Converge
Caring and Killing


3.0
good

Review

by Kit Brown USER (73 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2009 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While it may sound nothing like the Converge many love today, Caring and Killing’s finest tracks stand among the best in the band’s catalog.

At this point in Converge’s career, what more is there for me to say about them? They’ve been hailed by many as one of the most important and impressive groups in the metalcore genre. Jane Doe has deeply impacted the lives of almost all who stumble upon it, and just about every other project the band has been a part of receives accolade after accolade. But just what did Converge exactly sound like before their band would reach the greatness they are known for today? Caring and Killing is just that; a solid summary of Converge’s early days. The songwriting and riffs are much simpler than they are now, but the energy is ever-present.

The band have called themselves “hardcore kids with leftover Slayer riffs”, and I’m not about to disagree with this statement. The album’s opening instrumental track “Shallow Breathing” starts off with a constant chug pattern right before introducing a lead that would sound right at home on South of Heaven. It’s almost scary how accurate that comparison is, at least on this album. One of Caring and Killing’s strongest attributes is the seamless combination of genres, which many different fans of metal and hardcore can find pleasure in. There’s the devastating thrash riffs, simple-yet-effective breakdowns to appease the hardcore/metalcore crowd and even melodic elements of post-hardcore scattered about at times. Damn near every track on here changes its sound at least once, so things feel fresh for the majority of the time.

From an instrumental perspective Caring and Killing is pretty consistent. Many current fans of the band may not like the fact that Kurt Ballou and Ben Koller are not present, but don’t let that dampen your listening experience. This album’s sixteen tracks just keep bringing the riffs, and hard. While I normally enjoy the dissonant, disgusting sounding riffs of modern Converge, many of the melodic guitar leads on here simply rule. “Two Day Romance” and “Divinity” are the first two tracks to come to mind; their incredibly melodic nature creates an almost beautiful atmosphere. It’s pretty good stuff to say the least. While the drums and bass are nothing to really focus on, they keep the album moving…but there’s not much else to say really. The bass could stand to have a bit more presence and crunch, because this time around it’s usually pretty hard to hear.

Jacob Bannon: God’s gift to metalcore. While that may seem like a bit of a bold statement, it’s not too far from the truth. Bannon’s signature insane and barked screams are one of the most powerful in modern music. Caring and Killing brings you yet another amazing vocal performance for almost the entirety of the record (“Savior Salvation” is just stupid), something that’s to be expected by anyone who picks up a Converge record. The appeal of these vocals on this and their other older recordings is that they are completely untampered with. You really feel the passion behind his screams and it can feel like the man is two feet away from you at a show just letting loose. And though the production of this album might seem a bit raw for some people, it’s also part of the overall atmosphere and appeal and simply works for this early metalcore style.

If you look at this album by each individual song, it’s pretty enjoyable. However, this album simply overstays its welcome. Caring and Killing is just over an hour in length, making some of the later songs lose their impact that they might have had somewhere else. And while the harsh vocals are always impressive, Bannon’s clean vocals definitely weren’t at their best. “Zodiac” and “Divinity” are examples of this, where there are some pretty cringe-worthy sung parts. These are the only real flaws with the album, but they can be very noticeable and even obnoxious in places.

While this album isn’t near being one of the strongest Converge albums (those would be Jane Doe and No Heroes), it’s still a worthy addition to the band’s killer discography and a key part of the group’s evolution. “Two Day Romance” is one of the best examples of post-hardcore and metalcore I have ever heard before and “Yesterday” starts off with a sample from Evil Dead II. Why would you want to miss out on something like that?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
January 22nd 2009


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need to start reviewing more again.

Tell me how bad this review is ittThis Message Edited On 01.22.09

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2009


8019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it is pretty good Thor, and I mostly agree.

Fort23
January 22nd 2009


2479 Comments


Couple of great songs here but I agree with how it overstays its welcome.

handoman
January 22nd 2009


2386 Comments


i still havent listened to any converge... ive had jane doe and when forever comes crashing in my itunes forever and i still haven't listened to them :/

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2009


8019 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Get on it!

VapidAbortionist
January 22nd 2009


70 Comments


With regards to your opening paragraph, I highly doubt that any one person is actually deeply influenced by more than a couple of albums. I know that only two albums have actually influenced my behavior and thoughts noticeably.

DeadToPain
January 22nd 2009


694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kurt Ballou plays guitar on this. He and Jacob Bannon are the only two original members. Nate Newton is who I think you're thinking of.

The review was pretty good. I actually don't like this as much as you, though "Shallow Breathing", "Two-Day Romance", and "Dead" are really awesome.

sba4life
January 22nd 2009


363 Comments


Lets see. In the style of Deep Purple's Highway Star

Oh yeah Listing to my bitch ass Metalcore
So Scene,So Hardcore

Oh she is a breakdown machine
She please you down in between

Oh yeah
Harder

I am so hardcore

"August Burns Red Rock" says the faggot in the corner with a knife in his hands slicing his wrists in the Name of God

sba4life
January 22nd 2009


363 Comments


If you want bitchin breakdowns listen to a Meshuggah or a Rick James Record. lmbao

botb
January 22nd 2009


9756 Comments


you seriously fail so hard. converge is the shit.

Digging: Solstafir - tta

sba4life
January 22nd 2009


363 Comments


no metalcore is the shit. I can take biohazard somewhat, and Hatebreed but they are more hardcore than metalcore

SlaveLabor
January 22nd 2009


453 Comments


sba4life bro

botb
January 23rd 2009


9756 Comments


you can listen to awful crap like hatebreed and not genuinely good stuff like converge?

McP3000
January 23rd 2009


3941 Comments


i need to listen to this, as its the only thing converge has written that i havent listened to (other than unloved and weeded out)

i have listened to one song, and it sounded like straight hardcore punk, with very little metal influence

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2009


17939 Comments


where's the metal man

McP3000
January 23rd 2009


3941 Comments


metal UP YOUR ASSThis Message Edited On 01.23.09

SlaveLabor
January 25th 2009


453 Comments


I'm listening to metal right now man

scyther
February 12th 2009


1606 Comments


This album is wizard.

DinoX
March 21st 2011


3582 Comments


I had no idea this was such a lengthy release will have to check out are they like B-side tracks?

Also lol at No Heroes being second best album.

ffs
March 21st 2011


4883 Comments


its basically their first album + some demo etc songs

havent listened to this for a while but shallow breathing/i abstain owns, a few songs after that are
decent but then its mostly shit



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