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Axe to Fall

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Album Review

Converge's eighth studio album is packed with guest performances by kindred spirits from Massachusetts and beyond. "Effigy," one of four songs on the album that comes in under the two-minute mark, features Steve Brodsky and Adam McGrath of Cave In on guitar and that group's drummer, J.R. Conners, behind the kit. Uffe Cederlund of Disfear takes over lead guitar on "Wishing Well," while Steve Von Till of Neurosis sings on "Cruel Bloom" and Genghis Tron' Mookie Singerman does guest vocals on the seven-minute album closer, "Wretched World." But it's the core group that delivers the most astonishing displays of hardcore fury and progressive musical exploration on Axe to Fall. Opening cut "Dark Horse," propelled by a Disfear-esque riff so insane it'll make you think your CD is playing at the wrong speed, kicks off a breathless sprint that lasts all the way to the doomy, noisy fifth track, "Worms Will Feed." From there, Converge continues to mine the dissonant blend of Agnostic Front and Unsane that has served them so well for years at this point. Though Jacob Bannon's vocals are as indecipherable as ever, this album somehow feels even angrier — and that rage is apparently more outwardly directed, given track titles like "Slave Driver" and "Wretched World" — than previous releases like Jane Doe and You Fail Me. Given the furious pace at which they tour, record, and work with their various side bands, it's astonishing that Converge have time to put this much thought into their music instead of just cranking out one more rote album, but Axe to Fall is a big step forward for them.

Customer Reviews

It's converge... what do you expect?!?

These guys know what they are doing. This album differs from their previous ones in that Kurt Bailou's guitar parts take a more active role in the overall sound, but it's Converge nonetheless. The drums are fantastic as always, the guitar parts are as well. I'm finding that the bass is taking a more active role as well, showing through on Axe To Fall more than any other Converge album. Lastly, Bannon's vocals, which tend to sound a bit different on every album, have dropped the strange, almost underwater vocal sound from No Heroes, and have returned to a much more raw and powerful level, even though there is still a touch of No Heroes in the sound. Altogether, this album is great. Five stars as always. Plus, this album harnesses a more metal sound, and hopefully this will draw in more of the ignorant metal heads who deem anything "core" as gay or lame or not br00tal enough. And this is something that I think will really help Converge bring their sound to more ears.

By far their best album since JANE DOE

I purchased this album without expecting anything more than converege's recent regular musical routine. However once the purchase was made there was only one thing to do, and that was trying it out for kicks. As soon as the first song title (Dark Horse) was played, the album welcomed me with open arms, a new assault of angst and progression. the new guitars assumbles , the new rhymatic drum patterns complete with an array of featured artists makes this recent CONVERGE release a force to be reckoned with, it is by far CONVERGE's best album since JANE DOE, blowing NO HEROES and YOU FAIL ME out of the water. Notable tracks "Reap what you sow", "Worms will feed/rats will feast", "wishing Well", "Cutter" man forget it the WHOLE ALBUM!!!!!!

Flawless

Best record of the year.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

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

The punk metal act 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 quartet was initially comprised of vocalist/visual artist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Jeff Feinburg, and drummer Damon Bellorado, with second guitarist Aaron Dalbec joining in 1994 (he later left in 2001 without being replaced). Over the years,...
Full Bio