Converge
Axe to Fall


4.5
superb

Review

by LargeTuna USER (7 Reviews)
April 29th, 2010 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The last two are the glue.

My girlfriend explained to me once why she enjoyed hearing a particular speaker talk. She said that throughout the main body of his speech, she was always wondering what the point was or where the speech was going. But, at the very end, the speaker would say something that made the entire talk click instantly. This is exactly what happens on Converge’s latest record, Axe to Fall. The first eleven tracks on the album are excellent, but they do not distinguish themselves noticeably from the band’s previous works. However, as soon as the last two tracks are over the album is shed with a new light and an almost immediate re-listen is required. Talk about replay value.

This is not to say, though, that Axe to Fall is without standout tracks elsewhere on the album. The opener “Dark Horse” is a monster of a song, beginning and ending with a fast and technical guitar riff, and supplemented in the middle of the song by a waves-crashing-over-you breakdown complete with Jacob Bannon’s ever-piercing shriek. “Damages” is another highlight, shaking off the typical Converge fury for a marching guitar and guest vocals from folk artist Tim Cohen. Tenth track “Cutter” is a heavy hitter as well, portraying the band at their quickest yet most efficient with its short 1:40 playtime.

Lyrically the album is great, and Jacob Bannon solidifies himself as one of the best extreme music wordsmiths. The lyrics are obviously not thrown in superficially after writing the songs, which unfortunately seems to be the case with many other extreme acts. Rather, they are clearly part of the songwriting process and fit spectacularly with both the mood of the album and the angst of Bannon’s vocals. The flow and imagery of the line “The blood in my eyes has taught me to defeat/The beasts at the feet of saint obscurity” from “Slave Driver” or the impassioned cry of “Dark horse ride/Toward the light” from “Dark Horse” are just two examples of Bannon’s expertise.

But what makes Axe to Fall superb is the last two tracks. They seem at first not to fit in with the frantic sound of Converge, but their glory is in the rest they provide from the ceaseless barrage of heaviness found on the other tracks of the album. The honky-tonk piano of “Cruel Bloom” and the oddly distorted guitar notes of “Wretched World” are reminders that Converge is not a band settling to just make music; they strive to create art through their chaos. They grab hold of you and demand you pay attention, and the slower pace of the two songs also allows time to reflect on what you’ve just heard on the preceding tracks. The repeated lyric of “my wretched world” in the last track instigates another listen in order to understand exactly why the world is so wretched. And on the next listen when the guitar explodes at 3:00 of “Cruel Bloom” you understand. Converge’s Axe to Fall is sublime, and the final two outputs of the album are the glue that holds it together.



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user ratings (2309)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BigTuna
April 29th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Obviously the album didn't need another review, I'm just trying to get used to reviewing. Helpful criticism would be awesome!

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

YouAreMySilence
April 29th 2010


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sup Tuna.

BigTuna
April 29th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

sup Silence

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2010


16466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rocks.

YouAreMySilence
April 29th 2010


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album is amazing.

Foxhound
April 29th 2010


4570 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dark Horse is definitely a monster.

Edwin
April 30th 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review man. Agreed, about the last two songs.

ShadowRemains
April 30th 2010


21317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dark Horse=WinWinWinWinWin...

Bleekill
April 30th 2010


832 Comments


EFFIGIESSSS.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

awesome album, pretty unique take on it. pos'

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Captain North
April 30th 2010


6791 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Riff on Losing Battle is epic.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2010


7026 Comments


I rarely listen to the last two tracks, I'm not much of a fan of 'slower' Converge. And Losing Battle is awesome, such an underrated track.

Inveigh
April 30th 2010


25097 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love your perspective on this album, reflects a lot of how I feel about it. Cruel Bloom is just so damn good. possssss

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

Greggers
April 30th 2010


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome review

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
April 30th 2010


7401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent review excellent album pos'd

Lambda
April 30th 2010


2465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, pos'd. Wretched World is great.

BigTuna
April 30th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks all, I am happy because YOU are happy

InFiction
May 21st 2010


3704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review. I love the eerie repeated notes in 'Wretched World'.

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Dryden
May 21st 2010


13120 Comments


so eerie

Relinquished
May 21st 2010


25489 Comments


eerie



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