Title: “All We Love We Leave Behind”
Converge is known for getting thrash metal and hardcore punk to play nice on the same record, but “All We Love We Love Behind” moves toward mathcore with its focus on polyrhythms and shifting time signatures.
It’s also a brutal slab of music, clocking in under 40 minutes and packing in 14 tracks. Many are of the 2-minute, 30-second-or-less variety, which allows space for longer efforts such as “A Glacial Pace” (which doesn’t move at one) to unfold.
“Glacial” takes a sadist’s joy in whipping its listeners, especially in its brutal closing 90 seconds. “Shame in the Way” and “Tresspasses” similarly build to finishes that find singer Jacob Bannon summoning spirits.
Much of “All We Love’s” success is owed to guitarist and producer Kurt Ballou, who keeps something this heavy from feeling like someone threw a brick at the listener’s ear. Songs such as “Coral Blue,” which offer nearly clean vocals in the chorus, help soothe Bannon’s more intense moments.
For a band in its third decade of making music, Converge sounds more like hungry youngsters with something to prove instead of 30-somethings with eight previous albums to their name on “All We Love We Leave Behind.”
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.