Converge mastermind Jacob Bannon is best known for his aggressive, harsh vocals, but on the debut album for his solo project, Wear Your Wounds, he takes a much softer and more melodic approach. WYW is the culmination of years of writing compiled into a massive project that focuses on the dark and clean aspects of Converge.
Album opener "Wear Your Wounds" begins with a sad, ominous-sounding piano lead before building a gargantuan sound through the rest of the instruments and Bannon's droning vocals. The instruments progressively build upon one another throughout the album, creating a tense dynamic that allows each instrument to have its moment. The eight-minute epic "Iron Rose" uses Bannon's voice almost exclusively in the first half before dropping vocals for a complex and melodic instrumental finale.
Although much can be said about the clean, melodic aspects of the album, WYW is a very heavy release — without relying on distorted guitars and screamed vocals. The emotions in Bannon's lyrics, paired with the haunting piano tracks and atmospheric guitar work, generates an emphatic, powerful sound. "Best Cry of Your Life" is the sole track on the album that resembles something written by a metal band, with pounding, thunderous drums and energetic guitar work.
Wear Your Wounds' debut is a masterpiece of emotion and tension. The minimalistic and atmospheric approach found here sounds vastly different from Bannon's work in Converge, but it also complements it nicely, sounding like a counterpart to his main project. (Deathwish Inc.)