All We Love We Leave Behind
As I write this review for Converge’s latest album, looking back at it retrospectively, I feel like I needed this album like I needed no other. As in, its so uncompromising, with at times absolutely vicious guitars, and with lyrics of the heart that seem so bleak, so cutting, and yet refreshing honest. Yes, it’s a little weird for me to write this intro for the upcoming review as though it’s a summary, but I genuinely have to put how I felt about it into context. Its full potential didn’t quite hit me at first, until one day, stressed out and in a state of chaotic commutive flux, that it’s full power roared through me.
But make no mistake; Converge have returned here still relevant, still influential, now on album number eight. They go through fourteen tracks inside thirty eight minutes and there’s not a bad moment to pick out from them. Sure, many will consider 2001’s ‘Jane Doe’ as their magnum opus, but there’s plenty here to more than satisfy even the neediest Converge fan. From the regretful sorrow of ‘Aimless Arrow’ to the savage beatings of ‘Trespasses’ and ‘Tender Abuse’, ‘All We Love…’ starts off with a bang and showcases the Massachusetts crew’s mastery of their craft through its versatile approach to their style. Kurt Ballou further proves himself to be one of the most dynamic guitarists around, whether throwing in sledgehammers on the likes of ‘Shame in the Way’, or the athletic boardwork on the title-track. And Jacob Bannon yet again proves one of the best hardcore vocalists around, shifting around the deep of ‘Coral Blue’ and exemplifying his ferocity in numerous other places, with every howl and wretch.
‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ is a surefire contender for album of the year, words to easily banded around these days. But I genuinely expect this album to be in the shake-up come the year end, in many people’s lists. After the relative disappointment of ‘Axe to Fall’, a largely good album simply bloated by too many guests, Converge have gone to a back to basics approach which pays dividends all ends up, leaving a trail of contemporaries and young wolves in the dust.
Buy ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ here
Stream it below:
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind (album stream)