Converge
Axe to Fall


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
October 14th, 2009 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Legendary metalcore band, Converge, release a solid and well refined album with Axe to Fall.

What can be said about Converge that hasn't already been said to death? I could go on and on about how they rape your ears, bash your face in, and rape your ears some more. Or I could liken them to some grisly murder scene where the victim was brutalized beyond recognition. However, that's not entirely necessary, nor is it fair to everything the band has done throughout their career. Yes, Converge was a driving force in the early days of metalcore. And yes, they approach their art with a very hardcore mindset. Yet with Axe to Fall I feel it necessary to throw aside the overly brutal and cliched comparisons. To put it plainly, this album is more than a hardcore mess on a disc.

To answer the question on everyone's mind, this does in fact trump Jane Doe in certain areas. However, I say this even though the two are difficult to compare. Jane Doe was slightly darker and moodier, with a more cohesive theme throughout. Yet Axe to Fall shows how Converge have grown as a band. There is definite progression, especially in song structure. That being said, Axe to Fall may be what Jane Doe haters have been waiting for. Not to say this is any less "brutal," but the changes in sound make this album much more accessible. Thankfully, there is plenty for newcomers and fan boys alike to enjoy.

Converge have always been a band at the top of their game, and on Axe to Fall things are no different. To say they are better than ever wouldn't be an exaggeration in the slightest. Writing about the guitar alone is a daunting task. Kurt Ballou can play as fast and hard as artist this generation. He stated that he listened to more progressive bands during the albums creation, and in certain areas it definitly shows. Some of the new material is almost "fun," a term unheard of in a Converge album. For example, there are some incredibly catchy solos on both "Wishing Well" and "Cutter" that can be described as such. Much of the new found sound can be attributed to the guest guitarists found on Axe to Fall. However, Kurt's playing is not without it's faults, as he sometimes can get stuck on one riff for too long.

When someone says they dislike Converge, the vocals are always at the center of their aversion. Jacob Bannon has not changed his style much over the years, but guest vocals do make several appearances on the album. Genghis Tron’s Mookie Singerman, Neurosis' Steve Von Till, Blacklisted's George Hirsch, Disfear's Uffe Cederlund, and John Pettibon perform vocals on five different tracks. In no way do they detract from the album, instead they infuse it with much more color and variation. "Cruel Bloom" and "Wretched World" are the album's emotional high points, thanks to the excellent guests present.

Axe to Fall has some amazing tracks. "Worms Will Feed" is dark and moody, and "Dead Beat" has some great tempo changes that keep the whole song rather interesting. Yet the high points of the album are found at the very beginning and very end. "Dark Horse" is one of the years best openers. Fast paced and frenzied, it serves as a rather tumultuous start to the album. "Wretched World" can only be described as beautiful. Its slow, solemn, and above all else, emotional. Unfortunately, Axe to Fall has some uninspired tracks that are tough to ignore. The title track is little more than a short,chaotic, and spazy song. "Cutter" and "Losing Battle" also fit this description.

Axe to Fall is a solid realease by a band of epic proportions. Some may find it difficult to get past the more abrasive aspects, but for those who do will be treated to a well polished and varied album.



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user ratings (2295)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 14th 2009


10611 Comments


Wanted a review by someone who wasn't a huge fan. Gonna get hammered for rating below a 4.5 though. Bring on the negs

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Fugue
October 14th 2009


7353 Comments


omg only a 4, negnegneg

Seriously though, this is the best review for the album thus far. Wretched World and Dark Horse are so good.

fromtheinside
October 14th 2009


18717 Comments


awesome, awesome, awesome - kind of how i was feeling exactly. still i don't think it touches JD or PtS, but it should still be recognized on how good it is.
i also could've lived my life without hearing worms will feed, its really boring for me.

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

marksellsuswallets
October 14th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Umm where is your alley rape paragraph guy?

Lelle
October 14th 2009


2156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ey "Cutter" is one of my favourite tracks from this

Zip
October 14th 2009


5312 Comments


someone needs to write a negative review just cuz

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2009


17222 Comments


if i have some time tonight i might write a negative review for ya zip.

marksellsuswallets
October 14th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Flatley is probably the only person I'd like to see write a "negative" review for this...maybe Sobhi.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2009


16434 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have a review for this written and ready to go, in my opinion it's one of the best I've ever done, but I won't post it just yet to give this some time on the front page.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Fugue
October 14th 2009


7353 Comments


in my opinion it's one of the best I've ever done


Will look forward to it.

Ricven
October 14th 2009


207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not too big on Converge but this is my favorite album from them.

blindsided21
October 14th 2009


146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think you could've gone in to more detail. You ignored the drums, bass, and lyrics and didn't really comment on Bannon's vocals other than them being the reason a lot of people have trouble getting into the band.

It was still well written though, and without any brutal paragraphs about castration.

Lelle
October 14th 2009


2156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think you could've gone in to more detail. You ignored the drums, bass, and lyrics and didn't really comment on Bannon's vocals other than them being the reason a lot of people have trouble getting into the band.


I don't think you should go into too much detail though. I did my last review with one paragraph per element (guitars, drums, vocals, bass, album as a whole) and people complained about it being too long. This is fine and well written, Pos'd

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2009


10494 Comments


best review of the converges so far. is there a requirement for every axe to fall review to include a reference to brutal beatings/murder/rape/what have you? it's like an unsaid rule

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

NebSnurb
October 14th 2009


535 Comments


I liked the review. I really liked the album. I hope to really like the previous releases of this band.

NebSnurb
October 14th 2009


535 Comments


One of the best things about this album is how each song leads into each other perfectly.

LepreCon
October 14th 2009


4141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Almost as good as Jane Doe

Prophet178
October 14th 2009


6397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best review yet.

Mordecai.
October 14th 2009


8279 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Nice to have some good reviews for this after reading Silverfag's

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 14th 2009


10611 Comments


Thanks for the pos everyone, im shocked no one has negged me for a 4, but it wasn't exactly a negative review. I went in giving it a 3 but the more i wrote and listened to it, i realized it was much better than that.



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