Thrash Hits

July 14th, 2008

Live: Converge @ Camden Underworld, London – 18 July 2008 + photos

Massive Converge fan, Tony Hampton reports back on one of the best gigs of the year while Karen Toftera brings us some great photography from the previous week’s show, also at the Underworld.

RARGH (again)

One question hangs above the packed Underworld tonight: just how is it possible that four people can make a sound like this? A sound this agressive; a sound this moving; a sound this awe-inspiring.

Boston’s Converge – Jacob Bannon, Ben Koller, Nate Newton and Kurt Ballou – are quite simply a force of nature, and they generate more emotion in an hour than most people will manage in an entire lifetime.

Tearing headlong into ‘No Heroes’, the set is pure hardcore perfection. ‘Lonewolves’, ‘The Broken Vow’, ‘Vengeance’, ‘Hellbound’, ‘Hope Street’ (all 70 seconds worth), ‘Concubine’ – all delivered with a level of super-human conviction that’s frightening, uplifting and crushing all at once.

The tension of the music is broken down with a stream of good-natured banter between band and crowd. When bassist Newton repeatedly reminds everyone the stage is theirs as much as the bands, its obviously his sincerest wish you should make yourself right at home. The crowd do so, with complete abandon.

Tellingly, and refreshingly, this is the first gig in a long, long time where mobile telephones remain, for the most part, holstered. There’s nobody texting or taking photos because everyone’s eyes and attention are firmly focused on the stage, drinking in every second, eyes like saucers, mouths either engaged in screaming along or hanging wide open in childlike wonderment.

Converge are just about the most electrifying, monumental band in existance and you owe it to yourself to see them live.

You will never see anything as insanely furious and above all rewarding anywhere, that’s not opinion, that’s fact – I can prove it on an Excel spreadsheet – and you’ll be able to mark a very clear divide between your life before you saw them and your life afterwards.

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When Converge are in town, they always make an interesting night of it visually. They brought prolific, pioneering metalcore crew Integrity as well as hardcore trio Coliseum along for the ride on their current European tour.

Karen Toftera was on hand for Thrash Hits .com to take some lovely photographs of the first of Converge’s two headline shows at London’s Camden Underworld.

Converge @ Camden Underworld, London photo gallery

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