Review Summary: A very "Converge" Converge album; they came close to the pinnacle on this one.
Tis a lovely day, the sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, the birds are singing, and to my pleasant surprise, Converge released their new album, “All We Love We Leave Behind”. When I first caught word of its release, I automatically just had a feeling that Converge had done it again; I mean honestly, is there a band as hauntingly consistent as Converge in the music industry? Not that I’ve ever heard. Converge should be placed in the dictionary as an alternative meaning to consistency because they display their best work with everything they touch. I’m not being a fanboy; I’m just looking at the facts put before me. Converge are damn consistent. With the exception of Halo in a Haystack, every single release with their legendary name on it has received some sort of critical acclaim. It’s truly ridiculous.
Does it stack up to their other material though? Hell yes it does. It towers over releases like “No Heroes” and “When Forever Comes Crashing”, does leaps and bounds past “Petitioning” and “Axe to Fall” and remains erect beside the monolithic “You Fail Me”, though still leagues away from the unsurpassable “Jane Doe”. “All We Love…” is album of the year material. Yeah, it’s been said by others but it NEEDS to be said. Unless some surprise hardcore stalwart releases a complete golden egg of an LP, Converge will have the AOTY throne.
Continuing on to the content, busting out of the gates like a thoroughbred with rocket boosters attached to its back; “Aimless Arrow” and “Trespasses” fly by in autobahn fashion with Lamborghini Murci’ quickness. “Aimless…” is similar to “Last Light” off of “You Fail Me” but don’t worry, this isn’t “You Fail Me 2”. “Trespasses” comes with more of that trademark Converge combustibility factor; Jacob Bannon’s hellish growl exhibits an intensity only matched by Jon Chang of Discordance Axis (check them out, by the way). All of the elements of a great hardcore release are here.
The different qualities of the album compared to their other releases can be encapsulated in one song; “A Glacial Pace”. This song, though possessing all of the usual facets of Converge’s chaos-ridden manifestation, is different. It’s relatively melodic as opposed to in your face. This showcases the band’s songwriting ability in prime condition at a veteran stage in their career. From there the demolition of the senses resumes with “No Light Escapes”, one of my personal favorites off the LP. Another balls out sprint from the get go, the air-raid siren of a riff that appears in the verse is infectious. The song bursts along into a slower section with a SECOND infectious riff. This is a highlight because of Kurt Ballou and his genius contributions.
I would like to take a minute and say something about drummer Ben Koller and his considerably amazing performance on the skins. This man plays damn fast and can also lay a groove down on certain tracks making him pretty versatile as a kit player, don’t you say? He expresses his general expertise of rudiments and metrics throughout the duration of the LP and though I’m only picking this out exclusively because I play the drums, this is a major selling point of the album. Don't deny it; you heard the fill in "On Your Shield" and lost your *** too.(go check it out if you haven't; it's around the 2 minute mark). The drumming is the best of any album in the Converge discography. I repeat, these are the best drum tracks of Ben Koller’s illustrious career on the drum set.
In conclusion, Converge deliver like they always have and if calculations are correct, they maybe always will. Never have I seen a band so ridiculously consistent with their albums and I don’t think I will after this. Converge deserve all the praise in the world with the release of “All We Love…” for it is not only an album but a monument or a memory forever preserving Converge’s legacy as the most consistent hardcore band to walk the planet. I reccomend you listen to this now, but you probably didn't need a review telling you that. You probably already are listening for all I care, and for that I commend you. You've made the right choice.