I’ve been dying to write about this album since it was teased back in July. After the release of their EP I reviewed back in July (here) my hype for this album began. It was just a phenomenal release after 5 years of near radio silence from Converge, so I just knew there was no way these guys could disappoint me. Quite frankly, they didn’t disappoint me. In fact, it may be my favorite album of theirs.
That might seem a bit blasphemous to longtime fans of Converge. The go-to pick seems to be 2001’s Jane Doe, which I can definitely see for the way it completely revolutionized heavy music as a whole. It pushed the boundaries and cliches of the genre to their limits and showed that you can truly make art out of chaos. That’s the calling card of Converge’s entire nearly 30 year career, and it’s no different here.
The album starts off with the chaotic riffing of “A Single Tear,” vocalist Jacob Bannon’s heartfelt ode to fatherhood. “When I held you for the first time, I knew I had to survive.” It’s a painful track, it’s heartbreak and realization, but it’s also love. Maybe this track resonates much strong with fathers, but that scares me as it already moves me to the core even without any children.
The Dusk In Us has some of the group’s grooviest guitar work to date. See the main riff to “Under Duress” for a perfect example of this. Guitarist/producer Kurt Ballou really shines here. It seems a bit out of his usual comfort zone of controlled chaos, but it absolutely works. The song is built around that one memorable riff, and blends and melds it as the track goes to fit the narrative.
Drummer Ben Koller delivers probably his best performance here. His drumming is just as off-time and technical as it always has been, but he never overplays. He lets the track breathe around his playing without showing off; a feat many drummers in extreme music have a rough time accomplishing. See the 7 minute eponymous opus for a perfect illustration of that.
I don’t want to rattle too much about my love for this album. At this point, it should be obvious I adore this album and this band. I love their wholly unique take on extreme music. I love the raw emotion they fit into every song. I love Jacob Bannon’s vocals and his artwork he does for every album cover. I just cannot recommend this album or this band enough.
The Dusk In Us gets a 5/5 from me.