All We Love We Leave Behind

Written by: PP on 21/11/2012 23:01:00

Did you think it was just a coincidence that the words Converge and chaos begin with the same letter?

For over two decades now, Converge have been defining the upper limits of what is possible to do with hardcore on a level of their own, with few (if any) imitators daring to near their experimentalist legacy that continues to push the envelope and innovate even as we reach their eighth album of their illustrious career.

Much like its predecessor "Axe To Fall" from three years ago, "All We Love We Leave Behind" is a violently aggressive album which wastes no time wrecking extreme havoc. This is no "Jane Doe", folks, this is Converge at their self-destructive selves, with tremendous hardcore fury and energy spouted through a relentless, unrestrained freight train of a performance by vocalist Jacob Bannon, or menace as I like to call him. The hauntingly beautiful vocal melodies he contributes on songs like "Aimless Arrow" might just sound beautiful only because of how ugly and uncompromising his scream is otherwise: you'll have to search far for a vocalist with as much unadulterated urgency in his delivery which has come to define and characterize Converge and the entire genre over the years.

But it's not all just thousand miles an hour into a brick wall style experimentalist hardcore/punk. Think of it more like a combination between the opening five songs of utter and complete instrumental destruction from "No Heroes" and the more technically sound and advanced material of "Axe To Fall" put together: one where the guitars show off impossibly fast scales on "Sadness Comes Home" while Bannon continues to ensure he'll be mute before he reaches 50.

That being said, Converge has always been about defiant intensity vs progressive depth on their albums, and this one's no exception. "Glacial Pace" is one song where the tempo is briefly slowed down to a level us mortals can understand, and here, just like on "Coral Blue", brief moments of progressive instrumentalism and more contemplative screams of Bannon give the album much-needed breathing room, a spacious atmosphere to contrast the tightly confined and in-your-face one that dominates the rest of the record. These are in the clear minority though as Converge seems intent on proving the world that even as Bannon approaches 40, he isn't about to slow down or go soft on us, quite the contrary.

"All We Love We Leave Behind", just like the other Converge albums that preceded it, is a challenging listen intended for those who want to find sense in chaos, for those who want to believe that music can be extreme and still sound mind-blowing, awe-inspiring, etc. There are always those who don't 'get' Converge claiming it to be nonsensical unmelodic noise, but they simply fail to pay attention to the precision orchestrated chaos, the uncompromising urgency, and the unmistakable atmosphere that this band is able to conjure album after album. It's a technically sound album and once again one of the most intense albums in any genre in 2012, leaving almost all of its contemporaries behind. The bar may not have been raised with this one, but lets not forget that "No Heroes" and "Jane Doe" placed it unreasonably last decade.

Download: Aimless Arrow, Sadness Comes Home, Coral Blue
For the fans of: Botch, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coalesce, Pulling Teeth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.10.2012

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