might as well have ended on Mastodon’s, Baroness’. At the Drive-In’s, or Fucked Up’s albums. Under Duress is one of the best examples of such an observation. It’s just a phenomenal monstrous metal song, yet with a possibility of singalongs. There a lot more Sadness Comes Home here, and I love it.
Yet, there are also some downsides to this album, but their existence does not overshadow the overall magnificence of it. Firstly, an omission of Eve, a brilliant side B of a promotional single is a big letdown. And I know, two slow, emotional 7-minute songs on one album might’ve been too much, but still, it could’ve been a great addition. Also, sometimes there’s a feeling of unnecessary songs, which the only purpose was to fill the blanks between other, more distinguished ones. And I know, they also have their purpose, but still, it’s an impression I rather not have.
Converge is one hell of a band, and this is one hell of an LP – loud, angry, emotionally fulfilling, not afraid to turn to the more delicate side of it. This is what I was waiting for. If you’re not scared of some screaming and extreme guitar play, you should listen to this album. Otherwise, you’ll miss one of this years’ best. An album that is masterful, heavy, and beautiful. However, “beautiful” is probably not the best word for it.
Listen to: Under Duress, I Can Tell You About Pain, Murk & Marrow, Thousands of Miles Between Us