A followup album to a critically acclaimed album is undoubtedly tough. If you do it wrong, you fall into the dreaded “not as good as 'x' album” pit. However, Converge figured out how to avoid this problem... kinda.
You Fail Me is the followup to Jane Doe – the album that is widely heralded as a metalcore classic. Instead of following Jane Doe by trying to replicate their previous sound, Converge took a new approach to their style. The result of such experimentation is a dark, dense, sludgy and atmospheric album. No longer relying on lightning riffs and drums being played at breakneck speeds, instead you get a slightly slower, but by no means less intense sound.
The album kicks off with an intro track entitled “First Light”, which bleeds into the first real song - “Last Light” sets the mood for the majority of the album. It begins with yells and cries for help and ends with hammering riffs and Bannon's signature screams. In typical Converge fashion, the album flows from track to track almost seamlessly.
From “Last Light” to the title track you are bombarded with their bleak atmosphere. Then when you think you think you have gotten used to the pace of the album, they throw in “In Her Shadow”. The aforementioned song is a slow acoustic track which features Bannon actually singing for a change. While it may kill the momentum that the album previously had, it does far from hold back the album. I personally like the track because it changes the pace of the album and gives it more depth. But those of you who are not fond of their soft work, you don't have much to worry about. The album picks up right where it left off with “Eagles Become Vultures” and finishes with some of the fastest and most hardcore influenced songs of the album.
You Fail Me is one of Converge's best works. While it may not be as influential as Jane Doe, it certainly is a superb album and is one of the most original metalcore albums I have heard yet.