Converge - The Dusk in Us 01I have a unique history with Salem, Massachusetts’ Converge. Having followed them since their Caring & Killing days, my friends and I would check them out as well other metalcore luminaries such as OvercastShadows FallDisembodied, and Zao. But whereas the other aforementioned bands would put on some chaotic live shows, Converge‘s sets were a different beast entirely. Picture violent gang-shouts by Jacob Bannon and the audience, guitarist Kurt Ballou bouncing off of people’s heads like a live-action Super Mario, and people diving off stages, off of people, and even off of balconies.1 But for whatever reason, the band fell off the radar for me after 1998’s incredible When Forever Comes Crashing. Simply put, I thought I outgrew their chaotic brand of hardcore. And because of that, I missed one of the biggest about-faces with their legendary 2001 album, Jane Doe; an album that married their atonal metalcore with thick post-metal influences. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve been playing catch-up with their catalog, and the amount of progress on each subsequent album has been nothing short of astounding.

The growth and maturity continue on their ninth album, The Dusk in Us. Just as “A Single Tear” proceeds to rip you a new one with a frantic “‘Thunderstruck’ on caffeine” riff and Ben Koller’s slaughtering of his drumkit, you would be forgiven if your jaw also dropped at the revelation that the song is about Bannon becoming a father for the first time (“When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.”). Somehow, “A Single Tear” becomes both a touching memento of first-time fatherhood and one of the band’s most visceral tunes penned to date. This duality isn’t particularly new to Converge or their fans, but the way the band expertly merged a lovingly euphoric feeling with vitriolic catharsis exemplifies why Converge remains head-and-shoulders above their contemporaries.

The Dusk in Us also throws out some short-and-sweet backward glances to their earlier days on “Broken by Light,” recalling their When Forever Comes Crashing days, with an ending guaranteed to go down a fucking hoot live. “Eye of the Quarrel” also tosses older fans a bone with some fat bass work by Nate Newton, a frantic d-beat, and rushed vocals. But their strength in recent years lies in their ability to craft long, sprawling songs that build and climax, washing the listener over in waves of emotionally crushing post-rock. The title track, clocking in at over seven minutes, pays off in dividends with an incredible build-up and phenomenal climax commencing at 4:44, and lasting to the song’s end. Elsewhere, “Thousands of Miles Between Us” breaks hearts with a pummeling rhythm section and a wrenching chorus (“There is no place in this world to hide/My shattered smile that life provides/Stand up straight, take it on the chin/Pick up my teeth and start again.”). Both sides of Converge shine brightly throughout the album’s duration.

Converge - The Dusk in Us 02
Once again recorded in Ballous’ infamous GodCity Studio, The Dusk in Us reveals densely packed layers of guitars, but miraculously Newton’s bass remains thick and beefy throughout. Also, Bannon’s voice sounds clearer than on previous works, allowing for his poetic lyrics to breathe and paint a chaotic, beautiful picture. Very little fault can be found on here, though I will admit that “Trigger” didn’t do much for me, short as it was. Another more minor nitpick is that “Eve,” the colossal B-side to the “I Can Tell You About Pain” single released earlier this year, could have easily been added to the album’s tracklisting, given how strong the overall package was. Then again, I understand completely the need to let that song shine on its own.2

It’s rare for a band with over 25 years of history to remain relevant with the changing tastes of the music scene at large. It’s next to impossible, however, for a band to be around that long and not only remain vital, but continue to improve, mature, and captivate, all while remaining unflinchingly heavy, brutal, and most importantly themselvesConverge have once again thrown the gauntlet down for others to pick up. Let The Dusk in Us wash over you.


Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Labels: Epitaph Records | Deathwish, Inc.
Websites: Convergecult.com | facebook.com/converge
Releases Worldwide: November 3rd, 2017

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Think less “Eddie Vedder in the ‘Even Flow’ video,” and more “Ezio Auditore leaping off the Sistine Chapel, but with moshing people replacing bales of hay” for an accurate mental image of those days.
  2. And, man, does it ever shine. For a while, “Wretched World” (off of 2009’s Axe to Fall) was my go-to Converge song. But “Eve” eclipses that with relative ease. Give it a listen, when you have the chance, and thank me later.
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  • Eli Valcik

    I like this band and I loved “I Can Tell You About Pain” but I haven’t picked this up, this might be the push I need to start listening to this.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      I STILL scream-out this band’s lyrics when I’m getting my chest waxed

      • Grymm

        Dude… ME TOO!!!

      • KELLY CLARKSON!

  • I’d forgot this band existed, nice to see they’re still relevant. Embedded song is pretty killer, really enjoy the guitar work.

  • Jaime VG

    There is a lot of variety in this album but this is the first Converge record that I didn´t get on release day. I guess I´m getting old. I love the lyrics I have read so far.

  • TheTransmuted

    Fantastic album. It is absolutely insane to me that this band is creating more and more dynamic and impactful music as they age. Jane Doe will always be my number one, but I’ll be damned if the rest of their catalog following that masterpiece isn’t exceptional.

  • sweetooth0

    Converge rules!

  • Eli Valcik

    All I see when I look at that album art is a Halloween Sheet Ghost.

    • Matt slatz

      Michael Myers in Halloween one pre-mask scene

  • The Akerstache

    I love these guys, they’re constant ability to deliver fantastic records is amazing. A weak album in their discography is a must-buy by all accounts. What’s even more exciting is this is easily one of their strongest, it’s in the upper echelons of an already near flawless discography.

  • Malhorne

    Wut?

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      WHVT

  • gustman17

    Converge’s insane skill at capturing emotion and delivering with equal parts rawness and elegance is unmatched. That Single Tear video has to be one of the best music videos I’ve ever watched, and I’m not even a father! I just think it’s crazy how the lyrics, music and visuals fit so well together.

  • Handy Donut Hole

    I have a younger brother who enthusiastically loves to show me his new favorite metalcore band of the week. Although he errs in his ways I fully intend to introduce him to this album and show him where metalcore truly came from. I may also drink a warm Budweiser while nodding emphatically to the beat.

    • J-Luke Chesteen

      Ah, warm Budweiser.

  • Hall Awaits

    Overrated. Maybe I’m just tired of the woe is me song titles and can’t see past it.

    • Have you seen your username?!?

      • Hall Awaits

        Yes. I see it every time I log in. Typo? Nope. Reference to something not actually dealing with Hell Awaits the album? Yes.

  • Kronos

    I don’t love this album, but I am happy to have another converge title to pick through, and it’s better than most of the shit I review. Great write up. An interesting point on “Wretched World,” which is definitely one of my favorite Converge songs; it’s performed almost entirely by guest musicians, including the entirety of (the criminally underrated) Genghis Tron. So it’s also one of my favorite GT tracks.

    • Grymm

      Seeing videos of Converge perform “Wretched World” live with Chelsea Wolfe is absolutely amazing.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Love me some GT. They played my remote hometown a few years back with Ferocious Eagle and Kylesa. Awesome.

  • Apple Tree

    i disagree heartily. i’d give it a 5/5, but the title track gives it bonus. 6/5 from me

  • Septic

    Pink Mass actually designed the rough draft of the album cover. Converge felt it didn’t properly convey album mood.
    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b91542d7c630d7395f3eaddc9c617e2da3e0031504f402b9e9c0a422e36beb7c.jpg

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      Eeeeeeeek

    • Eli Valcik

      I honestly cant tell if that is male or female.

      • Welcome to 2017 yo

        • Absolomb

          Did you just assume the year we’re in?

          • Did you just try to normalize your own yearly experience by assuming that everyone else is in the same year?

          • Absolomb

            Ahh, so that’s why I keep finding CPU’s dangling from people’s eyes.

          • ARE YOU MARGINALIZING THE EYELESS??? They can’t get to California as it is, don’t you think they have it bad enough? Check those micro-aggressions brah!
            South Park has made a monster out of me, I blame PC Principal for everything.

          • Grymm

            Wow, references to both South Park AND Slipknot in one comment. You are a master, good chap!

          • I do what I can. A couple good ones are buried in my next review, but I don’t even know if anyone caught the Men At Work reference in the last one so I’ve probably gotta step my game down. My brain is a messy place, a lot of things line up and make sense to me there but they don’t always translate in the real world.

    • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

      Welp, that’s enough internet for me for the day.

  • Bas

    I never liked converge (or any other band like them). I listened several timea to jane doe. The embedded track is, however, quite good (i will give this one a try).

    • RMK

      Axe to Fall is my personal fave album of theirs, Dark Horse then Reap What You Sow is one of the best 1-2 punches of any album in the 21st century IMHO. The rest of the album (including the aforementioned Wretched World) is fantastic too. AWLWLB is very good as well. Also worth nothing that for whatever reason I’ve never gotten Jane Doe. Maybe it’s worth another try (again).

      • Bas

        Thanks. I will give those albums a try.

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Wow…4.5
    I must not get the appeal.
    Maybe I’m too old lol
    I’ll give it another go though as I trust Grymm’s taste.

    • beurbs

      Every song sounds the same to me and the production is always terrible. And this is coming from a Dillinger fan.

      • manimal

        What’s your take on Dillinger’s production then? All of their records since Ire Works have this sample-triggered direct-recorded plastic sheen that I dislike (the music remains fantastic though).

        I’ve yet to listen to the embedded track here but despite the horrible dynamic range Converge’s records post-Jane doe sound good to me, mostly due to the well-recorded drums and bass.

        • beurbs

          Dillinger’s production is pretty rough too, but the difference for me is that their music is interesting enough to overcome that problem. I don’t find that true with Converge.

    • OdorousRope

      My feelings as well.

  • Gage

    4.5/5 ???
    Really ???
    I couldn’t make it all the way through the posted song. God awful vocals.

  • Roquentin

    Yes. Beautiful record.

  • One More Thing

    Very glad you guys did a review for this. I acknowledge the fact that my tastes aren’t as advanced as I’d like them to be, so from time to time, I rely on the reviews here to help me see and appreciate things I would have otherwise missed. The majority of my exposure to Converge has been Axe to Fall. I’ve heard a song or two from each past album, but never really delved into them too far. Really looking forward to spending more time with this one. Thanks for the write-up, Grymm!

  • Ferrous Beuller

    I’ll show this video to my spawn when she’s older… while I slowly crack some eggs.

  • Cody Miller

    Took me 15 or so years so hear it, but I am understanding what these guys are about.

  • MetalMartin

    Gonna make a nice background in December for November ROTM!!

  • GardensTale

    Excellent review, Grymm! I’ve never listened to Converge before but I’ll definitely be giving this a swing (and catch the integral Jane Doe live show at Roadburn!)

    • herrschobel

      ha ! and i will see you there in the mosh pit !

  • TheCurlyMetalhead

    Potential AotY along with Enslaved and Elder, so fucking good

  • AshCinderSmoke

    Ace review Grymm. I put off listening to this for whatever reason but you’ve convinced to listen. Big surprise it’s amazing.

  • PeskAD

    Picked up on Converge shortly after Axe to Fall, then worked my way through their back catalog and played the shit out of All We Love. Easily one of the most significant gateway bands I’ve had, possibly in all of my heavy music journey thus far. Just picked up Jane Live on wax and have been enjoying that immensely, too. All of that being said, this is probably the album that I’ve connected with the least immediately thus far. I just don’t get it! I get the distinct vibe that they’re tapping into a broader range of influences and my palette is left with a … post-hardcore vibe? Anyone else get the same? Someone call me out if I’m wrong here

    • Kronos

      I would agree on you with the post hardcore vibe here.

  • Levly

    This band is really not my thing, and this album doesn’t change that. I cannot understand how everyone seems to find them so brilliant. Sure they’re excellent technically, but the riffs are boring and the vocals highly annoying. Same thing with Dillinger. Cannot understand their popularity.

  • herrschobel

    Bravo ! and still one of the best live acts out there…beautiful band

  • Tofu muncher

    a band playing something-core-something, which is not grindcore. Pass.

  • Dudeguy Jones

    I don’t usually tout how long Ive listened to anything, but in this case it plays right into why Im so fucking impressed…

    I still strongly recall the argument my friend and I had over Halo In A Haystack (Caring & Killing to many) and he hated it so much and I absolutely loved it. He lent me his album and I taped it and xeroxed the artwork to fashion into a tape cover for my copy. He eventually took the album back and went to college, selling it off eventually.

    I, on the other hand, took that tape everywhere with me, from 1995 to this very day, where its one of only two tapes left in my collection. (The other is Sick of It All’s ‘Blood Sweat and No Tears’.)

    Anyway, Ive loved this band from the start and they’ve continued to change and grow and yet they’ve always remained distinctly Converge. Their last album is one of the best in their discography and while this isn’t my favorite of theirs, I still marvel at the ability to keep growing and yet never falter, in both presentation and ethics.

    Bravo!

  • Shrümpelstiltskin

    Axe to Fall was my gateway album into Converge, and is still probably my favorite record of theirs. I then went back and learned to love the rest of their discography. Then All We Love came out, and to be honest, I just don’t get that record. Something about that collection of songs just doesn’t click with me. That being said, this new record is so much better. Dusk is definitely the follow-up to Axe that I always wanted.

  • Metal and Hockey

    I try every new album to get into Converge and just can’t. Their albums always come across as whiney and sappy to me for some reason.

  • PretentiousFuckwad

    Upon my first listen, I thought every song was either pretty good or decent aside from the embedded track which I can barely tolerate. The riffing just bored me. There are times on this record where the melodies seem obvious to the point of being cliche which would be the largest downside for me. I have mixed feelings towards the cleaner sounding, more yellish screams, but that’s more up to personal taste than anything else. It worked for City of Caterpillar, but I don’t know how it works here. Another listen is probably required anyway given that they’re mathcore (which is supposed to at least represent itself as complicated material). My first impressions are pretty good despite the fact that the overall quality was patchy to me at times.

    I can understand complaining about sappy song titles, and melodrama in the music, but keep in mind this is an entire group that rose to fame because of a breakup album. When it comes to singing (or shrieking) about sad stuff, execution like everything else, is what matters first. They’re not praised because Bannon knew how to milk the fuck out of his personal life. They’re praised because they used aural chaos to represent emotional issues, making something that could provoke yet at the same time, resonate with the listener.

    The lyrics on the other hand remind me of your average edgy doom band. Sure a more emotive sound might also be paired with lyrics that seem more confessional, but the main idea is relatively similar. The only difference in all of it is that it’s not often for the lyric writer to provide the listener with any sense of relief from all the doom and gloom, which isn’t much better in my opinion. If all the person knows how to do is write edgy cliche lyrics, then it becomes a matter of presentation, which is far more important in any album than the actual writing itself.

    Unless we’re talking about your average slamming death metal band, in which case the lyrics are clearly of most importance. Thankfully they’re pretty easy to write.

  • Chad

    Seeing Converge with Sumac and Cult Leader in January. Vancouver BC so it’s a local show for Nick from Sumac anyhow , it’s gonna be insane.

    • herrschobel

      wow….great lineup…absolutely love all three of those bands

  • Here’s Johnny

    I’m new-ish to Converge but to me they sound like the band Gojira want to be, ie, a dynamic non-boring one. Jane Doe should be in everyones music collection.

  • mxtspanya

    Eve!!!!! Wish this was on the album

    • Grymm

      Believe me, me too.

  • bustap949

    Yep. Fair. Converge is the shit