This is a past event.

Converge, Torche, Kvelertak, Like Rats 

When: Thu., Oct. 18, 6 p.m. 2012
Price: $18, $16 in advance
Critical consensus has established Converge's 2009 album Axe to Fall as the band's most exploratory—with guest vocals, guest guitar shredding, and extra brooding from front man Jacob Bannon. Already the new All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph) is being hailed as a return to basics—no-frills, no-fucking-around hardcore and metal, with the spit-and-sweat mentality of a live set. Not everybody thinks it's worthwhile to make comparisons among the eight albums from the band's 20-year catalog (you'd be surprised at how prickly people can get about this shit), but because 2001's Jane Doe basically defined a genre, devotees of that genre are all but obligated to have an opinion on what Converge has done since—especially now that their masterpiece's cover art is tattooed on every well-inked fanboy. And despite some subtle changes, All We Love is pure Converge, right down to its melancholic, emo-tinted title. Inimitable guitarist Kurt Ballou has again composed (and recorded) a battery of skull-rattling riffs, faster and more epic than anything he's done so far—they deserve their day to be played from atop a snow-capped mountain. Bannon remains an iconic vocalist, but he's augmented his deranged barking with relatively clear and sinister singing—like You Fail Me's "Last Light," album opener "Aimless Arrow" has nearly intelligible lyrics. But maybe the best thing about the new record is drummer Ben Koller, who's turned playing at cutthroat speeds with unmitigated fury into a finely honed art. A beneficiary of Ballou's increasing skill as a sound engineer, Koller has been leaning harder on his double kick drum for a couple albums now—"Trespasses" and "Shame in the Way" are two of the best examples—which adds thick texture and pushes Nate Newton's fat, swampy bass forward in the mix. Axe to Fall was an inspired step forward from Jane Doe, and All We Love is another resounding step—different in direction but still very much devastating. —Kevin Warwick Torche, Kvelertak, and Like Rats open.

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