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Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

Epitaph 2012
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Brief is the list of artists who remain as relevant and vital 20 years into their career as they were when they started. Thanks to a string of critically acclaimed, genre-incinerating albums, Converge have permanently etched their name upon it. Already a decade removed from radically altering the world of noisy metallic hardcore with 2001′s “Jane Doe“; the groups impact—whether it be through the influence of their music or that particular album covers grim visage—remains indelible

With age, much like an overgrown fingernail, Converge have only become more gnarled and repulsive. This latest slab of searing rage finds them looking inwards; abandoning the cameo laden experiences of their past few albums and embracing the churning, corrosive aggression that they’ve slowly perfected. Sans the dirgey Neurosis-styled “Coral Blue” and the moody atmospheric interlude “Precipice“; “All We Love We Leave Behind” is largely the audio equivalent of Xenomorph blood.

Sustaining such a high rate of devastation is no longer enough to get by however and the band are fully aware of this. To that end they cultivate a subtle blend of diversity. One that blooms through an array of wrenched sonic convulsions, sputtering thunderous drumming, vitriolic retching and wiry bass lines. While the majority of the songs on this effort sound like an amalgamation of immolation and home dentistry; it’s through the jagged texturing and smeared palette that the material really shines.

A song like “Trespasses” keeps the detached backing vocals feeling just as crucial as the leads. “Sadness Comes Home” features a divebombing riff that sounds as if it were ripped from an Iron Maiden solo and jolted with a downed power line. “Vicious Muse” is led by militantly cavernous drumming that shoves the listener along on a veritable forced march. The looming bass on the title track rings out with ominous intent, only to have the rest of the outfit form like a frenzied funnel cloud overtop of it. Everywhere Converge go they create some bleak new horror to experience.

The fact that the album eventually begins to dissipate and slow down following the carnage of its initial detonation only adds to its charm. It’s a riveting and enthralling experience—but it is also ultimately as divisive and unapologetic as the rest of their catalogue. Converge aren’t known for taking half measures and “All We Love We Leave Behind” continues this practice.

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    ( 67 votes, 4.58 stars )
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  • THERileyBrewer

    They never disappoint. I mean, NEVER.

  • ethos

    Incredible album. I don’t think it’ll top Axe to Fall or Jane Doe for me, but my god, its still breathtaking.

    • ethos

      I was very impressed with ‘Coral Blue’… they pulled off an incrediblely Neurosis-like vibe without Steve Von Till.

    • dagger666

      couldn’t agree more.

  • schuler

    This album is incredible. There’s no point in even playing “Trespasses” live, the fucking venue will collapse. That, “Sadness Comes Homes”, “Vicious Muse”, the title track and “Predatory Glow” are some of the best songs they’ve ever written. The deluxe edition with re-recorded versions of the three songs they’ve released on EPs over the last year (or so) is even better. The songs fit perfectly, like that’s where they were intended to be all along. And the new version especially of “On My Shield” is way better than the single. Between this and Deftones, I don’t know who will win out album of the year for me. God damn it, 2012 has been a fucking KILLER year for music, and it’s not even over.

    • jampola

      “There’s no point in even playing “Trespasses” live, the fucking venue will collapse.” <– put a huge smile on my face!

    • Sick Icarus

      I’m seeing them on Monday with Torche and Ken Mode…..I’ll report back on Tuesday with the results! Can’t fucking wait for this show! I hate that words like “epic”, “brutal”, “crushing” etc are over used these days because those are the words that I anticipate will most adroitly describe this upcoming concert experience. Vocab suggestions are welcome PRP’rs

      • They Ate Their Macaroons in Silence

        I love vocab..
        Do report back with your grand, savage tale.

  • Fred Fred Burger (Darkdevout)

    Holy fucking shit this album is amazing, This album has a great balance of pure pummeling aggression, and pure melodic beauty, I’ve been listen to this from start to finish every time, there isn’t one bad track, correction there isn’t one track that anything less than brilliant! Aimless Arrow, one of the more artsy songs of the album really just brings you in, then tresspasses just breaks your face with that kick ass fucking intensity, my favorite track definitely has to be the title track, I love that heroic buildup with the drums and guitars and I think the message behind the song is very touching the way I conceive it.

    • Fred Fred Burger (Darkdevout)

      I think I meant to say *perceive it

  • coolguy2424

    This record may have induced carpal tunnel syndrome in my eardrums. I don’t know if that is medically possible or not. This thing is a seething, unrelenting monster that will not stop until nothing is left alive.

  • Relentless_Beating

    I never thought the day would come that Converge would come close to making a record almost as great as Jane Doe, but they did with this one, thats forsure. I have been a long time Converge fan, ever since the first time I heard Conduit in 98, and ever since it’s just been an amazing journey with these guys. Each album is great in it’s own way, but for me this record sums up what Converge is. Vicious, beautiful, and untouchable.

    Could careless what else comes out this year, Converge owns the belt with this one for 2012. Like Seriously, the title track song, come on, does it get any better then that? I don’t think so.

    One thing I have to say though, is that if this band had never found Ben Koller, I don’t think they would be the venomous machine they are today. Cause Damon sure as hell wouldn’t have got them there.

  • Surly

    I am consuming this as heartily as a big slab of beef steak, with mushroom jus and a side of potatoes dauphinoise.

    • They Ate Their Macaroons in Silence

      Funny, I was thinking of fine dining similes.
      AWLWLB is like dining in a 5 star restaurant that happens to be located in a sewer.
      Though each dish is mouthwatering, the first salad buffet/appetizer “Aimless Arrow” is hard for me to digest. The “Lonewolves” styled vocals ingredient by Bannon is not a flavor I much care for…. not enough pepperoncinis.
      I then gorge myself with the second course sapidity of “Trespasses” – “Veins & Veils.”
      “Coral Blue” through “Predatory Glow” is dessert, I lick Patron off the waitress’s neck to her breasts with gusto before I pass out behind the bar with my johnson out.

      • Surly

        I also laughed heartily at this…

  • damn (your mom’s balls)

    Album is boss. I especially dig ‘Glacial Pace’ and ‘Vicious Muse’. I would also like to say that aside from the tunes themselves, I think the lyrics on this one are some of the best Converge has ever put out… and Converge has some of the best lyrics in heavy music history. Kick ass.

    • whatisyourforte

      a glacial pace is one of the best converge songs yet.

  • whatisyourforte

    i definitely think this album lost the more proggy aspects of axe to fall, and also sounds more hardcore in nature than that album did. this is definitely one of kurt’s best performances, both when it comes to the guitar playing and the production.

    • whatisyourforte

      FYI – in no way was what i was saying negative. i think the new album is amazing. it seems to fit in between no heroes and axe to fall IMO.

  • mertdiggie

    as usual, they never fail to amaze me at every turn. ive been a die hard fan since i just became a teenager and im 31 now, jake bannon is like an icon to me between his art , his label but most importantly converge ( i even have the cover of “you fail me” on my left calf. the man is a fucking genious on a mic and always trying new ballsy shit, then kurt with his amazing guitar work that no one can ever be compared too, its just beautiful( hard to believe even after all this time its been just him on guitar period), and the bass lines that come out are ridiculous and no one can compare to the actual sound of the drums that kurt gets through his god city studios, it almost sounds like im in a basement with the pummeling and raw fucking viciousness of it right next to me. but once it all comes together the album brings every emotion out of you that exists and thats what converge is to me period. im going to see them tomorrow 2 hours away in ct and i cant fucking wait as usual, it will be like my 30th time but just like the albums, there live shows are everything, instead you get to see the beauty of jake and co. commanding every blood sweat and tear from the audience cus in all honesty when you see them live, you can tell thats what there commanding from themselves as well. long live converge

    • Relentless_Beating

      Sorry good sir, but it hasn’t always just been Kurt. You are forgetting the legend Aaron Baldec. A genius in his own right with Bane.

      • mertdiggie

        actually you may be right buddy, and awesome keeping me on my toes.what is funny though is up here in mass and what not, there a whole weird fan base as well. its basically die hard fans of converge before jane doe and then die hards of jane doe and above, at least in the springfield area. actually while im saying this , im also wondering where ur ‘page’ pic came from? is that an ‘integrity’ album cover?i actually wanted to ask earlier but i wanted to stay on topic. either way man, good shit getting me on that.

      • Relentless_Beating

        A divide in Converge fans just seems so weird for me. This is a band that evolves with each release, and it’s amazing to watch. Like a good friend of mine said the other day “Converge is almost too good. So good in fact it pisses me off”, so to be stuck with a certain period of their work is beyond me.

        And yes, you would be correct, that is a Integrity pic. It’s the “To Die For EP” cover. First Deathwish release actually.

      • GotsTaGetMines

        Actually, the Converge/Hellchild split “Deeper the Wound” is Deathwish’s first release. Integrity “To Die For” is #25.

      • Relentless_Beating

        No what I meant at all. I meant Integrity’s first Deathwish release.

      • GotsTaGetMines

        Oh, well then your comment was 100% accurate then.

    • damn (your mom’s balls)

      Enjoy the show man… I saw them twice back in April/May, and had a fucking blast both times. I went to the first show like, “ehhh I think I’ll just take it easy and watch the show..”. As soon as they hit the stage I was climbing all over everyone. They are incredible performers.

      • mertdiggie

        exactly, there older then us i presume but they fucking bring it man every time and its sick that they can still to this day. there coming to cambridge mass in november and ill be there for that one as well cus that home town turf and thats when the sick shows happen! its hard to think it has been almost 20 years but thats the point, they still make it like i was a child . i cant wait til my son is old enough to bring him to his first show lol

  • cutmewithyoursun

    Great album. I think it’s definitely better than Axe to Fall, and nears Converge’s triple threat of Jane Doe, You Fail Me, and No Heroes. I view those albums as roughly equal in their greatness, and time will tell if I let All We Love We Leave Behind join that group. But it’s quite the album for sure. It has all the good parts of Converge: the slow songs are sludgy and brooding, the fast songs are obliterative and noisy. 5/5

  • kturl69

    Converge? They must be new.

  • BecomesMyVeryShackles

    No love for “Shame in the Way”? I was driving along to this album, and this song hit, and I immediately had to head bang with the windows down.

  • damn (your mom’s balls)

    Loving this release more and more by the day… Converge truly are the real friggin deal. Great artists. Everything they touch is gold.

  • Lazer_Wulf

    It’s funny, I’ve been coming to the PRP pretty faithfully since its inception, but sometimes I stray to other metal sites for a different voice. What I’m seeing here is that the community’s comments about AWLWLB are pretty much universally positive; even as we bicker about other albums, we seem to be of one camp in terms of Converge. Meanwhile, over at Lambgoat, the comments are universally negative (as of this writing)… not just about this album, but about post-Jane Doe Converge in general. At Metal Injection, the review is kinda meh and there are no comments at all.

    Point is: there’s no such thing as a “correct” opinion, even if it is about fucking Converge, but at least I know who my people are. This album is Boner City. Cheers, PRP Community.

    • Surly

      What’s Lambgoat’s main beef with the record? Too experimental?

      To be honest, most users over their are so unpleasant to each other it’s a real turn-off. Sure, there’s plenty of waging of critical words here, but the vitriol spilled is amusing more than anything.

      • damn (your mom’s balls)

        Eat a dick, Surly….. shithead! Oh yea, your mom has balls too!

  • Dax

    I wonder if urologists are seeing an uptick since this album has released.
    Doc: Why is your cock broken in two?
    Me: I guess I just wasn’t ready enough for the stomp riff at the end of Aimless Arrow, doc.
    Doc: Yeah, you have to be careful about the new Converge. We’ve been seeing a lot of broken cocks and smashed balls since this album came out.