Converge – Axe To Fall

January 01, 1970

(Epitaph)

 

www.epitaph.com

 

Axe To Fall is a
culminating effort, a sort of crash-course in the varied faces of Converge. For
this it both succeeds monumentally and suffers for inconsistency. But even
while it lacks the unified vision of a Jane
Doe
– the 2001 album that made Converge a household name in metal and
hardcore circles – this latest offers a refined look at everything Converge is
capable of, each new direction steered brilliantly and expertly.

 

Whether it’s the blitzkrieg
Motörhead-meets-Baroness-on-speed opener, “Dark Horse,” or the lurching
mono-riff-ic post-metal closer, “Wretched World,” Converge is showcasing an
intimate knowledge of all stripes of loud music, then turning that knowledge
into its own brand. Longer, more metal-friendly cuts are interjected with
speedball bursts of grindcore like the title track or “Cutter.” Kurt Ballou’s
guitars stretch into the tarry sludge of “Worms Will Feed” as ably as they
squeal and hum through “Losing Battle,” and tearing out meaty death metal solos
in “Effigy.” Converge is noisy, dynamic, exciting, confrontational and
confident here.

 

And, in what is perhaps its most purchase-worthy trait, Axe To Fall ultimately proves itself to
be as worthy an introduction to the prevailing trends in loud music – all sorts
of sludge, grind, noise and -core – as it does to the capabilities of the band
whose name graces the cover.

 

Standout Tracks: “Worms Will
Feed,” “Effigy” BRYAN REED

 

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