Friday, 1 August 2014

Converge

Here they are, the titans of aggressive music. They've left a permanent crater in the world of hardcore/metal/punk music, and will be heralded as one of the greatest and most hardworking bands ever. These guys are machines when it comes to pumping out amazing music and relentless touring. They truly embody the DIY aesthetic, with their members doing their own artwork, recording their own albums, putting out most of their own albums, and booking their own tours. All of this while being one of the biggest bands in their genre, as well as constantly helping out and working with many up-and-coming bands, as well as their own side projects. Yet this band still has time to push not only their limits, but the limits of music itself and what extreme it can be taken to. And they constantly go beyond that, constantly evolving over their 20-year tenure. And not many bands can say they've done that. Pitchfork referred to them as this "generation's Black Flag". And that is so true in so many ways. They did everything themselves, put in more work than most do in a lifetime, made music that defined and pushed the entirety of punk/hardcore with their diversity, and will be remembered as THE hardcore/punk band of a certain era.


Con-fucking-verge are a four-piece hardcore/metalcore/punk band hailing from Salem, Massachusetts. They were formed in 1990 by Jacob Bannon (vocals) and Kurt Ballou (guitar) when they were still very young. Though they were active during this time, they really took off in the mid-90's, when they begin consistently releasing music and touring. They went through a few member changes throughout this time, but it wasn't until 1999 that the line-up they are best known for (Ben Koller on drums and Nate Newton on bass) was finalized. Before them, they released three albums and numerous splits/EP's that showed the band's fast progression. Some amazing (and severely underrated) work was put out during this time that I highly advise giving a chance to. This era was incredibly productive for the band, with an insanely intense live show and some amazing records under their belt.

In 2001, the band released the album. Yes, THE album. Jane Doe, the band's best-known, most-loved, and most highly regarded piece of work, not just within hardcore/metalcore, but all music. The music, lyrics, artwork, everything put the band into a whole other realm. Generally the band's career can be though of in two eras: pre-Jane Doe and post-Jane Doe. There is a massive difference between the two. Their line-up was finalized after the departure of second guitarist Aaron Dalbec. Their sound progressed even more after this masterpiece, with their follow-up You Fail Me (my personal favourite Converge album) focusing on different sounds and themes, as all their records would do after that. Each of their subsequent albums felt so unified and together, and created a monster of an experience to listen to. The artwork, the lyrics, what sounds they were working with, making Axe To Fall a particularly collaborative effort, everything just came together. They also became slightly more accessible with each album. If you are new to this band, I suggest starting with their most recent work All We Love We Leave Behind or Axe To Fall and working backwards. Jane Doe is the band's obvious "big" album, but is a lot to take in for a listener who isn't really into that style of music yet. And as far as their albums before that, they would take even longer to get into it, unless you were already interested in bands like Botch and Coalesce and Earth Crisis and such, though if you know those bands then you are already very familiar with Converge. So just a word of advice, start with the new and work your way back through the band's blistering catalogue.


The band has certainly crafted a sound of their own. The lyrics are often personal and poetic (and sometimes political), despite their vicious delivery. Bannon writes some amazing lines, and they come off perfectly through his throat-ripping shrieks, or even his straight-forward singing on occasion. They have some very technical instrumental parts, proving the band's technical capabilities in addition to their aggression. Some songs pass by at furious speeds, while others burn slowly between gritted teeth, so they are always switching things up. They occasionally experiment with electronics and acoustics, a radically different approach for a band in this genre. As far as influence goes, they certainly don't sound like any other bands. But some commonly cited ones are Slayer and Entombed as metal influences, Black Flag and Born Against as hardcore influences, and even more experimental punk acts such as The Jesus Lizard are in the mix. They also cite radically different bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode (both of whom they have covered) as contributors to their music.

Converge are one of the most important bands ever, who have already paid more than their dues, and continue to do so. They have been a major influence on pretty much every hardcore/punk band to emerge in the past decade, and really set the bar for them to reach. Not only that, through Bannon's label Deathwish as well as his art, and Kurt Ballou's GodCity Studios, they've brought many of these bands up themselves. Past and present members of Converge also have notable ties to some other incredible bands, such as Bane, Cave In, Jesuit, All Pigs Must Die, United Nations, Supermachiner, and Old Man Gloom. So without further ado, here is Converge's discography. Enjoy.

1. Look Back
2. Open Your Eyes
3. Blind
4. Gravel

1. Shallow Breathing
2. I Abstain
3. Two Day Romance
4. Becoming A Stranger
5. Divinity
6. Fact Leaves Its Ghost
7. Antithesis
8. Down
9. Exhale
10. Undo

1. Overcast - Faceless
2. Overcast - Staredown
3. Converge - Look Back
4. Converge - Open Your Eyes

Note: Converge's side is also on their self-titled EP

1. Shallow Breathing/I Abstain
2. Two-Day Romance
3. Fact Leaves Its Ghost
4. Becoming A Stranger
5. Antithesis
6. Dead
7. Tied To My Neck
8. Divinity
9. Blind
10. Sky
11. Down
12. Zodiac
13. Yesterday
14. Savior Salvation
15. But Life Goes On 

Note: Compilation containing early songs. Songs are are from Halo In A Haystack, other compilations, demos, and some unreleased material. 

1. The Saddest Day
2. Forsaken
3. Albatross
4. Dead
5. Shingles
6. Buried But Breathing
7. Farewell Note To This City
8. Color Me Blood Red
9. For You (Live)
10. Antithesis (Live)
11. Homesong (Live)
12. Love As Arson (Alternate Version) 

Note: This is the 2005 Equal Vision remastered version. The original 1996 one contained the first four songs on the 7" and the first eight on the CD version

1. Converge - Love As Arson 
2. Coalesce - Have Patience

1. Brutal Truth - Cornucopia (Black Sabbath cover)
2. Converge - Snowblind (Black Sabbath cover)

1. Downpour
2. Serial Killer

1. My Unsaid Everything
2. The High Cost Of Playing God
3. In Harms Way
4. Conduit
5. The Lowest Common Denominator
6. Towing Jehova
7. When Forever Comes Crashing
8. Ten Cents
9. Year Of The Swine
10. Letterbomb
11. Love As Arson
12. Bitter And Then Some (Unreleased Demo Version)

Note: This is the 2005 reissue version with the bonus track Bitter And Then Some

1. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Mantis
2. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Center of the Hive
3. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Glass Tornado
4. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Landfills of Extinct Possibility
5. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Pentagram Constellation
6. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Bed of Flies
7. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Destroyed
8. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Gringo
9. Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Infected Womb
10. Converge - Locust Reign
11. Converge - This Is Mine
12. Converge - They Stretch For Miles
13. Converge - My Great Devastator
14. Converge - The Human Shield
15. Converge - Minnesota

1. Serial Killer
2. Snowblind (Live)
3. Disintegration (The Cure cover)

1. Converge - Thaw
2. Converge - Clean (Depeche Mode cover)
3. Converge - Conduit (Live)
4. Converge - Shallow Breathing (Live)
5. Converge - Locust Reign (Live)
6. Hellchild - 1
7. Hellchild - Insurrection Of The Living Damned (Bulldozer cover)
8. Hellchild - In This Freezing Night (Live)
9. Hellchild - Without Any Answers (Live)

1. Concubine
2. Fault And Fracture
3. Distance And Meaning
4. Hell To Pay
5. Homewrecker
6. The Broken Vow
7. Bitter And Then Some
8. Heaven In Her Arms
9. Phoenix In Flight
10. Phoenix In Flames
11. Thaw
12. Jane Doe

11. Annihilate This Week (Black Flag cover)

Note: Black Flag covers compilation album

15. Whatever I Do (Negative Approach cover)

Note: Negative Approach covers compilation album

1. Downpour
2. Flowers and Razorwire
3. Tremor
4. Home Song
5. For You
6. Jacob's Ladder
7. Undo
8. Towing Jehovah (Demo)
9. The High Cost Of Playing God (Demo)
10. When Forever Comes Crashing (Demo)
11. The Year Of The Swine (Demo)
12. Letterbomb (Demo)
13. Locust Reign (live in California)
14. This Is Mine (live in California) 

Note: Compilation album. Track 1 is from Downpour/Serial Killer, track 2 from a compilation, track 3 was previously unreleased, tracks 4-6 are from the original 1996 version of Unloved And Weeded Out, track 7 is from Halo In A Haystack, tracks 8-12 are demos of songs that would later appear on When Forever Comes Crashing, and tracks 13-14 are live versions of songs that would later appear on The Poacher Diaries

1. First Light
2. Last Light
3. Black Cloud
4. Drop Out
5. Hope Street
6. Heartless
7. You Fail Me
8. In Her Shadow
9. Eagles Become Vultures
10. Death King
11. In Her Blood
12. Hanging Moon

1. First Light
2. Eagles Become Vultures
3. The Broken Vow
4. Drop Out
5. Hope Street
6. Bitter And Then Some
7. You Fail Me
8. Black Cloud
9. Heartless
10. Homewrecker
11. Last Light
12. Concubine
13. Conduit
14. The Saddest Day

1. Heartache
2. Hellbound
3. Sacrifice
4. Vengeance
5. Weight Of The World
6. No Heroes
7. Plagues
8. Grim Heart/Black Rose
9. Orphaned
10. Lonewolves
11. Versus
12. Trophy Scars
13. Bare My Teeth
14. To The Lions

1. Dark Horse
2. Reap What You Sow
3. Axe To Fall
4. Effigy
5. Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast
6. Wishing Well
7. Damages
8. Losing Battle
9. Dead Beat
10. Cutter
11. Slave Driver
12. Cruel Bloom
13. Wretched World

1. On My Shield

1. Converge - Runaway
2. Dropdead - Paths Of Glory

1. Converge - No Light Escapes
2. Converge - Wolverine Blues (Entombed cover)
3. Napalm Death - Will By Mouth
4. Napalm Death - No Impediment to Triumph (Bhopal)

1. Aimless Arrow
2. Trespasses
3. Tender Abuse
4. Sadness Comes Home
5. Empty On The Inside
6. Sparrow's Fall
7. Glacial Pace
8. Vicious Muse
9. Veins And Veils
10. Coral Blue
11. Shame In The Way
12. Precipice
13. All We Love We Leave Behind
14. Predatory Glow

1. Wolverine Blues w/ Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom, etc)
2. Wolverine Blues w/ Jacob Bannon (Converge, Wear Your Wounds)
3. Wolverine Blues w/ Kevin Baker (APMD, The Hope Conspiracy, etc)
4. Wolverine Blues w/ Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom, etc)
5. Wolverine Blues w/ Tompa (Disfear, At The Gates, etc) and Kurt (Converge, etc)

1. Dark Horse (BBC Live Version)
2. Axe to Fall (BBC Live Version)
3. Damages (BBC Live Version)
4. Hanging Moon (BBC Live Version)

1. First Light
2. Last Light
3. Black Cloud
4. Drop Out
5. Hope Street
6. Heartless
7. You Fail Me
8. In Her Shadow
9. Eagles Become Vultures
10. Wolves At My Door
11. Death King
12. In Her Blood
13. Hanging Moon

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for having this awesome blog! Any possible way if you have some free time to post some Saves the Day, Suicidal Tendencies, Twitching Tongues, Rotting Out, and the new Turnover? Thanks!

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  2. I love you. and I will not leave you behind.

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  3. can you please make a post on go radio!? xoxoxox

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  4. love it! Do you think you could get Pig Destroyer's music on here? I can't find it anywhere

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  5. Morgan,try typing in "pig destroyer discogra[hy blogspot" on google.com

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  7. I own all of these on vinyl, I lost all of my digital records. Thank you.

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  8. The Converge Coalesce split, the coalesce song is cut off way short, the downpour/serial killer rip, downpour doesnt play, track just skips to serial killer. re rip please. thanks

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  9. Does someone wanna upload the Thousands of Miles Between Us live CD here? Thank you!!!!

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    1. Yes, pleaaaaaase. Although it's not a CD but I've heard the vinyl comes with a HD download code. Anybody have it?

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    2. The download is for a digital copy of the live show, not in audio form :(

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