Equal Vision Records
he proper method to accurately write a Converge review:
Begin by mentioning all pertinent facts. Converge is (mostly) an ‘easy to handle’ mix of metal, punk and rock music, in odd time signatures. The band is contains members of other Massachusetts outfits, such as Piebald and Cave In and features the guitar work of Kurt Ballou, one of the best producers in hardcore (credits include Pg.99 “Document #8”, Hassan I Sabbah’s self titled 7”, Cave In “Until Your heart Stops“, et cetera) who also worked on this album at his own God City Studios.
Include a play-by play of each track on the CD. Be sure to mention how effectively the first and second songs draw the listener in by utilizing the “crazy hardcore“ technique (including blast beats, guitar walk-downs and the ever present heaviness- all of course requiring high level mathematics to decipher). Also, briefly mention that the subsequent tracks, although not as spastic as the first two, still maintain the Converge standards- metal, heaviness and math.
Comment on the vocalists insanity, but how it works well in written form. Include that his lyrics act as a counterpoint to his vocals; his beautifully written words are filtered through his high-pitched scream, which in turn, is laden with distortion in a way that does not detract from the music. Note that the artwork is amazing, although the bands habit of only printing half the lyrics (an effort to be mysterious or artsy, one would assume) does disappoint to some extent. Readers will appreciate this tangentially related bit of information.
Add semi-humorous anecdotes about how you missed Converge when they last played Baltimore, and include friends opinions of the album. One friend states “Yeah, the first songs are the only songs I listen to. The rest are just heavy rock music.” The other chimes in with, “Jesus Christ. I didn’t think this band would be this good! This is now my new favorite CD.” A third mentions in passing that the closing track is an “eleven minute masterpiece.” Tie it all together by stating your own opinion of the album. Be sure to inject a bit of personality- how you were wary of handling such a task, Converge being a very important- and well liked- band among punk kids. State that although this album sometimes drones on a bit, any other sequence of the tracks would hinder the overall ‘feel‘ of the album. The slow (boring-ish) parts are eclipsed by sudden bursts of speed and intensity.
Finally, conclude with a concise sentence stating how good this release is, possibly by using phrases such as “quality release by a quality band” or something similar. Clearly state that this compact disc deserves a place in anyone’s collection. If written correctly, the evidence above will prove that statement to be true.
Reviewed by: Al Charity
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01