Related Acts:Converge is a crossover Heavy Metal-Hardcore Punk band formed in 1990 in Salem, Massachusetts, which has 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 their early and distinctive blend of 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 unpleasant 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:
- Supermachiner (Bannon & Ballou)
- Cave In (Koller, also ex-bassist Stephen Brodsky)
- Mutoid Man (Koller, Brodsky)
- Code Orange Kids (handpicked for label by Bannon, mentored/produced by Ballou)
- Old Man Gloom (Newton)
- Doomriders (Newton)
- Bane (former guitarist Aaron Dalbec)
- Jesuit (Nate Newton played in them, alongside future The Dillinger Escape Plan guitarist Brian Benoit)
- All Pigs Must Die (Koller)
- 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:
- Ambiguous Disorder: Kurt Ballou mentioned in an interview that he has some aspie tendencies, which explains his obsessive focus
- Ambiguously Brown: Nate Newton
- 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: Several, one of the most notable being "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:Cheap lips, soft eyes, lost in the most blinding lights
As cold as those first nights alone
As the second best he'll become
Sleep deep, girl, dream well
That night, I think he cried himself to sleep
Just maybe, he felt more than we could ever know
And I think he pulled that trigger to empty that memory
I think he cut the weight to end the floods of you
Let him soar, let him ride as budding gravestones do
Just sleep, girl, just dream well
- 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.
- Hell, they have even done a split with Napalm Death!
- 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.
- Loudness War: Everything from Jane Doe onwards is completely brickwalled. This is probably due to the influence of mastering engineer Alan Douches.
- Subverted in the vinyl reissues that have come out since 2010. There are a few of the louder areas which suffer some clipping, but that can't really be helped given the nature of the music.
- 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.
- Metal Scream: One of the few bands to use Type 4 as their main style of singing.
- 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.
- Solo Side Project: The list of side projects various Converge members have been involved in is as long as your arm, and several of them (namely Old Man Gloom, All Pigs Must Die, and Mutoid Man) are bonafide supergroups.
- 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).
- 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, and they have a history of signing their local buddies (namely The Hope Conspiracy, Trap Them, and Backstabbers Incorporated) as well.