Monday, October 15, 2012

Class of 2012: Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Unlike 2009's Axe To Fall, All We Love We Leave Behind is a Converge-only album.  In other words, there are no special guests or collaborators on this record.

Opening track "Aimless Arrow" is a great starter and one of the stronger songs on the record.  It has a bit of a Guy Picciotto-fronted Fugazi feel to it.  This happens when vocalist Jacob Bannon sings a little more than usual.  "Tender Abuse," "Sadness Comes Home," and the title track also bear this resemblance.

Another standout, "Sadness Comes Home," starts with a slow intro that features a bluesy riff by guitarist Kurt Ballou.  Then it takes off but comes back down with an outro that matches its beginning.  It's followed by the slightly industrial-sounding "Empty On The Inside," whose vocals at one point remind me of Love and Rockets.

The drumming by Ben Koller throughout All We Love is terrific.  "Vicious Muse" starts with a drum intro that could easily drive a catchy pop song.  And on the title track, the drums and guitar work great together, especially during the first minute.

If the sludgy "Coral Blue" were modified only slightly, it could be a hard-rock hit.  It's slower than the band's normal fast pace, and it's the most conventional song on the album.

It's hard to believe that Converge have been around since 1990 and that the current lineup has been together since 1999.  Yet what's more important is that they still have something to say even after all these years.

Grade: B  (86.7%)

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