Converge
Jane Doe


5.0
classic

Review

by laterenima USER (3 Reviews)
December 18th, 2011 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Something I needed to do for a radio thing. It's not entirely a review, but it basically functions as one.

For how highly I consider this album and its effect on certain parts of my life, a mere 5 minutes to describe something so iconic, so establishing almost makes me feel as though I’m insulting it. The vision and the shape and the dissonant beauty all converge (haha) to create one of the more astonishingly cathartic pieces of music ever engineered. I’ve written pages upon pages of different thoughts on this, and the constant rearranging combinations of words and sentences to better fit something more around the 5 minute mark have all ended in saddened and frustrated disappointment. I’m wasting time here VIA this pointless introduction though, so I’ll just cut to the chase - Converge are metalcore’s undisputed pioneers, and their 2001 opus 'Jane Doe' a pinnacle of an unfortunately maligned genre.

Remember that girl that dumped you so unexpectedly and for no reason? What about that one you were hopelessly infatuated with, yet due to your lack of confidence you merely looked at her admiringly from a distance, or better yet you Facebook-stalked her? Don’t say you haven’t been there, don’t say you can’t relate or maybe I’m just weird... fear not though, broken-hearted - something other than The Cure’s 'Disintegration' exists for your ailing cause. She’s readily available too, despite the fact that she’s a disembodied, blotchy head on an album cover that looks sinisterly down upon anyone with those sultrily half-closed eyes. She’s still always there, though. For all the broken hearts, the drunken hookups where you thought there was something more, just little bit more than just a slimy kiss on the dance-floor, or the breakups you seem to reluctantly fall in love with thinking of every frigging scrutinizing detail about - rest assured dudes, she’s always gonna there.

Many who have heard the album would agree that it is one of the harshest and naturally unlistenable pieces of music ever created, and rightfully so - its sole purpose is to resonate with those primal feelings of all-consuming hatred experienced after, say... a “dissolving relationship” or an “emotional fallout”, to quote frontman Jacob Bannon on the album’s lyrical content. Elements as far removed from the overall sound of hardcore such as 80s post-punk blend seamlessly with the grind-influenced hardcore-punk that Converge trademarked as the core sound in the late 90s. Jane Doe extends these roots to fruition, finally bringing metalcore to a sort of underground mainstream as it gained widespread attention from various sources such as Kerrang and Pitchfork Media. Admittedly, Botch’s 'We Are the Romans' came before Jane Doe as a shining light in metalcore, yet the latter was the album that catalyzed the genre’s explosion into mainstream heavy circles.

To choose only two songs that epitomize the imperfect perfection that is Jane Doe is almost as criminal as my decision to cite it as my favorite album that I may only ever be able to talk about professionally for 5 minutes. Nevertheless, these songs are the breakneck, punky ‘Homewrecker’ and the revolutionary title track, which comes as close to sludgecore as Neurosis did on their third album, 'Souls at Zero'.

‘Homewrecker’, like many of the other songs on the album, begins in an incomparably brutal fashion. Few of the other songs can be said to have something resembling a chorus, however. One of punk’s defining features lies in the shriek-alongs that are chanted by the crowd in the moshpit as the singers give their vocal chords a much-needed recuperation. ‘Homewrecker’ is no different, as “NO LOVE / NO HOPE” has become something of an anthem for Converge. The cannonball sent in this fiercely repeated message is short but not sweet, yet it loses none of its poignancy. Call it a discordant beauty for sure, but this kind is unusually found in its simplicity.

The title track leaves absolutely nothing behind, often cited amongst the band’s faithful fans as the entire discography’s crowning achievement. A slower brand of the band’s sound was experimented with on the band’s prior records, yet was never quite perfected until this. Even without the sound, the song’s sheer statistics are imposing. I can recall ripping the album from the CD and listening to it all the way through, and looking at Track 12 as though it were the elephant in the room. In many ways, it still is. Shivers... no, shatters are still sent down my spine when I look at the tracklist and think of everything that comes before it, all songs converging (haha) into something that feels like a sharply monolithic 11:34s of conflicting yet seamless noise. From the sludgy verses and wails that feel never-ending in the choruses to the consciousness-blasting fade-out, I have never heard such a musically diverse cohesiveness.

So, even though I feel I’m nearing the end of my allocated 5 minutes, I’m sure it goes without saying that I could talk for much longer and I desperately hope that I get the chance to bring my thoughts to more minds than just my friends, as Jane Doe stands alone as an instantly recognizable icon for those who know of it. Sure, the album is by no means for everyone to listen to and take what I have from it as its inaccessibility could be seen as a detriment, yet to ignore its existence is to neglect an aspect of humanity. The sounds and messages revealed by the purely painstakingly therapeutic sound of the album are enough to reawaken those parts of the emotional spectrum most people would rather forget.

For those who consider themselves to be musically knowledgeable and eclectic yet bypass this with that natural ignorance to heavy music which many seem to have, they are overlooking an essential part of what the subjective experience of music has become.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
December 18th 2011


5228 Comments


Pos'd.

Digging: Antarctigo Vespucci - I'm So Tethered

laterenima
December 18th 2011


221 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

cheers bro!

Tyrael
December 18th 2011


20930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nooooooo

but good review

Tyrael
December 18th 2011


20930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dammit Fade I thought that you of all people would see how insignificant this album is

dimsim3478
December 18th 2011


5228 Comments


Dude, you think that's long??

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/44602/Converge-Axe-To-Fall/

iFghtffyrdmns
December 18th 2011


7047 Comments


WHEN YOU ARE UNDER MY ROOF
DON'T EVER SAY ROCK AND ROLL






that's these guys
right?

Blackbelt54
December 18th 2011


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pos'd

Piglet
December 18th 2011


4659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude, you think that's long??

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/44602/Converge-Axe-To-Fall/

Dude you think that's long!?
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/9625/Metallica-Master-Of-Puppets/

sixdegrees
December 18th 2011


17234 Comments


nice wall of text. This could use another 5 review.

Digging: Swinging Popsicle - Fennec!

taylormemer
December 18th 2011


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol MM8 back in da house.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2011


22025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tyraelxy who's that in your avatar?

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Tyrael
December 18th 2011


20930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

tyraelxy who's that in your avatar?

Béatrice Martin, also known as Cœur De Pirate (my dig :] )

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2011


22025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

she cute

Piglet
December 18th 2011


4659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

very.

xfearbefore
December 18th 2011


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of the few albums I sincerely wish I liked alot more than I actually do. Have listened to this dozens of times and it never rises higher than a 3 for me.

booreno62
December 18th 2011


69 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

We've all had breakups, not sure why this album seems to be at the forefront of or the apparent greatest "music to be angry to".

Piglet
December 18th 2011


4659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

We've all had breakups, not sure why this album seems to be at the forefront of or the apparent greatest "music to be angry to".

it's not that angry in comparison to some music.
Oh and Jane Doe is probably the best metalcore song to exist.

GodL1ke
December 18th 2011


804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is actually more than just a breakup album but the theme is irrelevant anyway, if you dont like the music nothing can change that

booreno62
December 18th 2011


69 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I can understand why people enjoy this album, it just happens that I can't. I've listened to it three times in about a two year period. I can't understand why some people act like this is the angriest album ever created and should be hailed as such.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2011


50703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Only 3 times

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River



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