2017 has been a mixed year for Metalcore. While we saw bands like Code Orange breakthrough we still saw the end of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Heck. Though it’s not over yet. Genre legends, Converge, are back after five long years with their ninth album, The Dusk In Us. Was it worth the wait? Certainly.
The album is a raw fuel intense roller coaster ride which stays true to the Converge sound. The opener ‘A Single Tear’ opens with much triumph. The sharp noodling guitars slice through the track before the whole thing climaxes in the chorus. This cathartic nature is what Converge does best.
But this isn’t the full extent of Converge power either. ‘Cannibals’ is short but blistering. The violent rage is still unlike anything by any other band and it never really loses its energy or effect.
The ‘Dusk In Us’ calls back more to their Mathcore memories found on Jane Doe and You Fail Me. Don’t think this is just a repeat. Converge are experts at evolving their sound and demonstrate it here. They mix these chaotic time signatures with elements they’ve experimented with before like Sludge Metal and Post-Hardcore to craft something new.
The irregular beats in ‘I Can Tell You About Pain’ give it great weight and impact and reflect the animosity of the song. ‘Under Duress’ is another great example with its thick sludgy bass setting the stage before the whole song brutally erupts.
‘The Dusk In Us’ and ‘Thousands of Miles Between Us’ take a more ambient approach. They experiment with elements of Post Rock, creating a phantasmic mist of noise. They contrast against the harsher sound and allow those moments to punch more. ‘The Dusk In Us’ might be too long but it does have a satisfying pay off at the end when it all finally explodes.
With regards to performance and composition, the album is one of Converge’s finest. It feels so finely crafted and elegant. Whether it be the fast noodling guitars on ‘A Single Tear’ to the fast pounding drums on ‘Arkhipov Calm’ a whole range of skills are on display here by the whole band. Every little detail feels like it was placed there with care and thought making for a very slick album despite it’s violent nature.
Vocalist Jacob Bannon is outstanding as always. His ethereal screams cut through the tracks with much passion. Most Metalcore vocalists lose their sting after years of punishment on their vocal chords but he still shines after all this time.
The Dusk In Us is an exceptional album and is a welcome addition to the Converge discography. It’s thrilling, brutal, and atmospheric. Great to see them take a step back to an older sound but still make it seem fresh. Here’s hoping that it won’t be another five years for the next album, though I don’t mind if it’s as good as this.