Archive for the ‘converge’ Category

Dethklok, Mastodon and Converge

November 23, 2009

Article and Photos By: Dave Brooks

View all of Dave’s concert photos here.

Converge! Yea. Mastodon! Yeaaaaa. Dethklok. YEAAAAAA!

Oh man. I get to the show and quickly start to notice a trend….

That’s a cool black Mastodon t-shirt, I think to myself. Wow, look at that black Dethklok shirt. Is that a black Barbie t-shirt? Goddamn! Do metal bands make any other color shirts? According to the merch booth, no, they do not.

I must have missed the memo as I show up in my gray Unearth tee.

I know why they wear all black! For when half of a gigantic Jagermeister shot (it pays to take care of your bartenders kids) drips down the side of your mouth and dribbles onto your fucking shirt! Luckily the lights are going down, Converge is getting ready to assault the stage and I’m getting too drunk to care anymore. Lead singer Jacob Bannon is an energetic force the entire set. Carrying the live performance with manic vocals, he laps across the stage with veins pumping out of his head. He does his best to stir up the crowd, but they don’t seem to be interested. I couldn’t figure it out… Are they waiting for….. ::rumble:: Mastodon?

I am taking this break in between bands to eagerly await my next $14 bud draft and Jager shot combo. Did I tell you about tipping well? I just drank a shot that could choke a horse. Holy shit. I plow through my beer fast enough to get back to periphery of the crowd, but you can’t see shit from here and I have to take pictures too. The front of the stage is blocked by sweaty youths. My only alternative? ENTER….THE….PIT.

Fuck you, you fat bastard! ::ELBOW:: Why is a girl in the pit? ::FACE PALM:: Is that adult latino man 4 feet 11 inches tall? ::LEAPFROG:: I’m beginning to love going to shows in L.A., as I can see over nearly everyone. Jockeying for space in the front of the crowd becomes difficult as while I would normally be pushing people in the back and shoulders. I end up half punching these midgets in the head instead. Whoops. Screw’em. Mastodon are already 2 songs deep and they kick ass. Guitarist/Singer Brett Hinds is going to be a crazy, old man someday. That guy doesn’t care about anything besides ripping on guitar and making sure he is alcoholically imbibed. They tear through old and new songs with ease. Bassist Troy Saunders kinda looks like he has muppet lips when he sings. Is it his beard outline or am I that drunk?

I realize that I am that drunk as I go to take a picture and get my camera knocked out of my vice- like grip. Some guy doing his best Jerry Rice impersonation catches that shit without even knowing it was coming. Insane! You had to see it.

Uh oh. I thought I might make it through a show without seeing these guys, but there they are. I run into the “I work out a lot, like to keep my shirt off, don’t like to have a neck and will not alter my path to avoid contact with other concertgoer” douchebags. My kingdom for a cattle prod!

Another break in the action and I find some dude dressed up as Dr. Rockzo from Metalocalypse. Hillarious. Even got his autograph. Back to the bar? Yes. I get my usual combo and decide to check out the lounge area. There seems to be an unsecured door in the back. Oh, is this where you keep all of your beer stored Palladium? :: evil laugh :: Don’t mind if I do! I spread the word to some fellow drinkers, but they arrive too late. Dethklok’s opening vid has started and I am nowhere near the stage. Let’s fix that shall we?

I use my trusty, get to the front of the stage, pit maneuver and I am back in action. I’m not sure what it is about this crowd, but for a bunch of sweaty dudes, you guys smell great! Lot’s of good deodorant here. Dethklok is tearing it up. They have a video show behind them and the lights are lower than usual. Brendan Small is one talented dude. Handling vocals and guitar he flawlessly plays one Metalocalypse hit after the other. During breaks between songs he alternates between normal stage banter and doing characters from the show. Funny shit. A video interlude at about the halfway mark takes a jab at normal, concert procedures in comedic fashion. “Mermaider” gets the crowd chanting as the lyrics are projected on the screen. Luckily I know the song because I am seeing more than double, but less than triple. Trouble?

No. Everything is fine. I sweated out most of the booze being in the first 4-5 rows of people. Name another reviewer that gets deep in the crowd like that! The show is over and I had a blast. I’m sweaty, my back kind of hurts from the elbows and jostling, I’m tipsy and it was awesome.

Too bad for anyone that missed out that this tour is over. Get yourself out to a show and remember these 3 things:

1) Keep your fucking shirt on, you muscle-headed, no neck-having, fuck.
2) Get drunk as soon and as consistently as possible. Tipping well will accelerate this.
3) If you are in L.A., the best place to be is in the front of the stage. If you are elsewhere, you might want to hold your nose.

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Converge – Axe to Fall

October 20, 2009
Converge - Axe to Fall

Written By: Tim Bannock


Label: Epitaph – Rating:

I walked into my Metalholics Anonymous meeting last week and found myself on the spot: it was time that I speak up; I had a confession to make. That’s never an easy thing, and in the world of Metal, sometimes tension runs strong among the brotherhood, and you have to watch what you say. Especially when it involves certain pillars, such as Metallica or Black Sabbath. Mine had to do with Slayer: I loved them, but I found a few too many of their albums to be too short.

There, I said it. Their focused attack is great and has produced some of the most terrifying riffs conceivable, but I pined for them to rage on just a little longer, to take an extra turn here or there in the instrumentation.

What does that have to do with Converge’s new album — Axe to Fall — due out on October 20th? Simple: they put together a focused attack that satisfies, even though well over half the tracks never push the three-minute mark.

Converge is like the prototypical grindcore band, updated and bestowed with a progressive edge that rarely veers into long instrumental jams, but instead pops up as odd-timed syncopation, fluid guitar acrobatics, and melodic-but-just-this-side-of-disorientating fills. More importantly, that progressive nature exists on a larger frame, as you look through Converge’s back catalog and listen to how they got from there to here. It’s never a perfect transition, and not something you hear building from one moment to the next. Instead, it’s something more dynamic maybe, because each album pushes a different boundary, until of these things converge (sorry, I had to!) to create an extreme metal assault that defies easy categorization, and expands your senses. Converge is one of the few bands that can blast you with a full-on metallic assault but do so in a way that you are just as likely to zone out and explore higher consciousness as you are to start swinging your fists and thirsting for blood. It’s dizzying, it’s unexpected, it’s terrifying, and it’s beautiful.

Axe to Fall is all these things, and once again, just a little bit more. The first four tracks absolutely shred your innards, as if you stepped into a wind tunnel and some sick bastard punks you by throwing glass and razorblades in with you. Opener “Dark Horse” has a sort of punk/hardcore vibe that’s perfectly fitting with Converge’s origins and certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The following tracks, “Reap What You Sow” and the titular “Axe to Fall” have a melodic grindcore/thrash sound that couldn’t be any more extreme. The album explores some droning, discordant, Godflesh-style territory on songs like “Worms Will Feed” and “Damages,” but it’s the final two tracks that break the most from convention. “Cruel Bloom” is bluesy, acoustic in many parts, and features Steve Von Till of Neurosis on lead vocals. It never falls into a rut, and is an expertly crafted, somber little piece of melancholy that shows the emotional range of the band. Finally, album closer “Wretched World” features a slew of guests (members of The Red Chords and Genghis Tron) and is a much more atmospheric piece, building slowly but expertly to a sonic crescendo before cutting out on a discordant, feedback laden note, almost like a flat line.

Converge consistently challenge their listeners and their musical capabilities, and come through successfully every time, it seems. Axe to Fall is no different; many more guests than I mentioned show up on this album, providing a collaborative effort but a focused album. You’d never know some of the guests are there, but at the same time, you know they bring something new to the overall dynamic, creating a masterpiece that is just as Converge has always been: dizzying, unexpected, terrifying, and beautiful. Axe to Fall will rip your face off in the most serene and satisfying way imaginable, and you couldn’t die any happier than after listening to this album.

Like Converge? Check out: Burnt By The Sun, Yakuza, Candiria

Converge – Dark Horse

September 14, 2009

Download “Dark Horse” by Converge
Off “Axe To Fall” – out October 20.

MP3 courtesy of Epitaph Records.

Converge: Essential Hardcore Outfit Announces New Album and Fall Tour

September 14, 2009

Download “Dark Horse

Groundbreaking hardcore-metal band Converge will release their long anticipated new studio album, Axe To Fall, on October 20 via Epitaph (vinyl on Deathwish). Considered one of the most intense, important, and influential metal/hardcore bands ever, Converge continue their uncompromising evolution, experimenting and manipulating the fiercest form of music with the most aggressive album of the year, Axe To Fall.

Fitting like a puzzle piece in their all but flawless catalog, Axe To Fall is an undeniable progression in the band’s canon of cacophonous sound, dexterous skill and ingenious art, as thirteen of the most viciously powerful songs Converge has ever written reign down on listeners in a surge of sonic fury. True to their meticulous DIY style, guitarist Kurt Ballou helmed production duties once again from his infamous GodCity studios in Salem, MA.

Without warning, Converge lets their metal flag fly on Axe To Fall when drummer Ben Koller’s galloping beats meet Ballou’s lightning fast riffs as bassist Nate Newton provides a pummeling backbone and vocalist Jacob Bannon takes command with menacing growls on the album’s shattering opener “Dark Horse.” Perhaps Converge’s heaviest music they’ve ever recorded, the foursome invited a slew friends to contribute to the album, and the result was a wall of metal-infused hardcore on a level that’s never been heard before.

Songs like the hardcore pit-swirling “Effigy” (feat. Steve Brodsky/Lead guitar, Adam McGrath/Guitar, J.R. Connors/Drums), the furiously relentless neck-breaker “Wishing Well” (feat. Ulf Cederlund/Lead guitar/backing vocals) and the blazing thrash-track “Cutter” (feat. John Pettibone/backing vocals) keep the album moving with power and energy. As defiant as ever, Bannon roars through songs about despair and self-indulgent choices warning that “we’ll show the demons for what they are.” As the album comes to a close it takes a doom-ridden turn as Neurosis’ Steve Von Till shares vocal duties with Bannon on the brooding track “Cruel Bloom” and Genghis Tron’s Mookie Singerman providing lead vocals on the beautifully dark post-metal album closer “Wretched World.”

After 19 years as a band, Converge still maintain the steadfast individuality and uncompromising artistic vision they had when they formed. The band has been credited with giving rise to a genre of music and influencing bands worldwide, yet by never wavering have created a sound that is entirely their own.

With the release of Axe To Fall on the horizon, Converge are readying an arsenal of music from their storied catalog to unleash on audiences across the US when they tour with Mastodon, Dethklok and High On Fire in October.

Prepare yourself for the year’s most vicious album, Axe To Fall.

Converge Tour Dates:
09/24: Durham, NH @ UNH w/ TBA
09/28: Iowa City, IA @ The Picador w/ TBA
09/29: Gillette, WY @ Knights Of Columbus w/ TBA
10/02: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/03: Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/04: Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/06: Calgary, AB @ Big Four Building w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/07: Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/09: Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Saltair w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/10: Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/12: Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/13: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/14: Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/15: Nutty’s North @ Sioux Falls, SD w/ High On Fire
10/16: St. Paul, MN @ Myth w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/17: Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/18: Milwaukee, WI @ Eagle’s Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/19: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop w/ High On Fire
10/20: Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/21: Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/23: Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/24: Buffalo, NY @ The Fairgrounds w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/25: Albany, NY @ Armory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/27: Boston, MA @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/29: New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/30: New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/31: Washington, DC @ Patriot Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/01: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/03: Norfolk, VA @ Norva w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/04: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/05: Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/06: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/07: Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/08: Pompano Beach, FL @ Pompano Beach Amphit w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/11: Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/12: Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/13: Austin, TX @ Austin City Music Hall w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/14: Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/16: Las Cruces, NM @ Pan American Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/17: Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Ampitheater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/18: Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/20: Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/21: San Jose, CA @ Event Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
05/28: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/29: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/30: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more

Converge – Essential Hardcore Outfit Announces New Album and Fall Tour

August 25, 2009

Groundbreaking hardcore-metal band, Converge, will release their long anticipated new studio album, Axe To Fall, on October 20 via Epitaph (vinyl on Deathwish). Considered one of the most intense, important, and influential metal/hardcore bands ever, Converge continue their uncompromising evolution, experimenting and manipulating the fiercest form of music with the most aggressive album of the year, Axe To Fall.

Fitting like a puzzle piece in their all but flawless catalog, Axe To Fall is an undeniable progression in the band’s canon of cacophonous sound, dexterous skill and ingenious art, as thirteen of the most viciously powerful songs Converge has ever written reign down on listeners in a surge of sonic fury. True to their meticulous DIY style, guitarist Kurt Ballou helmed production duties once again from his infamous GodCity studios in Salem, MA.

Without warning, Converge lets their metal flag fly on Axe To Fall when drummer Ben Koller’s galloping beats meet Ballou’s lightning fast riffs as bassist Nate Newton provides a pummeling backbone and vocalist Jacob Bannon takes command with menacing growls on the album’s shattering opener “Dark Horse.” Perhaps Converge’s heaviest music they’ve ever recorded, the foursome invited a slew friends to contribute to the album, and the result was a wall of metal-infused hardcore on a level that’s never been heard before.

Songs like the hardcore pit-swirling “Effigy” (feat. Steve Brodsky/Lead guitar, Adam McGrath/Guitar, J.R. Connors/Drums), the furiously relentless neck-breaker “Wishing Well” (feat. Ulf Cederlund/Lead guitar/backing vocals) and the blazing thrash-track “Cutter” (feat. John Pettibone/backing vocals) keep the album moving with power and energy. As defiant as ever, Bannon roars through songs about despair and self-indulgent choices warning that “we’ll show the demons for what they are.” As the album comes to a close it takes a doom-ridden turn as Neurosis’ Steve Von Till shares vocal duties with Bannon on the brooding track “Cruel Bloom” and Genghis Tron’s Mookie Singerman providing lead vocals on the beautifully dark post-metal album closer “Wretched World.”

After 19 years as a band, Converge still maintain the steadfast individuality and uncompromising artistic vision they had when they formed. The band has been credited with giving rise to a genre of music and influencing bands worldwide, yet by never wavering have created a sound that is entirely their own.

With the release of Axe To Fall on the horizon, Converge are readying an arsenal of music from their storied catalog to unleash on audiences across the US when they tour with Mastodon, Dethklok and High On Fire in October.

Prepare yourself for the year’s most vicious album, Axe To Fall.

Converge Tour Dates:
09/05: Los Angeles, CA @ F Yeah Fest w/ Fucked Up, Cold Cave, and more
09/24: Durham, NH @ UNH w/ TBA
09/28: Iowa City, IA @ The Picador w/ TBA
09/29: Gillette, WY @ Knights Of Columbus w/ TBA
10/02: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/03: Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/04: Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/06: Calgary, AB @ Big Four Building w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/07: Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/09: Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Saltair w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/10: Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/12: Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire 10/13: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/14: Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/15: Nutty’s North @ Sioux Falls, SD w/ High On Fire
10/16: St. Paul, MN @ Myth w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/17: Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/18: Milwaukee, WI @ Eagle’s Auditorium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/19: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop w/ High On Fire
10/20: Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/21: Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/23: Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/24: Buffalo, NY @ The Fairgrounds w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/25: Albany, NY @ Armory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/27: Boston, MA @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/30: New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
10/31: Washington, DC @ Patriot Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/01: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/05: Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/06: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire 11/07: Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/08: Pompano Beach, FL @ Pompano Beach Amphit w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/11: Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/12: Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/13: Austin, TX @ Austin City Music Hall w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/14: Tulsa, OK @ Brady Theater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/16: Las Cruces, NM @ Pan American Center w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/17: Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Ampitheater w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/18: Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
11/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
05/28: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/29: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more
05/30: Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Deathfest w/ Entombed, Obituary, 16, and more

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