Converge - The Dusk In Us (Deathwish Inc./Epitaph) 2017
There’s a reason for the Massachusetts-based band Converge being considered one of the benchmarks in terms of quality within extreme and aggressive music. Actually, there’s more than one, but perhaps the most undeniable is how they are able, time and time again for a ridiculous amount of time (formed in ’94 and it’s been 26 years since they released the classic album that’s ‘01’s Jane Doe), to release not only mind-blowing albums but also albums capable to create an emotion and human connection with its listener while being highly cathartic. In that sense, Converge remain the same with their 9th studio album, The Dusk In Us. But it’s never really the same with them, right? Well, on this one they seem to have strengthened even more that human side, that connection. So, with their usual abrasiveness and pummelling sound comes the beauty, melodies, and even melancholy to embrace that said catharsis. “When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.” (“A Single Tear”) is just an example of vocalist Jacob Bannon working through “the complexities of those things [experiences in his life] through song,” as he puts it.
The Dusk In Us is wonderfully fulfilling lyrical but as per usual, its sonic side is as fulfilling, managing to please and captivate a handful of different audiences across the heavy-music spectrum. Riff upon riff of untamed brutality and harshness, the drumming that threatens to pierce even the coldest and hardest stone, and even Bannon’s vocals that with ease transform from the most frenetic hardcore to a soft-spoken and more contemplative/calmer approach. But Bannon is hardly the only one capable of such transformation and mutation, the band follows him all the way through and just like his voice, the instruments find ways to be effective in the most distinct ways – not being completely blown away, for example, by the contrast offered with a combo like “Cannibals” and its follow-up “Thousand Miles Between Us” might be very well one of the hardest tasks for whoever listens – even someone who has never heard the band – to The Dusk In Us.
There’s also something to be said regarding the final seconds of a song like “I Can Tell You About Pain”. How a band manages to use such a noisy, abrasive and piercing sound to emulate and accompany their emotional manifestation is, in a way, what Converge signify and are capable of. Brilliance on so many different levels. The Dusk Is Us is another testament to Converge’s greatness and their magnificent personal manifest.