Converge
You Fail Me Redux


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Robertson STAFF
September 8th, 2017 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist


You Fail Me may be the best album in Converge’s sparkling discography, and You Fail Me Redux is a wholesale improvement on the original. Taking 2004’s Alan Douches-helmed scuzzfest--an angry and strange and unforgettable album--into his own hands, Kurt Ballou proceeded to make it sound like the other Converge records he’s produced, the excellent pair of 2009’s Axe to Fall and 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind primary among them. And the record opened up.

Sans tense minute-long drone opener “First Light,” the differences are immediately apparent in “Last Light,” one of the most moving second-person paeans Converge has ever written; here, Jacob Bannon’s throaty pleas fling out onto the sonic landscape weaved by Ben Koller’s octopus-arms drumming and thickly ominous guitar and bass. The cleanly recorded climax (“This is for the hearts still beating!” Bannon screams, as if it were his task to revive them) feels like it vanquishes any claim to a superior rawness or authenticity on the part of the original: what else is this but the sound of a band marshaling its collective emotion to mesh with their instrumental chops, so that the last thirty seconds of “Last Light” sounds like a little prefiguration--you know, jus’ for fun--of Liturgy, or whatever, but way better than Liturgy (or whatever)?

You should know that “Last Light” leads directly into the swirling locust swarm of “Black Cloud”. “Black Cloud” features the best Ballou/Newton vocal ever--and yes, Redux allows you to hear the whack of phlegm against the throat on this beauty. And then “Drop Out” opens with the most slammin’ riff and functions as a masterclass in Converge’s songwriting technique at its best, demonstrating their proficiency at quickly modulating the mood of a song while continuously ratcheting up the intensity. Yet again we see the production bequeath to the music its proper energy, culminating in an epic second half in which Bannon, over needling guitars, wails one of his simplest nihilistic assertions: “Drop out!” You won't hear a more thrilling ten minutes of music in the entire metalcore canon (unless it's maybe the beginning of Axe to Fall, or Jane Doe...).

The second half of You Fail Me is considerably more perplexing, operating in starts and fits and throwing a few instrumental wrenches into the machine, most particularly on the gorgeous and appealingly gnomic closer “Hanging Moon”. But though its pleasures are more withdrawn, they too are indelible when given their turn. The almost funky opening strut to “Heartless” sleekly transforms into the glacial pace of live favorite “You Fail Me”. And though I don’t think anyone will complain when the band doesn’t bust out “In Her Shadow” for their (amazing) live show, it does lead into the spectacular metalcore hoedown “Eagles Become Vultures”.



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user ratings (213)
Chart.
4.5
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2017


15512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good alb

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2017


7547 Comments


album stream: http://convergecult.bandcamp.com/album/you-fail-me-redux

My avatar in white

Need to listen to this one.

Demon of the Fall
September 8th 2017


2218 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, a review. Stellar remaster, prefer it to the original.

Digging: Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children

AsleepInTheBack
September 8th 2017


4700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review is correct. Other than how JD is better

Wildhoney
September 8th 2017


82 Comments


also prefer it to the original. good to see you writing again.

tcat84
September 8th 2017


1130 Comments


I honestly haven't even got around to listening to this over the original, well haven't listened to the original in a while either...

This is the album that got me into them, I shall jam this henceforth!

Ponton
Emeritus
September 8th 2017


6114 Comments


this was always my fav converge album. I didnt even know this existed

Digging: Brand New - Science Fiction

deathschool
September 8th 2017


21804 Comments


It's actually worth checking. I'm not much for rereleased shit, but the mix on here is undeniably superior.

And nice review.

AsleepInTheBack
September 8th 2017


4700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Actually, re-reading this review, it feels incomplete. Why does it end quite as abruptly as it does? And why is it quite so track by track / directionless / descriptive? I mean, of course it's well written, but it just feels structurally flawed.

Tunaboy45
September 9th 2017


15496 Comments


One of the rare remasters that elevates the original work. Nice review.

Digging: The National - Sleep Well Beast

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
September 9th 2017


2542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this is a great remaster of one of the bands weaker efforts imo. This makes the original almost unlistenable

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2017


15512 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@asleepintheback



no doubt man, and I gotta work on it. but I've just been reviewing shit sort of just to do it and get words on a page and then provide discussion points for these albums (none of redux, swoon, larry levan, and richard and linda thompson which i've reviewed in the past few days had reviews) but i'll get better bro! thank u for the constructive crit

AsleepInTheBack
September 9th 2017


4700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hey that's fair play mate. your review certainly provides discussion points (near all of which I agree with you on to be honest), so that goal you meet. just a little conclusion to round it all off would have gone a long was to improving everything I took issue with. mega props to you as a staffer for taking cc though, nice to be able to have friendly discourse

jesterhead92
September 9th 2017


3398 Comments


Yea this is a great remix, makes a huge difference. Almost as much as Dir en grey's Uroboros remastered

Gyromania
September 9th 2017


22709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yeah Alex! Best converge.



The redux rules, except for the title track, which is lacking the atmosphere and overall production tricks of the original

Wildcardbitchesss
September 9th 2017


160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Eh always thought the t/t was overrated. Amazing album tho, one of their best.

GooGooGajoob
September 9th 2017


94 Comments


100% this might be their best album. it is for me!

Sinternet
September 10th 2017


14476 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

easily their best album

Digging: Circa Survive - The Amulet

MotokoKusanagi
September 11th 2017


956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

the remastering is amazing on this, haven't listened to the original lately but from what i remember i prefer this

Lelle
September 11th 2017


2333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

T/T and possibly last light are preferrable in their original mix, everything else is better on Redux. (In my opinion)



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