- The Cure, Bad Brains, The Smiths, Black Flag, Black Sabbath, Born Against, The Accused Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Helmet, Jawbox, Faith No More, Fugazi, Starkweather, Rorschach, The Jesus Lizard
- Supermachiner (Bannon & Ballou)
- Cave In (Koller)
- Code Orange Kids (handpicked for label by Bannon, mentored/produced by Ballou)
- Old Man Gloom
- Bane (former guitarist Aaron Dalbec)
- Jesuit (Nate Newton played in them, alongside future The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Brian Benoit)
Converge is a crossover Heavy Metal
band formed in 1990 in Salem, Massachusetts, having released seven studio albums to date. Considered to be a founding father
of the Metalcore
and Mathcore genres, the band helped define many facets of metallic hardcore for many bands to come. They are well-known for blending extreme metal, hardcore punk and noise rock, coupled with the various vocal stylings
of vocalist Jacob Bannon. As such they have a very distinctive musical style, albeit one which is very abrasive and possibly unpleasing to first-time listeners. Despite this, over the years Converge has won a large fanbase and critical acclaim, with Sputnikmusic declaring that their 2001 release Jane Doe
was the best album of the decade
The band currently consists of:
- Jacob Bannon (vocals, lyrics, visual art)
- Kurt Ballou (guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, theremin, saxophone, percussion, recording/production)
- Nate Newton (bass guitar, vocals)
- Ben Koller (drums, vocals)
- Halo in a Haystack, 1994
- Petitioning The Empty Sky, 1996 (1997 as a remastered release)
- When Forever Comes Crashing, 1998
- Jane Doe, 2001
- You Fail Me, 2004
- No Heroes, 2006
- Axe to Fall, 2009
- All We Love We Leave Behind, 2012
Tropes that apply to Converge:
- An Axe to Grind: Axe to Fall, pun not withstanding.
- Breakup Song: The entire album Jane Doe.
- Careful With That Axe: Arguably the band's most defining characteristic. Behold.
- Concept Album: Jane Doe is sort of one, dealing with the aftermath of a bad relationship.
- Cover Version: They did a cover of "Disintegration" by The Cure.
- Despair Event Horizon: A common theme from When Forever Comes Crashing and Jane Doe, most prominently featured in Hell to Pay:
- Doom Metal: "Wretched World".
- Early Installment Weirdness: Halo in a Haystack is much, much simpler and more lo-fi than every album after it. The albums before Ben Koller's joining also sound significantly different than those after (see Growing the Beard on the YMMV page), both due to his absence and the comparatively dry, stripped-down production.
- Epic Rocking: A handful of their songs. The longest are probably "Grim Heart/Black Rose" (about nine minutes) and "Jane Doe" (about twelve).
- Grief Song: Lots, "Dark Horse" a particularly well-known example.
- Grindcore: Not really, though it's a very obvious influence on their sound, what with the frequent use of D-beats, blastbeats, Jacob Bannon's high-pitched screaming and numerous quite short songs.
- Harsh Vocals: Oh God yes. Jacob Bannon's vocal style is unusually high-pitched and screechy for hardcore punk, and has been compared to that of an angry pterodactyl.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: It helps to consider any printed lyrics...as more like accompanying poetry than what Jacob is singing.
- Last Note Nightmare: The previously mentioned "Phoenix In Flames" is one song's worth of this, as it follows the downtempo, almost shoegazey Phoenix in Flight.
- Long Runner Line Up: Since Aaron Dalbec's leaving in 2001, their line-up has remained constant as of 2013.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Jane Doe, one of the angriest and emotionally raw albums of all ever was written about a nasty breakup.
- Metalcore: One of the heaviest bands in the genre, if not the heaviest.
- Miniscule Rocking: Plenty of their songs. The opening of No Heroes, for example, goes through five songs in about the same amount of minutes.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of Converge's output is at least an 8. At their most, they're a solid 11 (take "Phoenix In Flames" as an example). Most of the time they are a 10, however, making them one of the heaviest (if not the heaviest) Metalcore bands around.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Jacob Bannon's singing voice is like this, and if they have a guest vocalist in the chances are they'll sing like this too.
- Progressive Metal: A big influence on the sound of Axe to Fall.
- Record of Loudness War: Everything from Jane Doe onwards is completely brickwalled. This is probably due to the influence of mastering engineer Alan Douches.
- Soprano and Gravel: Most of Converge's vocals are Jacob Bannon's tortured screams, but he throws in occasional singing as well (see "Phoenix in Flight" and "Jane Doe" for examples). If there are guest vocalists, they will also frequently provide a Soprano to Bannon's Gravel.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: At least once an album. "Ten Cents" on When Forever Comes Crashing, "Phoenix in Flight" on Jane Doe (and, at a push, "Hell to Pay" as well), "In Her Shadow" on You Fail Me, "Grim Heart/Black Rose" on No Heroes (although the very end is fairly heavy), "Cruel Bloom" and "Wretched World" on Axe to Fall and "Precipice/All We Love We Leave Behind" on All We Love We Leave Behind. "Phoenix in Flight" subverts it with its coda "Phoenix in Flames", which probably hits 11 on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness (see Last Note Nightmare above).
- Straight Edge: All of the members, with the exception of drummer Ben Koller.
- Textless Album Cover: All We Love We Leave Behind.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Subverted- the raw, unrefined and driving sound made them famous, but they base a lot of their songs on polyrhythmic drumming and complex guitar work.
- Title Track: On every album from When Forever Comes Crashing onwards.
- Trope Codifier: For metallic hardcore, and arguably mathcore as well.
- Uncommon Time: Their frenetic time signature changes laid the groundwork for what would later be called mathcore.
- Vanity Publishing: Deathwish Inc., Jacob Bannon's record label, has been accused of this. It's hardly surprising that some of their earliest releases were his solo projects.