All We Love We Leave Behind
08 October 2012
by Dan Pelic
Despite existing as a band for nearly 25 years, Converge rarely – if ever – disappoint. They’ve managed to become increasingly relevant; whereas most bands fade further into obscurity with age, maybe breaking up once, twice, or seven times, only to reunite and play whichever back album marked their careers.
2009’s headbanger, Axe To Fall, was adored and touted by the critics (almost ad nauseam). It also seemed the band called up every friend they have to guest perform on the record. It was a great album; but it just didn’t hit home as intimately for some of the band’s diehard fans. 2006’s predecessor, No Heroes, seemed like an adjustment period. Still, these records reached broader audiences and increased their fan base deep into their career. Impressive!
Now, we enter a new era – All We Love We Leave Behind shucks parts of Converge’s past endeavors like they never happened. It also eschews all outside help. This record was made BY the four dudes in Converge and FOR the four dudes in Converge, goddamnit. The honesty and integrity of this effort bleeds through every note. It isn’t some “return to old” Converge. It’s not You Fail Me, Jane Doe, When Forever…, or Petitioning… versions 2.0. It’s the absolute rawest record we’ve yet heard from Converge and certainly one of the heaviest hardcore albums of the year.
In all reality, ripe, old Converge has managed to make a breakout record…again.
This is their least “artsy” album by far. There are no drawn out über-layered sound landscapes (not to say, however, that there is no trademark guitar layering on certain tracks by Kurt Ballou). In fact, only three songs clock-in over the four-minute mark and not one makes it over five. With short songs comes a full-on assault with everything from blast-beats, to D-beat, to stonery sludge riffs that put “those bands these days” to shame. Jacob Bannon’s lyrics are more introspective than the past two records. It seems he has been doing some real soul-searching about where he belongs now. Most anyone could relate to having to let go of the past to an extent to better belong to today. The album title is all too appropriate.
Listen to the ENTIRE of All We Love We Leave Behind by Converge:
Something remarkable about these compositions is how well the band mixes their own longstanding innovations in aggressive music with the influences of their peers currently surrounding them. You can definitely hear traces of the bands this group works with on a regular basis coming through in the writing. Well, there’s that relevancy again – humble humility knowing hardcore music today can add to the equation.
Converge altered the landscape of music forever with Jane Doe in 2001. They have done it again over a decade later by creating an incredibly addicting album in an era where it’s hard enough remaining memorable to begin with. No one will ever forget Converge.
Sounds Like: ….you’d be better off asking what bands sound like Converge.
Standout Tracks: Aimless Arrow, Trespasses, Sadness Comes Home, Coral Blue, Predatory Glow.