Converge: You Fail Me
Recorded by Kurt Ballou
Mixed by Matthew Ellard, Kurt Ballou, and Jacob Bannon
Mastered by Alan Douches
5 out of 5 mics
This album came out in 2004, but I had to put up the review cause the album is so damn good. As you may or may not know, Converge has been around forever, making great music, and helping to push metal and hardcore in new directions.
You Fail Me works superbly as an entire album, and is most rewarding when listened to as such. The sequencing lends the album a nearly perfect flow. But each song is very well crafted, and can stand on its own. The album shines due to not being overly produced, and not being overly compressed. There is great dynamic range throughout.
It begins with First Light. A single distorted guitar plays a slow, haunting line. It is very sparse, and very dark. This leads into Last Light, and the brutality begins. The album moves along at a frantic pace. Drummer Ben Koller is not of this earth. He comes from a far-off galaxy, where they eat and drink drum kits. I would put him up amongst the top drummers around. He is very deceiving. He plays so fast and his style is so unorthodox, that at first, you think he's just banging around behind the bass and guitars. But listen closely a couple of times, and you'll find that his precision is deadly, and he's actually driving the bass and guitars to follow him. Think of a schizophrenic Dave Lombardo or Danny Carey.
Singer Jacob Bannon has vocal chords made of titanium. His voice is like diamond-based cutting grit. Diamond based cutting grit can cut through pretty much anything on earth. Likewise the vocals of Bannon (although if I had my wish, I would bump his level up a db or two during a few of the songs).
Overall, the production is stellar. The album has an amazing energy, which at times feels bottled up, but in the next instant explodes (and kicks the living shit out of you). This album has surprising depth to it. I say surprising, because you might not expect a lot of depth from songs that are two or three minutes in length. But each of these songs takes you on quite a journey in the span of a few minutes. The time signature changes and chord progressions are brilliant. The lyrical content (which is certainly hard to decipher) is part of that depth as well.
I could go on about this album, but you really just need to go out and pick it up. It is brutal and beautiful.