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kurt ballou

Album: Nails – Abandon All Life

April 8th, 2013

Nails 2013 promo photo Thrash Hits

Nails
Abandon All Life
Southern Lord
01 April 2013

by Raziq Rauf

This album leaked a long time ago. It was the middle of February – six weeks before it was meant to be released to the public. The clamour to hear Abandon All Life was so tangible because this is one of the most anticipated releases in their corner of the metal world. Ever. Since they released Unsilent Death in 2010, the likes of Trap Them and All Pigs Must Die have come along and astounded listeners a couple of years ago with their Entombed-encrusted hardcore and Black Breath did it before and after that, turning into leaders of the field, but Nails are the ones that always embodied the purest feeling of futility that permeates the genre.

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Album: Baptists – Bushcraft

January 29th, 2013

Baptists promo photo Thrash Hits

Baptists
Bushcraft
Southern Lord
18 February 2013

by David Keevill

For every band (and there are more than a fair few now) who list the name Kurt Ballou among the production credits in their album’s sleeve notes, there are significantly more who have tried and failed to secure his servics. As it stands, the prolific producer and guitarist for Converge continues to bear a weighty impact on every release he commits to, claiming production and recording credits on a staggering number of hardcore/crust albums that you’ve loved in recent years. Yet, on every album that Ballou’s given his blessing to, it’s his unvoiced testimony to the vitality of the band’s musical kernel that has screamed the loudest; Baptists’ debut album is no different.

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Album: Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

October 3rd, 2012

Converge 2012 promo photo Thrash Hits

Converge
All We Love We Leave Behind
Epitaph/Deathwish, Inc.
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.

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Album: Converge – Axe To Fall

October 19th, 2009

Converge new promo photo 2009 Matt Miller Thrash Hits

Converge
Axe To Fall
Epitaph Records
19 October 2009

by Mike Strata

There is a massive temptation to greet every new release from Massachusetts’ favourite sons with a foam-at-the-mouth kind of hysteria usually reserved for teen idols. The devotion inspired by Converge is built on the rock-solid foundation of an almost flawless back catalogue, and so the band find themselves in the rather unenviable position of being expected to deliver a classic album every single time.

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

July 14th, 2008

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.

—–

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

Bands

In Photos: Hove Festival 2008

June 27th, 2008

Look how beautiful and sunny it is at Hove Festival

Resident photographer Gary Wolstenholme headed over to Norway this week to visit the quite fantastic Hove Festival.

True to form, Gary’s been snapping away and has got some brilliant shots of what looks like an awesome festival. Check out our photo gallery right here.

Hove Festival 2008 photo gallery:

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