The prophets of guttural vocal assault, hammering drumbeats and torrents of dissonance, “Converge” released their latest studio album “The Dusk In Us” a couple of months back. My first listen proved to be quite gratifying as I was bent upon recalling the time of my life I spent obsessing over these metalcore titans. The harrowing themes of worldly horrors, political bestiality and firearm violence are delivered with saw-toothed musical arrangements and a cutthroat aggression which is no different a ritual known to their previous releases. The only marked difference would be the cultivation of a creative ground to address more grave issues other than fist-fighting depression or personal anguish. The front-man Jacob Bannon’s newly embraced fatherhood serves as the emotional catalyst to perpetrate this heavily orchestrated protest as he acknowledges his sole reason to fight back and exist.
“As a single teardrop fell,
And was swallowed by the sea.
You outshined the best there was,
Rewrote who I could be.
When I held you for the first time,
I knew I had to survive.”
“A Single Tear” by Converge
The uncontained vitriol seeps through the lyrics for the next forty minutes representing everything it antagonizes. “Eye of the Quarrel” signifies an artist’s struggle to stay true to his own set of laws and subscribe to the DIY ethics exclusive to his personal lexicon. The resistance against the infestation of the mind by conformity is fueled by chaotic counter-rhythms and crisp blast beats as the album proceeds. The deconstructed guitar licks in “Under Duress” interplay with the anarchic composition as Bannon grinds his vocal cords with merciless growls instilling a certain intellectual value to the song. “Akhripov Calm” is about Vasili Akhripov, a Russian naval officer and his sense of maturity which pacified a Soviet nuclear strike. Bannon deep down aspires to achieve that level of mental composure and inner calm in the quest to not let his bad energies spread like an epidemic. I absolutely find it inspirational how Bannon has managed to pen down his most intimate battles and raging emotions with the least bit of wordplay on songs like “I Can Tell You About Pain” and “Thousands of Miles Between Us” which is beautiful in itself. The angst moulded into something more meaningful with bludgeoning drums & oscillating guitars only helps the intended sensitivity to flourish. The melodic desperation in “The Dusk In Us” augments the memory of “Wretched World” on 2009’s “Axe to Fall”, both having enigmatic songcrafts and decipherable verses that quiver the marrow of the soul. The “preciously violent, beautifully abhorrent” stabs of noise accelerated to warp-speed ferocity in “Wildlife”, “Murk & Marrow”, “Broken by Light” and “Cannibals” do total justice to the overflowing verbal bile enthusing about fearless confrontation and individual autonomy.
The laid-back sonic turbulence in “Trigger” saturated with an offbeat groove, symmetrical drumming and a vocal snarl dexterously fills the experimental void in the record. The last track “Reptilian” has a blackened melody most suited to the original album art which amplifies into a more corrosive tune under a veil of atonal guitars and blazing drums owing a nod to everything Converge virtually and artistically stand for.
“The Dusk In Us” lasts for thirteen straightedge hardcore anthems jarred with violent jabs of cynicism and emphatic uproars. It’s a perfect comeback after a five year hiatus as these metalcore architects storm straight out of the depths of oblivion and make a point.
“Futile wars for fruitless words,
Written by shadow kings.
Their shrapnel seeds the desert fields,
And sprouts this fear we see.
Devils do not need a hell in order to exist.”
“Reptilian” by Converge
Album Rating: 4.5/5.