That was one of my main thoughts all weekend while listening to Converge's 8th studio album All We Love We Leave Behind. 2+ decades in the game and yet the Massachusetts quartet has shown zero signs of ever slowing down. And with All We Love We Leave Behind, they've raised the bar again. This may be the best heavy album you listen to in 2012 (and that's saying a lot - considering the stellar releases from bands like Every Time I Die, Birds in Row, The Chariot, and more this year). Songs like "Trespasses" and "Sadness Comes Home" (which features some fantastic riffing from Kurt Ballou) are some of the heaviest tracks in Converge's discography, while "A Glacial Pace" may be the album's highlight - its sludging pace slowing collapsing into a chaotic breakdown. Jake Bannon is as insane as ever with his voice, mixing in high shouts with guttural screams throughout. Just wait for "Coral Blue," which sounds like a Converge/Baroness/Mastodon hybrid baby, as Bannon's vocals span from spoken word to unrestrained yells. And the title track! Oh man, the title track is truly classic Converge craziness. Ballou's unleashes some ungodly riffs behind Ben Koller's fantastic drumming as Bannon just lays it all on the line (as he's prone to do). I won't give too much away (wait for my official review for that), but I will tell you that Converge has released an album that's truly great, continuing their dominance as the best band in the genre.
I saw Converge play at FYF Fest this weekend in LA, and for a group of guys that have been doing this for 22 years, they still go on the stage like they're a new band with something to prove. It was one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life, as Converge peppered in some new songs ("Aimless Arrow" and "Empty On The Inside") with absolute classics like "Jane Doe" and "Last Light." Bannon is a mad man on the stage, as at times I was just focusing on him spill his guts on stage instead of the music. What I'm saying is - you don't want to miss Converge on their upcoming fall tour (overseas and here in the States). You'll leave the pit sore, deaf, and happier than ever.