Raw, aggressive and unrelenting; for nearly three decades now, that has been the path that metalcore pioneers Converge have followed, and on their ninth studio album, The Dusk in Us, the band have forged yet another sonic trail of ultra-violent hardcore and atmospheric sludge.
From the first moments of the album to the final notes of closing track "Reptilian," The Dusk in Us is an emotionally and politically charged record. The band's frustration and anger at the world sit at the forefront of the record, with vocalist Jacob Bannon's pessimism being felt in every blood-curdling scream. Whether he's shouting "You don't know what my pain feels like" on lead single "I Can Tell You About Pain," or saying "Opportunism will spread within the land, if the parasitic heart that beats in all of us is unrivalled" on "Cannibals," Bannon's lyrics tap into a dark perspective that's all too relatable.
Converge unleash more direct songwriting here, further assisted by the gritty production work from guitarist Kurt Ballou. From the chaotic, technical instrumentation on "Archipov Calm," to the deafening, feedback-heavy "Murk and Marrow," to the downtempo stomp of "Under Duress," the songs on The Dusk in Us reflect the extreme aggression that Converge have become known for. Amidst that relentless aggression, the band find time for emotive, atmospheric tracks such as the gloomy title track or the droned-out "Thousands of Miles."
The Dusk in Us is another step forward for Converge, pushing their sound to new levels in a way that is uniquely their own. Although it took five years to come to fruition, the record was well worth the wait, and stands as a testament to why the band have become so hugely influential. (Epitaph)