If you love heavier, more direct music, and you happen to be from the Boston/ Salem Massachusetts area, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have heard of Salem’s own Converge. This band has been making noisy awe inspiring music for over twenty years now, and if you’ve heard their last few records, you know that they’re only getting better. Early on they were more brutal and quick natures, but with age had come a better understanding in the variety of heavy metal any band can use. With that, I give you the Top Ten songs by Converge, hardcore legends.
10 A SINGLE TEAR: A DUSK IN US
One of the stark differences between Converge and other heavier bands is the willingness to not be a tough guy capable of destroying the world in every song. Maturity is a huge part of aging, and Converge has done it spectacularly. The track itself speaks to the aspect of a “single tear” as a way to endure and not let the floodgates open. Bannon, the vocalist, also throws in some poignant heartfelt sections about the type of love that comes with holding your child for the first time.
9 JANE DOE: JANE DOE
Many consider “Jane Doe” to be the landmark metal record of the time, and it’s well within reason. The album as a whole is blistering and emotional, but it’s this song, which clocks in at over eleven minutes long that seals the deal in regards to the albums overall greatness. Jacob Bannon screams and tears through the track, but the real star here is the melody and scope the band manages to present. When Bannon belts “I Want Out,” you feel the intensity of the situation. Having said that, it’s not an easy thing to keep the in your face momentum, but Converge seems to do it without missing a beat.
8 AXE TO FALL: AXE TO FALL
“Axe to Fall” is an unrelenting track in an unrelenting world. There's no other place to start really. The song is unbridled in it’s appetites for destruction, but that’s how it goes in the world of Converge. The song comes in at a quick and you’ll miss it two minutes, but it’s so insane for it’s duration that even that length leaves you needing a breather. The drums are completely rabid here, but that’s not to disregard the other important musical moments. Few bands are as furious as Converge, and it’s a song like this that makes you aware of just how good the band is.
7 YOU FAIL ME: YOU FAIL ME
Number seven on our Top Ten Converge songs comes from what’s probably my second favorite album the band has ever done. This album was hailed upon its release, and it’s well deserved. The guitar parts here are brooding and dark, and the overall themes of the song pull you into a chaotic trance that follows you all day everyday. I love the way the background vocals simply poke out every so often, and how they move the song alone. Going back to the guitars though, the chord progression around the two minute mark is done superbly, and it’s pulled straight from a dark, midnight suspense thriller. When I hear “You Fail Me,” I can’t help but imagine a dark, smoky cabin in the woods, and the people there who have no idea that not only has trouble found them, but that it’s already too late.
6 ALL THE LOVE YOU LEAVE BEHIND: ALL THE LOVE WE LEAVE BEHIND
More or less, Converge seems to get better as they go. I’m not trying to say they might be the metal Radiohead, but how they build their craft, as well as the dynamic they seem to have with each other makes me think of the aforementioned British band. This song, off their most recent record, is a prime example of how far they’ve come. The gradual build of guitar, bass and drums is perfect, and quite simply, it’s a more mature and contemplative song than they may have been capable of years earlier. Ben Koller’s drums are as precise and rapid as drums can be in the genre, and the beat never leaves them. Bannon’s vocals also depict hopefulness in a world where it’s hard to find, but ultimately it’s too late. In this case, sadly the title of “All We Love We Leave Behind” is true.
5 HELL TO PAY: JANE DOE
This steady song takes the band places that they hadn’t ventured to before, but it’s an awesome song nonetheless. The lyrics are the main attraction for me on this one. It’s a cool, calm type of delivery that you don’t get too much in the genre, but maybe more bands need to take a cue from this Salem boys, because clearly they’ve been doing the right thing for a long time now. “Hell to Pay” is no exception. The bass part is highly original and really fuses the unnerving aspects of the song into one nice, albeit dark bow. There’s a reason this record is held with such high regard.
4 FIRST LIGHT/ LAST LIGHT
If “Jane Doe” is the band's masterpiece, then “You Fail Me” is the point in which it became clear that this band was going to keep evolving and challenging themselves and their listeners with brilliant music. The opening of “First Light” forebodes coming anger, but by the time “Last Light” echoes out in the world, it’s already too late to turn back. It’s a song full of positivity and light, and the lyrics drive that point home. Converge is able to go dark when it’s needed, but they’re also adept at giving light to hopeless situations and informing us that all is not lost, and that we need to “Keep breathing, Keep living, Keep searching, Keep pushing.”
3 DARK HORSE: AXE TO FALL
One of the best opening songs on any album, this track starts the album off in a perfectly driven way. The chants during the chorus, adding intensity to the ever growing stubbornness of the guitars and drums to never give up, really make the song one of their best songs period. The whole album has a sort of immediate response to it, but in the end it’s the number three song on my list of the Top Ten Converge songs that sets it going in the right direction. I mean, c’mon, that guitar part is face melting at it’s best, and Converge deserve all the recognition they get for truly pushing the boundaries of what metal should be.
2 CONCUBINE: JANE DOE
“Concubine,” which opens the seminal “Jane Doe” album not only delivers in its brutality, but it also brings us into the world of the unsuspecting “Jane Doe.” The song, at a brief one minute and nineteen seconds, explodes from the first seconds and doesn’t let up. Ballou’s guitars, Bannon’s vocals, and the overall anger of the song drive points home that sometimes get lost in modern metal, but like I said previously, Converge is one of the only bands doing things in the genre that are worthwhile. A Big part of that is the genius behind the severely revered record. It’s been probably ten years since this song was first introduced in my life, but as you can see, it’s still their best song to me without question, and “Concubine,” as well as the entirety of the “Jane Doe” record, really drives home the importance of the band. Thanks for reading.
1 THE DUSK IN US: THE DUSK IN US
As the band's sound has progressed, fans will notice a gradual change on how Bannon’s vocals elevate from only throaty growls and screams to more purposefully calm, softer vocals. My number one converge song, “The Dusk In Us,” is hauntingly powerful, with the instrumentation from Kurt Ballou and the rest of the band ever so slightly turning up the heat as the nearly 8 minute song cascades into the heavier, down tune thickness during the songs crescendo. This song is a master track on how to do elevated, simmering heavy music in an expert manner. Long live Converge. “The Dusk in Us' ' stands as a flashlight to the life you’re walking into, an a warning to never let your guard down.
Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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