Boston’s CONVERGE are a band who have consistently provided a perfect blend of Hardcore bonded with a cutting, blasting Metal edge exuding the heaviness more associated with Death Metal. Make no mistake; this is not the Metalcore some describe it as. “No Heroes”, like previous releases such as the underrated “Never Fail Me” and the crushing, virtuoso “Jane Doe” delivers their Metal with an insane polyrhythmic percussive foundation provided by Ben Koller coupled to raw, thrashing guitars. There are not the ever-present break-downs and trundling simple chords that Metalcore thrives on, but a complex range of riffs and shifts that race, pound and choke listeners through a musical maze of stunning psychosis.
Jake Bannon’s scratching rasp is one that carries the chaos of CONVERGE perfectly, no matter how incoherent the lyrics are. Though during “Grim Heart/Black Rose” the vocals calm down to a lucid, meandering moan; it is the exception on the album and while welcomed in moderation, it is the exasperation Bannon’s voice which fits and propels so much of CONVERGE’s bedlam. It wouldn’t be completely false to consider some of an album like “No Heroes” to be Noisecore or even a term like ambient turmoil or so, but that would undermine the subtle brilliance hidden in the complex structure of the songs the band executes; speed and intensity shouldn’t be confused with disarray. “Plagues” is a perfect example, charging out of the blocks with a curiously solid chug, which then twists into an uncanny fuse of odd key shifts and almost sludgy madness, never missing a beat of pandemonium. I’m a fan of when most Metal acts slow a bit and fall into playing a more organized assembly of rhythms and chords, but with CONVERGE it is a lull in between demolishing most traps of the sonic status quo. Cut “Weight Of The World” starts with an atmospheric, slower riff that conjures up the engaging first few bars of the band's last album, “First Light” and basically leads straight into the title track which is a canvas of punishment.
When listening to CONVERGE I find myself thinking of NASUM and PIG DESTROYER, and not without some merit. CONVERGE though, aren’t quite on the musical destruction these bands are prone to, especially PD. Nevertheless, CONVERGE are easily in that camp of tear-ass extreme Metal that could startle the shit out of plenty of Metalheads. Me? I’m invigorated by it, love ruining even more of my hearing with it cranked, and think if you haven’t checked out CONVERGE before you should immediately.
(Online December 14, 2006)