Converge - _Jane Doe_
(Equal Vision, 2001)
by: Paul Schwarz (9.5 out of 10)
Nearly seven years on from their _Halo in a Haystack_ debut -- thought by some to be the origin point of noisecore/metalcore -- Converge have made what for my money -- and in my limited experience -- is their finest album. _Jane Doe_ is a powerfully durable, irresistibly individual compound of many sounds and individual approaches. Chosen from the kind of range that might seem unusual for a traditional metal or hardcore crew but which is almost expected of bands from the noisecore crowd who trace back to Converge, these approaches are noticed like subliminal messages which later prompt the listener to peel off the layers and behold -where- Converge seem to have got their ideas from. The way great slabs of Slayer slither through the cracks of "Bitter and Then Some". The way "Hell to Pay" and "Phoenix in Flight" won't let you chill with Kyuss, because you are being -chilled- by Neurosis. The band referenced don't represent the core sounds of Converge, but they seem to be part of the Converge whole in some curious manner. Like many noisecore records, _Jane Doe_ gets just the right balance between clarity, power, and raw, close-quarters 'real' sound in its production to give almost every contrasting aspect of the music its full impact. There is an attempt at varying the balance and sound of different parts -- not close to noticeable enough to affect the record's near-perfect cohesion -- which seems to seek their more clear and defined expression in the final result. Though they have a tendency to be technically insane, Converge not only have the musicianship to pull everything off with more than just a pinch of style -- and a megaton of power to boot -- but also have a natural aptitude for writing impassioned, finely-crafted songs which few in the extreme music scene can surpass. From the pure, furious energy of the opening salvo of "Concubine", "Fault and Failure" and "Distance and Meaning", through the psychotropic grooves of "Hell to Pay", the grove-laden catharsis of "Homewrecker", all the way to the intense, eleven minute, gradual outpouring of anguish of the title track, _Jane Doe_ is simultaneously one the most brutally angry and one of most truly impassioned records of the year -- it's among my five personal favourites, in fact.

(article published 14/1/2002)


ALBUMS
11/4/2012 D Lake 8.5 Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
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