Seminal hardcore band Converge burst into the music scene’s conscience in the early 2000s and on this, album number nine, the band has continued to push boundaries in all directions.
The Dusk in Us opens on a slightly quieter note with ‘A Single Tear’, and by quieter I mean cleaner guitar tone. This is the sound of a band experimenting a little with their well worn shock and awe formula, before attempting to take your head off on follow up ‘Eye of the Quarrel,’ a throwback to the desperate and maniacal music that drew the attention of fans worldwide.
The musical experimentation flows in and out of the album from the almost grind ‘Cannibals’ to the close to rock guitar riffs on ‘Under Duress’. Converge haven’t taken the full Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes route, but vocalist Jacob Bannon is a lot clearer in the mix, and his cleans are well used making his heavier vocals feel even more frustrated and maniacal.
I have complained before about bands pulling the handbrake on a fast flowing album, and this is sadly no exception with the title track sitting right in the middle of the running order and pulling the brake on hard. Sounding like a curious mix of shoegaze and perhaps Americana its seven minute run time builds slowly but never goes anywhere.
The able follow up ‘Wildlife’ reminds you what you probably came here for as it blasts into ‘Murk & Morrow’ and ‘Trigger’, the latter of which carries a funky bass strut and what may be the most memorable vocals ever by the band. The rest of the real experimentation is left for the last two tracks . ‘Thousands of Miles Between Us’ is a ballad worthy only of a band of this nature as it leads into ‘Reptilian’, a song that I find hard to categorise other than Converge pushing doom upon you.
Not the best album by this band, but it is full of the hardcore urgency they are known for as well as some of their best musical experimentation.