is often regarded by many fans of Converge
as their greatest achievement. Everything about the album seems to flow seamlessly and every member of the band pours all of their emotion and ability into the melting pot to fuse what is, quite simply, a classic album. The album has everything that defines what the band are; intense screaming from Bannon, crushing riffs from the guitars, insane drumming and beautifully crafted (and undecipherable for the most part) lyrics. Plus, the bass throughout the album has a strong presence and killer tone - altogether, this album is simply perfect.
Obviously if you have just read the opening paragraph and are not a fan of brutal music, you are likely to disagree with me. Nevertheless, whether you find this to be just noise or not, nobody can deny the impact Converge
have had on the underground music scene, especially with this album. What makes it so brilliant isn't just the fact that all the tracks are great; it is the fact that as a whole, they flow superbly much like a concept album. In fact, the album does indeed appear to be a concept album. Lyrically, the album focuses on issues to do with heartbreak and the separation from a partner. Musically, the album simply wants to put you up against the wall and beat you senseless until you plead for mercy. That statement is backed up best with the album's opener Concubine
. Who would have thought the perfect opener would have been compressed in to a measly one minute and eighteen seconds. The song has it all; memorable, brutal riffs, some absolutely insane drumming and incredibly intense vocals from Bannon. Disregard all of the hardcore vocalists you classify as extreme if you are unfamilar with Converge
; Jacob Bannon defines the word.
Fault and Fracture
is basically a continuation of the album opener - so much so that the two songs were released together as a single. The sheer brutality of these two tracks together is earth-shattering. Anybody unfamiliar with heavy music of any form would simply be floored by this. Whilst not quite as extreme as Concubine
, the drumming and memorable technical guitar riff is the definition of amicable destruction. The band are as tight as ever, with Ben Koller throwing in some ridiculously fast drum fills and Kurt Ballou tearing his guitar apart. Of course, Bannon's furious yells are as fantastic as ever - together with the intricacy and intelligence of his lyrics, the album's brilliance is largely due to his frantic shrieks.
Distance and Meaning
opens up with a quirky, dissonant guitar riff before launching into a much calmer (it is far from calm still) track. The best bit is when the instruments die down slightly and you can hear the hi-hat clicks of Koller and the eerie whispering of Bannon - before your eardums are massacred with an explosion of fury and possibly my most favourite feedback recording ever. Hell To Pay
is a slow moving track, with bass being the main focal point. Nate Newton's bass sounds thick and sludgy, giving way to a great sounding tone which suits the band perfectly. Not much happens here to be honest. But Homewrecker
brings the album back up to full throttle. Lyrically, vocally and instrumentally, it is definitely one of the standout moments of Jane Doe
. Some truly brilliant guitar riffs here and sumptous drumming from Koller. The chorus is simply brilliant where several drum fills help glue together some kick ass riffs and howls from Ballou and Bannon respectively. The Broken Vow
, Bitter and Then Some
and Heaven In Her Arms
are simply more showcases of the band at dangerously high brutality levels. Bannon sounds demonic on a number of tracks on Jane Doe
- but the two track pairing of Phoenix In Flight
and Phoenix In Flames
are the best displays of his remarkable screams. The latter is simply drums and vocals; Bannon sounds demented beyond help and it sounds awesome. The track flows wonderfully into another gem in the form of Thaw
. Intensity is kept up thorughout and you can almost feel the emotion from Bannon's vocals overpower you as he screams his way along with the tight playing of his bandmates. However, the best has definitely been saved until last.
concludes with a masterpiece in the form of the title track. Much like the elation felt when the final piece of a puzzle is placed and the picture completed (maybe I only experience this, being a fifteen year old with very little to do), once Jane Doe
begins you are in awe at the work of brilliance that lies before you. Put quite simply, the eponymously named track is incredible; twelve minutes of pure emotion. There is even a solo like section! Whilst not as fast paced as maybe the early stages of the album, the intensity is unmatched; drums, guitars, bass and vocals all collide and amalgamate into one huge slab of killer material. To be honest, it is difficult to describe something so awesome. I recommend at the very least you download this but you should really go out and buy this if you have not got it already.
So there you have it - a masterpiece and probably the opus of Converge
. I would recommend this to anybody who likes music to be intelligent, emotionally driven and most of all, brutal. Jane Doe
has to be heard to be fully experienced - once you have digested it, it will possibly become one of the best albums of your collection.
Fault and Fracture
But really, the whole album is fantastic and I would recommend all of it.