Converge has never been a band that does the same thing over and over again since they released their first album almost 20 years ago. Their 2009 release Axe to Fall for example contained long atmospheric pieces, quite some studio effects and loads of guest musicians like members of Ghengis Tron and Steve Von Till of Neurosis. All We Love We Leave Behind is a completely different effort, as the band already stated before: “Recorded with no fake distortion, no triggered drums, and no collaborators outside of Jake, Kurt, Nate and Ben, “All We Love We Leave Behind” is an organic and powerful experience that pushes the band even further forward after twenty-one years.” And here at Legends Arising, we love it.
All We Love We Leave Behind kicks off with ‘Aimless Arrow’, a chaotic and heavy metalcore track that reminds of You Fail Me era Converge, especially vocal-wise. Singer Jacob Bannon is a beast on this record, and showcases a wide range of styles from behind the mic. He screams, shrieks, growls, whispers, talks and sings himself through the material, making the whole thing a intense and diverse experience.
The track listing has been chosen carefully, so you can get some rest when you’re breathless after a couple of heavy and fast paced songs, just like in a live setting. ‘Coral Blue’ for example is one of those beautiful, slower songs, with emotional vocal input by Jacob and melodic guitar work with a southern edge by Kurt Ballou. Clocking at 4:48, it’s also the longest one on the album.
The song where Converge really shows what their capable of is ‘Sadness Come Home’, which starts off with a heavy, sludgy intro and quickly turns into a fast tapped, shredding riff. The most interesting part however, are the drums. Ben Koller puts in some great accents in his organised chaos, and when the double bass kicks in after one minute. Your view on sincere heaviness will be changed forever.
The only instrumental piece on this album is ‘Precipice’; a calm, soothing and short song which is a great build up to title track ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’. It is probably the most interesting song on the whole record, with a great post-rock-ish build up and great bass playing by Nate Newton. In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Jacob already said about the lyrical content of this song and the album: “The song is an open letter to the things that I feel I’ve left behind in order to pursue an artistic and musical direction in my life.” And, “I was motivated to write those lyrics a few days after I lost one of my dogs [Anna Belle] to old age. She was my best friend for a very long time in my life. I missed a lot of her life because I was traveling.” Some subjects that become very clear after hearing lyrics like “I’m so sorry, that I missed your lives, while I was on the road, learning to survive”, repeated a couple of times.
Everything on this record just seems to fit in perfectly. Kurt’s production is better and more ‘live’ than ever. Even the package is great as always, with beautiful artwork by Bannon, making it a record you should buy in physical form. You can do that right here.
All We Love We Leave Behind – Tracklist
- Aimless Arrow
- Tender Abuse
- Sadness Comes Home
- Empty On The Inside
- Sparrow’s Fall
- A Glacial Pace
- Vicious Muse
- Veins And Veils
- Coral Blue
- Shame In The Way
- All We Love We Leave Behind
- Predatory Glow
Converge will leave all they love behind this winter to tour Europe alongside Touché Amoré, The Secret and A Storm Of Light. The trek will make a stop at Utrecht’s Tivoli. Check out more tourdates here.
Written by Niels Koster