Tag Archives: Converge

A Brief History of Mathcore In Ten Albums

Rolo

Rolo Tomassi

If post-hardcore’s experimentation was an artistic rebellion to its predecessor’s rigidness and ultraviolence, then mathcore was the same mutiny taken one step further. Bands pushed the limits of both heaviness and virtuosity, injecting stronger influences from metal, fusion jazz, and—obviously—math rock. Crowds also brought back the chaotic violence, with swirling mosh pits and daredevil stage dives, mirroring the music’s intensity.

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The Best Metal on Bandcamp: November 2017

best metal

Metal doesn’t kill its idols when they start to show their age—at least, not in the way other ostensibly youth-driven genres do. For anecdotal proof, ask any metalhead if they make a habit of hearing new albums by Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Slayer. Most of us do! Sometimes that means giving the benefit of the doubt to middling work, but more often, it means we have the privilege of listening to bands who have dedicated decades of their lives to honing their craft. Cannibal Corpse and Converge are on this month’s list of the best metal albums on Bandcamp. Both came up in the intense creative crucibles of their respective scenes—Florida death metal and Boston hardcore, respectively—in the early ’90s. Both also sound just as vital, if older and wiser, today. Here’s to middle age.  Continue reading

The Best Metal on Bandcamp: August 2017

Best Metal

This month’s best metal includes music by bands both staunchly orthodox and so experimental they render genre irrelevant. The groups that fall into the latter category are tasked with finding new ways to corrupt a genre that’s been around for decades, while the groups in the former have to stand out in a sea of bands who have heard all the same records that they have. When something great floats to the surface, it feels like a minor miracle. As ever, there’s a whole lot of metal coming out in any given month, but if you take the time to pick through it, there’s plenty of brilliance to be discovered. (A note for those paying close attention: Yes, a few of these albums actually came out in July, but they dropped after the July 2017 edition of the column.)

View the Best Metal on Bandcamp Archives

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Mutoid Man on Their “Most Perverted” Record to Date

Mutoid Man

Since their somewhat casual inception in 2012, Mutoid Man has transformed from an outlet for Stephen Brodsky (Cave In) and Ben Koller (Converge, All Pigs Must Die) to explore the lighter side of metal to a deadly serious supergroup. Their 2015 release, Bleeder, netted endless praise, inspiring the band to push themselves even further on their next release. Accordingly, War Moans, leaps forward musically and lyrically, challenging the conventions of metal, culture, sexuality, and politics. We spoke with Brodsky and bassist Nicholas Cageao about perversion, relationships, and war.

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Album of the Day: Wear Your Wounds, “WYW”

If your only exposure to Converge has been gnarly teeth-gnashers like “Concubine”, “No Heroes”, and “Eagles Become Vultures”—three of the hardcore band’s ‘hits’—Jacob Bannon’s Wear Your Wounds project is gonna sound like it came way out of left field. It shouldn’t, though; the singer’s been hinting at a solo record as lush and layered as WYW for some time. The clearest through-line to the long-awaited LP would have to be Rust, a 2009 compilation that paired lots of four-track fiddling with the Supermachiner recordings Bannon cut alongside bassist Ryan Parker and Converge bandmate Kurt Ballou a decade earlier.

Wear Your Wounds embraces Bannon’s epic inclinations wholesale, as well as such admitted influences as Swans, Sparklehorse, and—no, really—Pink Floyd. As suggested by its moonlit album art, this is a record that reaches for the stars rather than the pavement, often pushing its post-metal experiments well past the six-minute mark. Bannon also knows when to let other musicians shine, as evidenced by a solid backing band that includes Ballou and heavy hitters who have logged hours with The Red Chord (guitarist Mike McKenzie), Coliseum (drummer Chris Maggio), and Hatebreed (guitarist Sean Martin).

It’s not going to convert any Converge hardliners who still listen to Petitioning the Empty Sky religiously, but that’s okay; Bannon transcended the scope of those scorchers years ago, and is showing no signs of slowing his creative growth anytime soon.

Andrew Parks