New Converge – “Dark Horse”

By brandon / August 25, 2009 - 9:30 am

Somewhere between releasing 2004’s You Fail Me and No Heroes in 2006, I started seeing Kurt Ballou getting name-checked more as a producer at his Salem-based GodCity studios than as the guitarist of one of Massachusetts’s mightiest exports, Converge. If you take a quick look at what he’s recorded between even just 2008 and now, it makes sense: The shortlist includes Disfear’s Live The Storm, Genghis Tron’s Board Up the House, Torche’s Meanderthal, Misery Index’s Traitors, Buried Inside’s Spoils Of Failure, Doomriders’ Darkness Come Alive, Magrudergrind’s self-titled breakthrough, and yes … Converge’s forthcoming seventh full-length Axe To Fall. Which is why it’s time to forget his production resume for a bit and focus on his riffs … and piano, glockenspiel, saxophone, etc. Yes, Axe To Fall sounds great, but even if they’d recorded the 13-track collection in a shoebox, you get the feeling these songs would melt your face. The band still sounds like Converge, but like a Converge that’s been around for 19 years and continues adding distinctively new details to their attack. For instance, take a listen opener “Dark Horse.” It has everything you could want from a Converge song — knotty guitars, deep hardcore breakdowns, gnarled howls, and a triumphant blast of a finish — along with an updated dark-progressive feel you’ll find threaded throughout.

Converge – “Dark Horse” (MP3)

The collection includes guest spots from members of Neurosis (Steve Von Till offers guest vocals on the tumbleweeded Waits-style “Cruel Bloom”), Genghis Tron (Mookie Singerman gets soulful with his GT mates on the broodingly anthemic electro-tinged 7-minute post-“Grim Heart/Black Rose” closer “Wretched World”), Cave In, Hatebreed, Himsa, and (yes) Disfear.

Axe To Fall is out 10/20 via Epitaph (and on vinyl via Deathwish). You can catch them on tour with Mastodon, High On Fire, Dethklok, etc.

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

# w/ Mastodon, Dethklok, High On Fire
% w/ High On Fire