Review of Converge's album Axe To Fall released through Epitaph Records.
An utterly insane album from start to finish, Converge on Epitaph Records push the envelope even further with this absolutely stunning release. Opening with Dark Horse and segueing perfectly into Reap What You Sow, the album starts as it means to go on, hard, heavy and so much more accessible than previous records like Jane Doe, which, to even my biased ears, sounded like an awful lot of noise and not much else. The math-rock has been retained and hooks have been added, mostly in the form of some rather scintillating lead riffs. The time changes and enormous breakdowns only add to the replay value.
Of course, with a record like this, it's hard to recommend to everyone, and there are some tracks on here that will put the average listener off- and if you're not trying when you listen to it, you might eventually start hearing the same track over and over again. Luckily, Converge have switched things up a little bit, so for every two speed track, there's one slower, more measured song, like Damages, coming at the mid-point, or Wretched World, the stunning closer, clocking in at 7 minutes.
The band have upped their game considerably, becoming more available to the casual listener and providing much more depth to those willing to put the hours in to unlock the album's potential. It doesn't run too long, either, meaning that it doesn't outstay its welcome. This is a simply incredible achievement and one of my favourite records this year, but, your mileage may vary.