REVIEW: Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

Converge 2012

Artist: Converge
Album: All We Love We Leave Behind
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Epitaph

I’m going to be transparent, this album took several play throughs before I could find the words that show this album justice. Converge isn’t a band that can be cast aside and given an “end all, be all” opinion after one or two listens. Back when I interviewed Jeremy Bolm from Touché Amoré at the beginning of this month, one of the things that we chatted about with some other people backstage was Converge, and I could just about feel how ecstatic the man was for All We Love We Leave Behind. Now after catching up on the latest of Converge’s discography, all that I can say is “Wow.”

I almost feel that it’s necessary to say something regarding the band’s footprint on the metalcore genre. You can hear a blatant influence in the music made by many of the bands that might describe their own music as chaotic. At no capacity does this album ever cut any corners in terms of quality. Jacob Bannon‘s vocals don’t lack any of the stylistic qualities that were present before, and in some way, he’s never sounded any better. Along with being put in charge of the album’s recording and production, Kurt Ballou, the band’s guitarist, pulled every stop in terms of tone and musicianship. I can go on and on in terms of the bass and drums, but it would all become redundant– Converge has never been so on point as they have now.

Time for a brief track summary: “Aimless Arrow” is a great indicator of what’s to come between all that’s happening inside of it, musically. Instrumentally, the introduction to “Sadness Comes Home” could be mixed-up with an Every Time I Die song. “Sparrow’s Fall” really puts the band’s fast-paced prowess on a pedestal. Fast forward to the closing tracks of the album, and it turns out that the album’s title track is so intense beyond belief. If the album ended at the closing of “All We Love We Leave Behind”, I would be completely satisfied. But it doesn’t, thus by default, more Converge is better than no Converge… right?

For those listening to the deluxe version, there’s “Runaway”, a track that borderlines somewhere between filler and a treat with it’s fast-paced chaos that doesn’t stand out from the standard material. But I will say that “Runaway” segues perfectly into the album’s closer, “Predatory Glow”, quite perfectly. “Predatory Glow” has this very distinctive driving guitar riff that is prevalent throughout it’s verse that really gives it this old-school metalcore groove.

It took me a while to find the words that would help to describe what it is that makes this Converge release stand out amongst the others, and to be honest, I still can’t. The best way to describe this is to say that this is the record that one would imagine a nearly 22-year old Converge to release, with none of the boring or dull slip-ups that so many veteran bands to make, which is a great thing. This record has a very metal feeling to it, a very thrash-like feeling to it, and even a very punk feeling to it. I can’t think of one other album from 2012 that can genuinely creatively match this level of rage and heartbreak that’s conveyed through AWLWLBdeluxe-edition 17 tracks and standard-edition 14 tracks.

Rating: 9/10
Review by: Adrian Garza

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