After emerging from the underground hardcore-punk scene over two decades ago, Converge have expanded their tentacles of sound into a slew of sonic territory. The band first made headway into the domain of heavy music with their 2001 awe-inspiring Jane Doe. But 16 years later, the lineup consisting of Jacob Bannon (vocals), Kurt Ballou (guitar), Nate Newton (bass), and Ben Koller (drums) continues to progress forward- flexing their dynamic and creative prowess. Their ninth studio album, The Dusk In Us embodies more explosiveness and innovative upheaval than ever.
The album's opener, "A Single Tear" kicks things off with barreling rhythm sections, mathy interludes, and Ballou's textured guitar-work. In theory, Converge put their angst on the back burner and rouse a rather positive scheme. Ballou's production of The Dusk In Us brings a wide array of crafty - yet noisy - layers to the forefront. Similarly, Ballou's work was the recent creative thrust behind Burn's debut album, Do Or Die. A likewise progressive element is captured on "Under Duress," with a mish mash of earth shaking heaviness ornate with abstract riffage and Bannon's blood-curdling vocals.
Converge is one of those bands that have expanded their soundscape beyond the underground - with a strand of accessibility - while revisiting their roots. The short bursts of spastic punk rock on "Broken by Right" and "Cannibals," are reminders of where the band emerged from. "Arkhipov Calm" pulls together Converge's experimental math-metal influences similar to that of Neurosis and Dillinger Escape Plan- defined by it's waves of explosive rhythm sections.
And just when you thought the dust settled, the serene intro to closing track - "Reptilian" - accelerates into a punked up firecracker of a song shifting to massive breakdown and double bass-driven intervals. Collectively, Converge are some of the most multifaceted artists in heavy music. They're the type of band that can pull from a slew of influences without making it seemingly obvious. The Dusk in Us is some of their most textured, multilayered, and dynamic work yet.
Listen to "Under Duress" and "Reptilian" below: