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Converge The Dusk In Us

2017 Epitaph Records/Deathwish Inc.

A new day has dawned.

Converge - The Dusk In Us

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Five long years have passed since the release of Converge‘s soul shattering 2012 opus “All We Love We Leave Behind“. Even with such a lengthy gap though, it doesn’t seem like a single member of the band really ever took a moment to breathe.

In addition to touring, celebrating album anniversaries and more, nearly each member have indulged themselves in other adventurous musical projects throughout Converge‘s ‘downtime’. Frontman Jacob Bannon explored his more melodic side in Wear Your Wounds, drummer Ben Koller busied himself with Mutoid Man and All Pigs Must Die, bassist Nate Newton bounced around through a few projects, and guitarist Kurt Ballou wound up producing and mixing enough albums to flesh out the back pages of a few issues of your favorite metal magazine.

Listening to “The Dusk In Us“, it’s quite clear that those outside endeavors have impacted Converge in profound ways, as they color much of this release. The title track alone finds pensive vocal melodies delivered as though they were the somber recollection of a tragic event.

A breezy ambiance and droning guitar notes accompany them until the song eventually gains enough traction to launch a lumbering onslaught. “Thousands Of Miles Between Us” continues this melodic bent, at times sounding like something off of an early Failure album—which is an odd thing to say given that this is Converge.

Broken By Light” is the classic screw being slotted into bone viciousness the band have been known for. Though its squealing guitars and turbo charged golden era of thrash oriented breakdown leans fairly close to the Mutoid Man catalogue.

Arkhipov Calm” finds the band careening around like a burst fire jackhammer pounding through a chalkboard. While that may sound like par for the course for Converge, there’s also an almost psychotic jazz element akin to The Dillinger Escape Plan at play that bolsters the buzzing sense of unease.

The biggest step outside the Converge canon here though is “Trigger“, which sounds like The Jesus Lizard and Deadguy sharing the same rehearsal space. It’s a particularly turgid track when compared to the rest of the album, centering around a chunky, simplistic bass line and screeching guitar wails. The inclusion of a more traditional vocal approach almost makes it sound like a cover of something from the early 90’s metalcore movement.

Taken as a whole, this is quite readily Converge‘s most diverse offering yet, though it can be a bit uneven. Sure, they’ve dipped their toes in the past with the help of some guests, but there’s no reluctance to get wet found here. Mostly it’s the sonic equivalent of slowly being poisoned to death by a swarm of insects or the panic felt while attempting to escape a collapsing building. And yet there’s sobering moments of bleak, longing reflection, where hope is dimmed, but beams of light still manage to penetrate the void.

This faint luminescence is a notable evolution for the group as there was a point in Converge‘s career where they were more content to lash out violently or drown in hopelessness. With “The Dusk In Us” they seem to have finally found something to hold on to, something to push themselves even further for. The opening song “A Single Tear” is clear proof of that, with Bannon gnashing his way through the epiphany of becoming a father himself.

Of course there’s also still some jaw dropping performances; Koller continues to baffle with the stamina and ability found in his thunderously animalistic performances. Simply put though, with “The Dusk In Us“, Converge seem to have finally found themselves comfortable stepping into the light after years spent clawing through their own darkness.

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