Review Summary: One of the angriest, most brutal albums you will EVER hear #1 on Sputnik's top albums of the decade list
Listening to Converge’s Jane Doe
is an experience reminiscent of watching the movie Irreversible.
If you’ve ever seen that movie, you know exactly the scene I am talking about
: the gorgeous Monica Bellucci is viciously anally raped and when her attacker is finished raping her, he then proceeds to beat her face in with kicks, punches and smashing her into the concrete. You get the feeling that that’s just what Jacob Bannon would like to do to this “Jane Doe” but instead he aims that anger at a different target: the listener. Indeed, Bannon violates the listener’s ear canal and after “finishing”, he then bashes their face into the ground until he is exhausted and can do no more damage.
Converge blends punk, hardcore, metal and adds their rage to create one of the most emotional albums in recent memory for you can feel Bannon’s pain in his screams. Is it pain or is it anger? Has he moved on from being heartbroken in is now just angry? From the sound
of his voice, he is clearly full of anger but his lyrics suggest differently. The lyrics are those of a man who has had his heart ripped out of his chest and stomped on but the vocals are those of a man who has been mortally wounded, has nothing left to lose and is looking to inflict the same kind of pain onto someone else. In this case, the listener who gets the full brunt of his wrath.
‘Hell to Pay’ is a slower song that gives you the impression of Bannon’s anger subsiding but he is merely catching his breath, it’s just a small reprieve for the assault that is to come. You figure that since he is done sodomizing you, his work is done and you can now leave to nurse your wounds (and bleeding rectum) but no such luck. ‘Homewrecker’ follows it up and there is a line here that really sums up this album: “rah rah rah raaaah.”
If you can’t relate to something like that then you clearly haven’t had much of a life. If you’re a male and at least 20 years old, you have had your heart broken by a women (or a man, who am I to judge?) and you know exactly what Jacob Bannon was feeling when he wrote that song.
What stands out most about Jane Doe
are clearly the lyrics and the vocals but the they don’t overshadow the brilliant, intricate guitar riffs as shown on ‘Heaven In Her Arms.’ Perhaps overwhelmed by their anger, the train seems to come off the tracks for Converge on ‘Phoenix In Flight’ which is easily the weakest track on the album the brutality resumes and ‘Thaw’ gives you the impression (hope?) that the end is near. Which brings us to the grand finale: ‘Jane Doe.’ The title track may not exactly be what you where expecting based on the rest of the album and you may be expecting something different because it’s the album closer but that’s what makes it so brilliant: you don’t se it coming. You were probably expecting it to be the fastest, most brutal track on the album but it’s actually one if the slowest, still full of rage and brutality but unlike the rest of the album and has the perfect closing lyrics: “rawr rawrz raaaaaah”
I couldn’t have said it better myself, I really couldn’t.
really makes you wonder what this “Jane Doe” must have done to inspire such venom, but in the end, Bannon and company are the clear winners here for they took a negative and turned it into… well something very
negative which is the anger on this album but it turned out to be the defining moment of their musical careers. Maybe she made a contest on a website that worships this album and tried to give away one of their albums? I can’t imagine anything worse than that.