(This is Wil Cifer’s review of The Dusk In Us — the recently released ninth album by Converge.)
Twenty years ago a friend of mine said to me, “There is this band you would like called Converge, they are like if Sunny Day Real Estate was metal-as-fuck hardcore”. Over the course of those 20 years things have changed for the band. They got a new drummer and put out this album called Jane Doe that turned heavy music on its head. Their guitarist Kurt Ballou is now a highly sought-after producer. With their guitarist behind the mixing board for The Dusk In Us, you might expect to be hit by a wall of guitar. This is not the case. Instead you get guitars with a warm organic sound that sit back in the mix like they are just running straight into their amps. Even in the album’s more experimental moments it retains a very organic sound.
“Eye of the Quarrel” makes it pretty clear that their punk side has not gone anywhere. Bannon’s vocals are not screamed with the same emotional tumult of earlier albums. You can actually understand what he is yelling. They do return to the kind of grit I want from them on “Under Duress”. The chorus is almost sung in a throaty bellow, with the drummer throwing in angular accents and odd-timed punches.