|Converge - 'Axe To Fall' (Epitaph)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Friday, 23 October 2009 11:35|
Relentless pretty much sums up the new Converge opus 'Axe To Fall'. Combining all the trademark elements of the Converge sound (hyper-technical riffs, pounding rhythms and Jacob Bannon's cathartic outpourings) with a heaviness not previously produced by the band, this album really does grab you by the throat, crush your windpipe and then give you a few swift kicks to make sure.
It really is a brute of a record. Ben Koller and Nate Newton provide a thunderous rhythmic background for Kurt Ballou's guitar to slice at will. The heaviness is further augmented by the various guests, including Uffe Cederland (former riff god of Entombed), Steve Brodsky and Adam McGrath of Cave In, and John Pettibone of the much missed Himsa. Opener 'Dark Horse' is anything but, setting the pace and aggression that's maintained throughout the album. When you think things might calm down, a bowel loosening breakdown kicks in. As you draw breath between songs another one comes up behind you, smacks you 'round the head and so it goes. This album really is a fucking kicking disguised as an album.
However, if you're thinking this sounds like a one trick pony, think again, that's just not Converge's style. Whilst this album has a real pace and fury there's so much going on it's never gonna wear thin. Also, just to let the listener down easy, the last two tracks show a gentler almost melancholic touch with 'Cruel Bloom' (featuring Steve Von Till) and 'Wretched World' (featuring Genghis Tron's Mookie Singeman) bringing everything to a close. If you've always liked or loved Converge this will be manna from heaven, but be warned, if you're a newcomer, be careful, very careful.