Converge Petitioning the Empty Sky / When Forever Comes Crashing

Converge Petitioning the Empty Sky / When Forever Comes Crashing
When Forever Comes Crashing, in particular, has been in desperate need of a tweaking for quite some time, following the less than ecstatic fan reaction to Today Is the Day mastermind Steve Austin’s notoriously muddy production. Although the relevance of a Petitioning the Empty Sky redux is initially less pronounced, the difference is overwhelming straight from the quintessential opening gallop of "The Saddest Day.” Buried, indistinguishable vocals tracks, all but absent bass drums and tinny guitars are things of the past — this is quite possibly the most drastically improved remix/remaster in history. There are moments when one is convinced that the album has been completely recorded — it’s actually that good. In a sense, this is not entirely positive — there are small technical errors that have evidently been corrected, and the raw, sporadic feel is somewhat diminished. Any minor quibbles are immediately vanquished by the excitement of actually being able to listen to the group without the occasional feedback-induced grimace, in addition to the nothing-less-than-spectacular packaging featuring new and previously unreleased artwork courtesy of Isis front man Aaron Turner. Also included are several appropriately energetic live photos, with vocalist Jacob Bannon and company caught in the act of delivering one of their punishing, momentous performances. Those who do no own the originals: obviously buy these; this is literally the cornerstone of modern metallic hardcore. Those who have been drooling in anticipation since these were announced sometime in between now and the last ice age — 100 percent, absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt worth the wait. Utterly essential. (Equal Vision)