The Dusk In Us review by Converge

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  • Released: Nov 3, 2017
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (16 votes)
Converge: The Dusk In Us

Sound — 8
For a hardcore band as celebrated as Converge, who have been consistently timely with their album releases since their 1994 debut, "Halo in a Haystack," the prolonged time they took after releasing their eighth album, 2012's "All We Love We Leave Behind," was longer than their fanbase would have cared for. In those past few years, the Boston quartet had focused on rehashing their classics, from doing a proper remixing of their 2004 album, "You Fail Me," to doing a series of performances of their 2001 magnum opus, "Jane Doe," for its 15-year anniversary.

Having also recorded and released one of those performances, entitled "Jane Live," at the beginning of this year, Converge have chosen 2017 to be a big comeback year for new music as well. Frontman Jacob Bannon broke the silence at first, releasing two albums under his experimental/post-metal moniker, Wear Your Wounds, while also giving confirmation of a ninth Converge album coming soon, much to the excitement of the band's substantial listenership.

On that ninth album, "The Dusk In Us," Converge pick up where they left off with a full spread of their hardcore/metalcore capabilities. In this approach, one can find songs that link to the songwriting mentalities of numerous Converge records in the past. The moments of classic rock/metal swagger in "Under Duress" and the groovy "Trigger" carry over from what was shown in "All We Love We Leave Behind," the chugging rhythms and proper guitar solo in "Broken By Light" ties back to the metalcore likes of "Axe To Fall," and the grindcore cuts of "Eye Of The Quarrel" and "Cannibals" hark back to the breakneck output in "No Heroes."

Perhaps most righteously, though, is the return of the Converge's mathcore element, which was particularly lacking in the band's previous album. "Wildlife" shifts from a messy 4/4 riff to a 6/4 pre-chorus and then a triplet-rhythmed chorus, 7/4 measurements appear in the hammering "I Can Tell You About Pain," and the astute tapping riff in "Arkhipov Calm," and while the guitar activity in "Murk & Marrow" isn't the best, its 13/8 measurement earns points for its oddness.

Those instrumental acrobatics may be the most dazzling parts of the album, but Converge also make an effort to appreciate their contrasting characteristics of being melodic and slow-burning. While the penultimate "Thousands Of Miles Between Us" sticks to its low gear of morose melodies and sullen clean vocals throughout, the eponymous song's post-metal beginnings eventually escalate to a rupturing crest. And the opening "A Single Tear" makes the opposite progression, starting off as a frenetic metalcore song that soon parlays into a bridge that's slower and richer in melody, yet still brimming with vigor via Bannon's screaming vocals.

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Lyrics — 9
The fundamental theme in Bannon's lyrics for "The Dusk In Us" is appealing to the importance of love and compassion, both personally and communally. While Bannon's own moments of appreciating love is revelatory in its fruition ("So lost in darkness, in and out of selfishness / Hoarding all my dreams was just no way to be / Then you gifted me such a precious thing / A chance to be someone who deserved love" in "A Single Tear") and dissolution ("I know you never wanted this / But thank you for giving me your best" in "Thousands Of Miles Between Us"), his concern for keeping love and compassion alive in society is much more pressing. Acknowledging the hardships and negativity abundant in the modern world, Bannon warns of its corrosive effects ("The sickness spreads under duress / Compassion bends under duress" in "Under Duress"; "Born into such a cruel, cruel world / Survival can be such a cruel, cruel curse / Best of intentions will grow horns in sleep" in "Wildlife"), and asserts to act in ways that preserve and promote humanity ("It's the fires that we quell that save us from our hells / It's the wars that we don't fight that keeps love alive" in "Arkhipov Calm"), or else we will succumb to our worst inhibitions ("We are just cannibals / If there is nothing left to love" in "Cannibals").

Overall Impression — 9
In the wide array that they offer of their hardcore/metalcore sound, Converge show full and well that they haven't run out of steam in "The Dusk In Us." With their prowess as performers still as sharp as ever, their dynamic songwriting abilities also shine brightly, being both intense and gentle, technical and melodic, forthright and tactful. As they get closer to their 30-year anniversary as a functioning band, "The Dusk In Us" serves as a fine example of why Converge continues to be one of the most important names in hardcore.

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22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Thank you for posting this. Converge is severely underrated and under represented on UG. Kurt Ballou should always be mentioned with the modern greats. His work on Jane Doe alone should solidify that.
    He is such a great songwriter. I only have You Fail Me and I never get tired of it. It's funny how the brutality of it is hard to take in at first but then you recognize all the subtle nuances in what he does - to the point where the band can repeat a section for 3+ minutes and you just get lost in it and never tired of it, maybe even being let down when they change it - until you get into the next section of course haha rinse and repeat.
    You should listen to Jane Doe, it may be a bit much to take in the 1st time, in terms of the complexity and subtle nuances that it sounds like you enjoy, but the album is a masterpiece, and the last track is unworldly 
    Will do. I always planned on it when getting back to them but will make sure that is the one to hit up next. They have it at my local record store for like $5 a go so it works out pretty good!
    Great, and your getting a physical copy, even better!  
    Hey I just realized what your avatar was, and somehow hadn't spotted it a long time ago. If you had to pick your favorite WA film would that be the one?
    Christ...Bannon's screaming has always been insane, but he sounds tortured here, I love it. The gloominess of the slower parts is what really makes the vibe here for me at least, it compliments Converge's standard, chaotic approach very well.
    He's one of the few vocalists that make the screams feel essential to the songs and records. As opposed to screaming to be part of a genre or fan base.
    Converge is one of those awesome bands that have maintained their integrity and artistic control, they continually release great albums.
    Maybe this album is a grower but it really didn't hit me the way their last album did. As always, I love the instrumentation, but doesn't Jake's vocals sound a bit weird in A Single Tear? Other than that, I love I Can Tell You About Pain, and Under Duress. Not sure about the other tracks though. I feel like I'm the only one not really into this release as much as their other albums since JD.
    I felt the same way the last album immediately was amazing this one I gotta listen to a little more I guess
    It's been a grower for me, had it for a couple of weeks now and the more I listen the more I enjoy.
    I was fortunate enough to be a hardcore fan living near Boston in the mid to late 90s and it's awesome to see Converge still taking risks and making great music over 20 years later.  As a teenager, Petitioning the Empty Sky, Caring and Killing and When Forever Comes Crashing changed the way I saw heavy music (and music in general) and this new album shows that they haven't stopped pushing the envelope and reinventing themselves.
    Don't you mean "Bahsten"? And I'm surprised those albums did it for you. I really feel like they didn't develop their sound until Jane Doe and were on a roll. That's just me though. I was born in the 90's so I grew up on the early to mid 2000:s metalcore bands though Converge was on my playlist around the same time as my discovery for bands such as Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All That Remains (when they were actually metalcore) As I Lay Dying, etc. But yes, growing up in New England for me also made me realize how fortunate I was to be able to attend the great shows in Worcester and Boston so often. You just don't get that in the south. The only thing I obviously don't miss is their brutal winters but where exactly did you live?
    I lived in Worcester and played in metal and hardcore bands and worked in clubs when the guys from Killswitch, Shadows Fall and All That Remains were playing in other bands or just getting started with those bands. We'd go to Boston, Providence, NY, etc. to see Converge but they also played plenty of shows in and around Worcester too. I love Jane Doe too but the earlier stuff when they were a 5-piece was a little more in my wheelhouse.
    Oh word. I'm from Salisbury if you're familiar with that area and a lot of other north shore towns like Lowell where I last lived.