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No Heroes

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Album Review

At this point in their career, it almost seems pointless to review a Converge album, seeing as the guys are predictably consistent, able to always make their vicious blend of metal and hardcore seem exciting and fresh rather than dull and stagnant like so many others. Fans expect it and the guys never fail to deliver. Thus, Converge's reputation as one of the most original and exhilarating bands in hardcore is well warranted; No Heroes is 40 aggressive minutes of getting bashed in the face and stomped to the ground, the band helping you back up only to slam you into the ground again with punishing blow after punishing blow. But you'll enjoy every hammering minute. The guys command attention right away with the organized chaos of "Heartache" before steamrolling through quick frenzied blasts — five songs in about five minutes — the music nothing more than acerbic shrieks, scorching guitars, and pummeling drums. But the album also isn't without some controlled and quieter moments, though even amid these, the intensity never relaxes. Appearing halfway through, the creepiness that is "Plagues" relatively slows thing down, but not without impact, since heavy riffing gradually builds for about two minutes before vocals rise up to finalize the acutely unsettling atmosphere. This then leads into the near ten-minute "Grim Heart/Black Rose," which finds restraint being used for maximum impact, the song's ethereal despair buoyed even further by the compelling guest singing of former Only Living Witness vocalist Jonah Jenkins — before Jacob Bannon chimes in to drive the point home with his heated bark, of course. Top everything off with the superb "Trophy Scars" (an anguished track that seriously recalls Detroit's Thoughts of Ionesco) and No Heroes is another potent detonation of rage, passion, and jaw-dropping musicianship to reinforce that, within the heavy music arena, Converge is just about untouchable.


Formed: 1990 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most original and innovative bands to emerge from the punk underground, Converge were formed in the winter of 1990-1991, and after several singles, compilation appearances, and the requisite growing pains, they released their first full-length effort, Halo in a Haystack, in 1994. The Boston-based metalcore and mathcore pioneers were initially comprised of vocalist/visual artist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Jeff Feinburg, and drummer Damon Bellorado, with second guitarist...
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