Converge: The Dusk In Us

They're the cutting edge of the metalcore pack, but has five years between full-lengths dulled their edge?

- It’s been a long five years since metalcore mainstays and genre innovators Converge last offered up a full length, with 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind echoing through the ether of heavy music as yet another example of why the four-piece has garnered apt acclaim. The quartet has come together on home territory, that being guitarist Kurt Ballou’s God City Studios, to drop the ninth instalment of their career, an instalment slowing down and suffering from a loss of definitive edge.

Everything expected on a Converge record is present: Ballou’s signature tumultuous dissonance swarms notes in a rapid flurry, vocalist Jacob Bannon spits seething vocals like a provoked beast, coupled with cryptic and symbolic lyrical content; Ben Newton remains atop his plateau as one of the busiest drummers, with the nimble stick work rarely remaining on a static beat for more than a few bars before breaking headlong into yet another section; and Nate Koller once again provides the stomach rumbling anchors over which the chaos reigns. So, in theory, this should mark yet another successful outing for the Boston quartet. Unfortunately, a lot of material on The Dusk In Us comes across as rehashed ground. Elements are cherry picked from Converge’s back catalogue, brushed with Ballou’s impeccable production, adorned with feedback and given a new life, sort of. There’s always been a penchant for the atmospheric present in the Boston band’s music and when it’s stripped back and given room, it provides anxious tension, as opposed to the usual clobbering around the skull. Well, there’s little chance of even that here, everything is far too predictable to produce the strong emotions I’ve traditionally associated with the band.

That’s not to say that it is a bad record; honestly an average Converge record still stands body lengths above any other metalcore contemporaries. When it comes down to it though, this is a band has amassed a reputation for constantly pushing the envelope and the only “progression” The Dusk In Us provides is safe and uneventful.  

- Matthew Lynch.

Album Details

Album Title: The Dusk In Us
Artist: Converge
Record Label: (Deathwish / Epitaph / Warner)