Converge-You Fail Me

YouFailMe2

Converge. One of the most legendary underground hardcore acts around, they are considered by many to be one of the most innovative groups in hardcore. The band’s career started off with Halo in a Haystack in 1994 and their musical prowess and quality only escalated from there. The band didn’t make any large splashes until the 2001 release of Jane Doe, their magnum opus. The album’s perfect combination of frantic, frenzied, atonal riffs and melodic lines and interludes shot them into the limelight of the metal world for quite some time. The following album, You Fail Me, is one that is somewhat of a black sheep among Converge’s discography. Though it received positive reviews, many fans were caught off guard and at least from what I’ve seen, don’t really discuss it nearly as much as the band’s other records. This point makes a lot more sense when you take into consideration the megalithic shadow of its predecessor the album is standing in. It’s not hard to imagine this record being completely overlooked by some people due to the high bar Jane Doe set for the band. Unfortunately though, that would be quite the mistake. This record is definitely strong and consistent, and it sees the band taking a slight change in direction with its sound toward a bleaker, darker and more hopeless theme.

The album opens up with First Light, a short, quiet interlude which is quite different than from what you would expect for an album opener for Converge. Immediately following that is the companion track Last Light which is definitely one of the highlights on the album. The song has a very anthemic feel to it, with Jacob Bannon calling out to the listener to bear the burdens of society and be strong for others that can’t be strong for themselves. The song continues to build up with Bannon yelling: “This is for the hearts, still…beating, beating, beating, beating”, where it finally explodes in the form of an irresistibly heavy breakdown with harmonic notes scattered throughout. The aforementioned change in sound on this album is the ever-present bleaker mood of the music in comparison to previous efforts and the much more prominent, heavily distorted bass in the songs. You can hear these aspects the most in the title track You Fail Me where the bass drives the song forward as dreary leads play over the top of the music in the chorus. Though I previously stated that Last Light was a highlight of the album that is not to say that the album has any low points, quite the opposite actually. The album is fairly consistent throughout, rarely letting up on the brutal, crushing sound except for on the acoustic track In Her Shadow.

You Fail Me sees Converge taking a respectable and smart change in sound and experimenting with new ideas to some degree. The band understood that they couldn’t just attempt to pop out another Jane Doe or stick with the same formula they had used to create Jane Doe in the first place. With that understanding, the band crafted an excellent follow up album to what many consider the greatest album in Converge’s entire career. It may not be another Jane Doe, but You Fail Me is a very consistent, strong album that sees a prolific band spicing things up a bit and not being afraid to go in a different direction than the band’s hit album.

Rating:

4.5/5

Tracklist:

1. First Light
2. Last Light
3. Black Cloud
4. Drop Out
5. Hope Street
6. Heartless
7. You Fail Me
8. In Her Shadow
9. Eagles Become Vultures
10 .Death King
11. In Her Blood
12. Hanging Moon

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