Review Summary: Converge returns to please their fans, with a rather predictable album.
The times comes when a band doesn't know what to do about themselves. They experiment a little down the road, but they ultimately don't feel comfortably with the direction the band takes. It doesn't feel right, they chicken out. The result? They come back to "their roots", and try to get back to a more familiar sound, which most of the time is closer to their best record. It feels natural, and somehow, fans are happy with it. It doesn't mean the result is bad; in fact, it can be pretty good. Good memories are always welcome, and when you get somehow the chance to re-live them, you take it. So you missed "Jane Doe"? You got it.
Ok, "Axe to Fall" is not "Jane Doe", and it's not intended to be. But it gets closer to it than anything after
their landmark album, and surprisingly enough, it gets the more entusiastic reviews since the aforementioned album. The comparisons are not in vain. In "Axe to Fail" you find Converge doing what they do best, and maybe that's the problem. The albums feels too safe. It doesn't want to dissapoint. It gives you what you want. The band becomes predictable.
Will I attempt to describe the album's sound? It would be redundant. It sounds like Converge. There are hints to "Jane Doe", to "You Fail Me" and to "No Heroes", and pretty much everything they've done before. The band is well aware of this, and maybe it's one of the reasons they got some guest musicians to "fresh" the sound. The album is not without great and interesting moments, especially towards the final three tracks (anything previous is old school Converge), but it's no spectacular stuff. "Cruel Blood" sounds for a moment like a Neurosis track, and guess what? Steve Von Till provides the vocals. "Wretched World" is the most interesting song on the album, and is featured at the very end. It sounds almost great just because it sounds so different from the others songs, but still it doesn't make up for the entire album.
If you want old school Converge, you have it. You'll find the drumming, the guitars, the screaming, the intensity you love. But very little else. For most people, it will be enough, but this is not a great album. I'd like to think Converge can continue to push the envelope a little more. But I don't know, maybe they're happy with their achievements. Maybe this is Converge's sound, once and for all. I'm pleased with the album, and I'm afraid it will be the reason I'll forget it in some months.
Reading over it again, you have the skeleton of a good review here. If the writing was stronger and/or there was more detail I'd probably pos this. It feels like you want to like this but just because it sounds like their previous albums, it's somehow disappointing (which doesn't exactly make sense to me). Plus, you called the album Axe to Fail and the song Cruel Blood, which says you rushed this.
I'm surprised this doesn't have more comments tbh. edit: nevermind
Well, I don't think 3 is a low rating. It's more than a 4 or 5 stars is too high. I didn't know there was a paragraph minimum to justify an opinion. I thought I made myself clear about why I think this album is just good. I didn't feel like writing a long winded review just to make across my point. Again, thanks for the comments.
I didn't know there was a paragraph minimum to justify an opinion. I thought I made myself clear about why I think this album is just good. I didn't feel like writing a long winded review just to make across my point. Again, thanks for the comments.
There isn't, and I've seen excellent reviews that are this long or slightly shorter. Pretty much all this review says is "This sounds like Converge being Converge and I don't like it that much". That's a soundoff.
So yeah - I'm not trying to be a jerk, but this once again does not prove your point. This reiterates your initial statement without any justification and does so in four paragraphs. I completely respect your opinion man, but I don't see your point because you don't back up what you're saying.
In one post (on the other review) you say you're "a newbie" to Converge - and than go on to say "A newcomer might find the album impressive, but a long time fan knows this is average for Converge". If you are in fact a "newbie" to Converge, why are you trying to justify your opinion as a long time fan? None of this adds up to a (insert whatever rating). Like I said - I respect your opinion and my life will certainly go on with wherever you hold this - but maybe try putting your reasoning into this review or even posts at that if you are going to make such bold statements.
Hi again, War. I really appreciate your comments, but I guess we can't understand each other. I agree on one thing with you: I haven't listened to this album for long enough to make a definitive statement about it. It doesn't stop other reviewers for giving it 4 or 5 stars, though.
Time can change everything and maybe in a year I'll think this is their masterpiece, who knows. I was just trying to give a different perspective, coming from someone who doesn't feel the need to herald it as a great album, and who is very pleased to have discovered this band. And with all due respect, I don't think reason proves anything in music. If you still think my opinion is unfounded, there's nothing I can do about it. I can't do better.
I appreciate your respectful manners, since we can have a healthy discussion, but I'll admit you know the band better than me. Still..it's just a good album!
I appreciate the good conversation as well, so thanks. Also - I 100% agree with the fact that it does work both ways - and a lot of times people give things too high of ratings too soon so I understand where you're coming from!