Converge
Live at the BBC


3.0
good

Review

by Nash J. CONTRIBUTOR (39 Reviews)
February 21st, 2014 | 42 replies


Release Date: 02/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A satisfying purchase, despite being a rather unengaging listen.

“Patience” is a concept I have never been able to fully grasp. When I desire something, “patiently” waiting for it is hardly ever an option. One band that has me impatiently slamming my head against a wall in anticipation for a new LP is Converge, a legendary hardcore band from Massachusetts. Given that Converge have not yet made a statement on the status of their next LP, it is hard to be overly-excited about the band’s newest release, a limited 7” EP entitled Live At the BBC. While it is not, by any stretch, what fans have been craving impatiently since Converge’s last LP in 2012, this live EP has a surprisingly adequate amount to offer.

Recorded August 2010 at BBC’s Maida Vale Studio in London, Live At the BBC contains four renditions of tracks taken from their albums You Fail Me and Axe to Fall. Although the songs themselves are undoubtedly stellar, the album’s sound quality leaves something to be desired. The bass and drums generally stand out above all else on each song, often muddying the vocals and obscuring the guitars to the point where the riff becomes difficult to make out. As a result, each song loses much of its vigor during their intense sections, making the chorus of “Dark Horse” and the entirety of “Axe to Fall” sound extremely dull. Only “Damages” is unscathed by the production, likely due the song’s bass-driven nature. The album’s highlight, however, is closer “Hanging Moon.” Unlike the studio version on You Fail Me, this self-described “rare” rendition of “Hanging Moon” features electric guitars as opposed to acoustic. As one can expect, this completely alters the tone of the song, causing it to sound darker and grittier than its counterpart, which leaned more towards the melodic and emotional side of the spectrum. Despite its brief running time, the electrified version of “Hanging Moon” gives the song new insight, and is truly a fascinating listen for die hard fans of Converge’s work. As for the band’s performance on the album, there is little to complain about. Each member displays a jaw-dropping amount of energy on every track, especially vocalist Jacob Bannon whose delivery ranges from high-pitched moans to grotesque, low-pitched growls. Drummer Ben Koller puts forth a commendable effort as well, with aggressive drumbeats highlighting every song. In spite of the band’s excellent performance on the album, however, the overall sound quality of the music is rather unremarkable.

As far as EPs go, Live At the BBC is far from an essential purchase. For fans who simply cannot get enough Converge, however, this EP may be worth every penny. Clearly, the music itself is only a secondary reason to buy the album; if one were to purchase this, he or she is most likely doing so for its value as a collectible. In fact, it can be argued that the artwork alone makes the album worth purchasing. Without a doubt, Live At the BBC’s artwork is among one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous album covers to be released in recent years, and a 7” vinyl displaying such a cover will likely become a much sought-after collector’s item in the near future. In addition, the inclusion of an electrified rendition of “Hanging Moon” also gives the album a unique identity, as the electrified track is found nowhere else in the band’s discography.

The album's sound quality is detrimentally flawed, and its running length (clocking in at under ten minutes) is tragically brief. However, the rarity of the songs themselves, coupled with the bands energetic performance, is enough to make Live At the BBC a satisfying purchase and a worthwhile addition to a dedicated fan’s library. Plus, there’s always that lovely, lovely artwork...



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user ratings (34)
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2.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014


5829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Short album, short review. First one I've written in a while, but I'm satisfied with how it turned
out. Still, as always I would love feedback on anything I can improve on.

For those interested, this album is currently being streamed. As for the 7"'s, I believe the websites
are all sold out. However, I read that they will be available for retail in March, so don't
despair.

Digging: Moonsorrow - V: Havitetty

oltnabrick
February 20th 2014


30852 Comments


first for judio :]

Digging: Prurient - Bermuda Drain

MusicPlayer
February 20th 2014


96 Comments


yes nice ihihihihihi

LordePots
February 20th 2014


6631 Comments


preeeetyyy arrrt

Digging: Just Friends - Avalanche

XingKing
February 20th 2014


10596 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What an unbelievable waste of beautiful artwork

LordePots
February 20th 2014


6631 Comments


probs

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014


5829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Why they didn't just save this artwork for their next LP is beyond me

Gwyn.
February 20th 2014


15101 Comments


I may get a poster of the cover bc its beautful but that 4-song setlist is a joke so pass as far as the music goes


good rev tho ;^)

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014


5829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, Gwyn. I would love to get a poster of this artwork. The tracks aren't actually too bad,
though, even if there are only four of them.

IronGiant
February 20th 2014


814 Comments


nitpicking here but be careful of assigning plurality to singular nouns

"if one were to purchase this, they are most likely doing so for its value as a collectible item"

"they" should be "he" or "she", since the noun is "one".

as far as actual content goes however, it was a solid read. hope I don't come off as a grammar nazi, just thought it'd be dick to notice and not tell you so you could fix it. good review judio

XingKing
February 20th 2014


10596 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Having that art on a poster or shirt would be marvelous but I never want to hear this again

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2014


5829 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I appreciate your pointing that out, IronGiant. Usually I'm pretty good about that in my writing, but it had completely escaped
my mind this time. Will fix that soon, your nitpicks are always appreciated :]

YakNips
February 21st 2014


10896 Comments


Oh cool this is out :D

Digging: Yung Lean - Unknown Memory

laughingman22
February 21st 2014


1682 Comments


sweet review

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Gwyn.
February 21st 2014


15101 Comments


"Thanks, Gwyn. I would love to get a poster of this artwork. The tracks aren't actually too bad,
though, even if there are only four of them."

I like the songs, and they sound fine as it is in their albums. A 4 song tracklist of shit I've already listened to but probably with a worse sound sounds like a waste of time to me, I listened to Damages and hated it. So yea won't be listening to it. I hope they have a poster or shirt or even just a wristband with that art tho I can't stop looking at it

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2014


6111 Comments


Explain the summary pls

Futures
February 21st 2014


10773 Comments


A worthwhile purchase? Maybe. A worthwhile listen? Absolutely.

That sounds better imo Judio.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

XingKing
February 21st 2014


10596 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm pretty sure the summary means that this isn't worth listening to but it's worth owning simply for the sleeve art

Futures
February 21st 2014


10773 Comments


Haha that is possible

Veldin
February 21st 2014


1212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Insanely amazing artwork.

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