Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Since breaking out of the hardcore scene with 2001's savage masterpiece "Jane Doe", Converge have been the band to watch, pacesetters who've consistently set the next creative level in aggressive music. Their Epitaph de... more »
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Since breaking out of the hardcore scene with 2001's savage masterpiece "Jane Doe", Converge have been the band to watch, pacesetters who've consistently set the next creative level in aggressive music. Their Epitaph debut, "You Fail Me" was named one of 2004's ten essential releases in Alternative Press. Now comes "No Heroes", an album that brilliantly combines the textural sonics of "You Fail Me" with the brutal assault of "Jane Doe". Converge are poised to follow in the footsteps of bands like Darkest Hour and Norma Jean.
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LeftManOut | TheCityThatNeverSleeps, FL | 10/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Converge have once again put together one of the best (if not the best) hardcore/metal albums that you're likely to hear all year. As one of the premier innovators of the new school metalcore movement, it's always great to see these guys back in action and doing what they do best, which is putting out incredible music. While some may think that Converge will never be able reach the summit they did with "Jane Doe" (after all it was one of the greatest records ever written), it's important that we are able to compare Converge's output to that of their peers and the music in today's current scene. And in that department there is no one who can even match up. With "No Heroes," the band has once again taken their place at the forefront of heavy music. And that's where they belong.
Most of the chaotic numbers on "No Heroes" are fairly short and to the point to begin with. "Heartache," "Hellbound" and "Sacrifice" are the trio which leads off the disc (their combined time is less than five minutes), and this onslaught does a nice job of preparing you for exactly what your ears are in store for during this listening experience. As with all Converge records, there are slow breaking points strung throughout the disc, in order to give you a chance to catch your breathe after the constant audio assault you are hearing. "No Heroes" first breaking point comes in the form of "Weight Of The World", a driving instrumental which seems more like a bridge into the next song, the mind-numbing title track, than needless filler. After this point in the record, things begin to change a bit. Song lengths begin to increase, riffs begin to get even more technical, and Bannon's vocals become even more key to the atmosphere and shape of the music. The cornerstone of the entire album would have to be the 9 minute epic "Grimm Heart / Black Rose" which is placed right in the middle of the track order. It is songs like this which solidify Converge as the supreme heavyweight in this type of music. Very few bands are able to construct lengthy songs of this sort, and also make them interesting and engaging. Jacob's clean singing, along with Kurt's extraordinary guitar work make this the album's must-listen track. Oh and don't be distraught, because as soon as you're done with the journey of "Grimm Heart / Black Rose," you'll be plunged face first back into the bludgeoning "Orphaned."
Musically Converge are still innovators. While they haven't strayed too far from their expected style of play, I can't remember listening to a moment of this record thinking, "yea, I've heard that before." Because trust me, you haven't. Jacob Bannon's fierce, distorted vocals do all they can to pound the listener into submission, and the few moments where he slips into the "punk-rock" shout he used on the last record, or the abstract melody, you gain even more appreciation for his craft. Kurt Ballou just might be the best guitarist to come out of this whole metal/hardcore hybrid that has been growing for years now (Dave Knudson of Botch fame is the only person I can think of who would be notable competition) and the maniacal, slinging riffs that he pulls out on tracks like "Versus" and "Trophy Scars" are a further testament to his abilities. Ben Koller is nothing short of a monster on the drums, whether he's going full force and tearing his kit apart as seen on "Hellbound," "Sacrifice" and "Bare My Teeth," or just accenting the mood in numbers like the aforementioned "Trophy Scars" and "Grimm Heart / Black Rose." Nate Newton, while not at the forefront of the music, has always had an important role in the band's sound, and it's impressive enough that he's able to keep up with most of the music, let alone write great bass lines behind it (which if you listen to more experimental tracks, he does).
I'm not surprised in the least how good "No Heroes" turned out to be. I have never once been disappointed when I put in anything with Converge's name on it. While it didn't hit me with its magic during the initial spin, "No Heroes" eventually unveiled itself as the outstanding record I knew it was going to be. As you can expect with any Converge album, there's plenty of diversity, chaos, amazing drumming and riffs, tortured vocals, and intense moments to go around. If you are into Converge, you will not be disappointed with "No Heroes." This is already shaping up to be the best record of 2006. Period."
Just friggin' amazing
A. Stutheit | Denver, CO USA | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can be said about Converge? Rather, what's left to be said? Since they debuted in 1994, nobody has been able to match this Massachusetts' quintet's jaw-dropping intensity, scalding energy, raw urgency, innovative songwriting, godly musicianship, and brain-scrambling technicality. So why should things be any different now? "No Heroes," their sixth record, is flat-out amazing. Although it recaptures much of the same intensity as before, it by no means tries to rehash past glories. Instead, this album takes everything that was great about the band before and simultaneously expands their dynamic range by adding...get this...texture and even a little harmony! Shocked? I know I am!
That's not to say, however, that the vast majority "No Heroes" isn't a massive, brutally devastating trainwreck. In fact, some of it might be Converge's most ferocious stuff to date. Frenetic, belligerent riffing, hammering, rapid-fire drums, rigid bass lines, and rabid, atonal screams constantly run amuck, and the listener is engulfed in wave after wave of furious, visceral aggression. Converge's musical abilities are astounding, but it's even more impressive that they never sound like a product of studio perfection -- every song here is brimming with live energy and genuine urgency.
Since it would take days to cover all of the album's meticulous details, nuances, and nooks and crannies, I'll limit myself to describing only the biggest highlights. The Crowbar-reminiscent "Heartache," which has a pounding beat, menacing feedback, and doomy, earth-shaking riffs, is a strong set opener. Later, "Sacrifice" is a very caustic number with guitar leads that grumble like a lawn mower engine, remarkably fast, driving blast beats, and piercing, hellish shrieks; "Vengeance" is propelled by streamlined, smoke-inducing buzzsaw guitars and deft, walloping drums; and the title track is an explosive, ear-splitting, take-no-prisoners onslaught with notable bass work.
"Grim Heart/Black Rose" is quite possibly the best and most infectious and memorable epic Converge have ever written. The slow acoustic strums at the beginning are ethereal, and frontman Jacob Bannon's sweet, limpid, sometimes soaring vocals are positively mindblowing. The first two-thirds of this song is gentle and restrained, with a wealth of texture, sunny melody, and unbelievable harmony, but the electric power chords storm back onto the scene around six minutes in, and they eventually erupt into a full metallic fury near the end.
After such raging slabs of chaotic dissonance as 2004's "You Fail Me" and 2001's "Jane Doe," it seemed Converge were going to be about the last band on earth to consider experimenting with semi-pleasant or agreeable sounds. But they did, and the results are stunning. And even though a math/noise/hardcore album with a touch of melody wasn't totally unheard of before now (see Dillinger Escape Plan's "Miss Machine" and Norma Jean's "Redeemer" for proof), "No Heroes" still sounds unique and novel. But then again, this is one of the smartest and most inventive and amazing bands of the last fifteen years, so we should probably never underestimate what they're capable of. "No Heroes" is an utterly brilliant, masterful, vigorous, engrossing thrill ride from start to finish. Now the question is: how in the world are they ever going to top this one?!"
Kings of the underground
Aquarius Records | San Francisco | 11/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Metalcore is sort of a dirty word these days it seems; conjuring up images of Warped Tours and Hot Topic's. All the short haired emo guys are now playing brutal-tech-death metal while the dirty long haired metalhead guys are slowing it down, making all kinds of epic post rock and convoluted math rock. What gives? Converge continue to blaze their own path and break down the boundaries between hardcore and metal, while incorporating bits of noise and other weird sounds, the REAL crossover.
Converge were sort of always the hardcore black sheep, too noisy, too metal, not punk enough. Going on 15 years now, Converge have been the kings of the underground, subtly or not so subtly influencing all the metalcore outfits that have gone on to be HUGE. It's time for the world to recognize that Converge have been making some of the most progressive, and beautifully f-cked up metallic punk rock music of the last two decades.
No Heroes falls sonically somewhere between the all time metalcore milestone Jane Doe and their more recent, but equally as punishing and original You Fail Me. The pace is furious, hovering around warp speed most of the time, but these guys are masters, and amidst the cacophonous, chaotic din lurk all sorts of sonic surprises, tone of space and atmosphere, discordant, jagged, chunky, choppy riffs, incredibly complex rhythms, as well as hooks galore, all masterfully whipped into a glorious metalcore frenzy.