Boston's most illustrious masters of heavy music, as reported, CONVERGE, have their entire new album streamed via YouTube embed above (as well as here (Epitaph's YouTube channel) and here (the band's site)) featuring original art for each track done by frontman and visual artist Jacob Bannon, courtesy the label. CONVERGE's eight studio album , ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, will be available on October 9th, 2012 through Epitaph Records and Deathwish Inc. (vinyl). Recorded and mixed by guitarist Kurt Ballou at his Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts, kindly pre-order ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ here (CONVERGE store). The ‘Aimless Arrow’ video was directed by Max Moore.
“[Jacob Bannon told Pitchfork what inspired the album's title:] The title comes from a song on the album with the same name. The song is an open letter to the things that I feel I've left behind in order to pursue an artistic and musical direction in my life. I don’t regret the decisions or direction I’ve chosen, but I feel it’s important to be self aware. That song and this album is part of that process for me. Specifically, I was motivated to write those lyrics a few days after I lost one of my dogs [Anna Belle] to old age. She was my best friend for a very long time in my life. I missed a lot of her life because I was traveling. That concept really sank in with me when I was holding her as she passed on,” [find out more here]
Described as a band that “can break multiple bones throughout the body with sound alone” by Blake Butler, AllMusic and formed over 21 years ago by Jacob Bannon and Kurt Ballou in Massachusetts, Boston-based “hardcore kids with leftover SLAYER riffs”, CONVERGE, issued their debut LP ‘Halo In A Haystack’ in 1994 after recording a series of singles and splits. ‘Petitioning The Empty Sky’, CONVERGE's second full-length, was originally released through Ferret Music in 1996 and has been since re-issued by Equal Vision and Deathwish Inc. “An extremely solid, well-written, and produced album that pushes the hardcore boundaries while maintaining the ability to explode” as put by Blake Butler, AllMusic (more here) ‘When Forever Comes Crashing’ followed in 1998 and critically acclaimed ‘Jane Doe’ came next in 2001:
“Experimentation with texture and mood unravels itself throughout the 12 tracks, yet maintains some cohesive element of undefined focus. Throughout all of the morphing and movement, some element of feeling remains, insisting that this album is an experience - an encyclopedic envelopment of so much at once,” [wrote CONVERGE's staunch supporter Blake Butler, AllMusic – more here]
CONVERGE's first release on Epitaph Records, 2004's ‘You Fail Me’, marked the first commercial success for the band; their fifth longplayer reached position number 171 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart. ‘No Heroes’, released in 2006, bettered that achievement, peaking at number 151 on the aforementioned chart, selling over 17,000 copies in the U.S. alone, while the band was crowned with “just about untouchable” title for the execution by Corey Apar, AllMusic (more here). 2009's ‘Axe To Fall’, again featuring production by Kurt Ballou and artwork by Jacob Bannon, continued CONVERGE's upward chart climb, peaking at number 74 on the Billboard Top 200. Featuring guest appearances by members of CAVE IN, NEUROSIS and THE RED CHORD among others, AllMusic agreed with the listening public, rewarding ‘Axe To Fall’ with 4,5 out of 5 classification. In 2010, CONVERGE self-released a single ‘On My Shield’ which was distributed by Epitaph and Deathwish Inc. Visit BandCamp here to listen to the single or just click on the player available to you below:
CONVERGE: On My Shield
A year later, this hard-working band issued a split with DROPDEAD; listen to CONVERGE's contribution to the EP here (BandCamp) or below:
Following the tradition, a split with NAPALM DEATH followed in August 2012. Self-released by the bands, each group recorded two new tracks for the 7” EP available for purchase here (Deathwish Inc store); visit CONVERGE's BandCamp page here if interested in their take on ENTOMBED's ‘Wolverine Blues’.
CONVERGE features: Jacob Bannon – vocals and visuals, Kurt Ballou – guitar, Nate Newton – bass and Ben Koller – drums