#Converge - You Fail Me (Deathwish 2004)
Main Stage: Friday 20th April
Roadburn Stagetime: 20.10-21.10
When Converge’s 4th album “Jane Doe” was released in 2001, the bar was well and truly raised for bands everywhere; their stirring, intense live shows, heavy touring schedule and inventive, chaotic sound earned them accolades in publications as diverse as Terrorizer and Rolling Stone, who placed the record in their top 100 greatest metal albums of all time.
As the opening guitar line of “First Light” echoes out into the expanse, the listener is lulled into a false sense of safety; lured in by the hope that comes with a new dawn... Kurt Ballou’s dissonant melodies evoke images of the sun rising over an endless highway that runs through the vast, dusty wilderness of the desert. “Last Light” comes crashing into life with a thunderous polyrhythmic drum pattern from Ben Koller, over which Nate Newton’s gurgling bass and Ballou’s acidic guitar, always on the verge of feedback, battle with each other under Jacob Bannon’s affected pleading: “I need you to be the strength of widows and soul survivors/I need you to be as fearless as new mothers and new fathers/I need you to be the hope of hearts who lost true love/I need you to be the might of their first kiss...” It’s profoundly vulnerable stuff and the effect is devastating. The atmosphere of the rest of the record is dense and asphyxiating; each member of the band masterfully manipulating and recklessly exorcising their instruments like men possessed. The run time is barely 35 minutes but it leaves you short of breath and richer of experience. “You Fail Me” is a masterpiece. Converge are visionaries; not only in their music but also their artwork, their aesthetic and their DIY ethos that is embodied in every project the members are involved in (God City Studios, Deathwish Records, etc.) Converge will be playing 2 sets at Roadburn this year. Jacob Bannon is the featured curator this year and has assembled a wildly eclectic and intense lineup; a testimony to his decorative and refined taste as an artist/musician and label manager.
Khaled / @khaled_lowe