Okay, so it's obvious that i'm rather fond of this band. I always think of Converge as one of the more relevant hardcore bands out there. I mean there are a lot of other hardcore acts out there, but how many would you say have their own sound? How many of them can make you go "hmmm what bands could i compare them to? i'm not sure". Don't get me wrong, i'm all for bands paying tribute to old bands that have paved the way, but wouldn't you rather have a band that took influences from those bands to create something new, something original, exciting, unpredictable and relevant? Hell, most bands who cited Black Flag or Bad Brains as their influence don't sound remotely like them anyway.
Converge has been actively involved with the scene from the early 90's and hasn't slowed down since. Chucking out a handful of full-lengths and splits, they continued to reinvent themselves in terms of musical direction while still having a recognizable, distinctive sound. Their early albums such as Petitioning... and When Forever...display a lot of thrashy, chungky riffs while Jane Doe and You Fail Me has more of a "mathy", chaotic sound and atmospheric production, thanks to Kurt Ballou's Godcity Studio.
Axe To Fall, their new album is due to drop on October 20, 2009. So far, 2 new songs has been released. The first song is called "Dark Horse" and it honestly has left me feeling indifferent. The main riffs sounded like something Mastodon would've written and that to me, is not a good thing. Obviously its just one song and the rest of the album might not sound like that. Converge are currently touring across the states with Mastodon and Dethklok and i'm not sure what to make of it. I'm just not a big fan of those bands i suppose.
The second song, "Axe To Fall" however kicks so much ass that i felt like someone just ripped my soul out upon first time listening to it. The drumming is the highlight with it's d-beat influence driving the song at breakneck speed. Ballou's twiddly hammered-on riffs also really makes up the song, giving it a really chaotic crazy foot-stomping feel. So far, one good song and one okay song. I can't wait to hear the rest of the album.
You can listen to "Dark Horse" on their myspace. You can download the track "Axe To Fall" HERE.