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Converge is a crossover Heavy Metal-Hardcore Punk band formed in 1990 in Salem, Massachusetts, having released seven studio albums to date. Considered to be a founding father of the Metalcore and Mathcore genres, the band helped define many facets of metallic hardcore for many bands to come. They are well-known for blending extreme metal, hardcore punk and the various vocal stylings of singer/vocalist Jacob Bannon. Because of their distinctive style, the band is considered very good, but very abrasive and possibly unpleasing to first-time listeners. Despite this, over the years Converge has won a large fanbase and critical acclaim, with Sputnikmusic declaring that their 2001 release Jane Doe was the best album of the decade.
The band currently consists of:
- Jacob Bannon (vocals, lyrics, visual art)
- Kurt Ballou (guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, Theremin, recording/production)
- Nate Newton (bass guitar, vocals)
- Ben Koller (drums)
- Halo in a Haystack, 1994
- Petitioning The Empty Sky, 1996, 1997 as a remastered release
- When Forever Comes Crashing, 1998
- Jane Doe, 2001
- You Fail Me, 2004
- No Heroes, 2006
- Axe to Fall, 2009
Tropes that apply to Converge:
- An Axe to Grind: Axe to Fall, pun not withstanding.
- Break Up Song: The entire album Jane Doe.
- Careful with That Axe: Arguably the band's most defining characteristic. Behold.
- Concept Album: Jane Doe is sort of one, dealing with the aftermath of a bad relationship.
- Cover Version: They did a cover of "Disintegration" by The Cure.
- Despair Event Horizon: A common theme from When Forever Comes Crashing and Jane Doe, most prominently featured in Hell to Pay:
[[Driven to Suicide Cheap lips, soft eyes, lost in the most blinding lights
As cold as those first nights alone
As the second best he'll become
Sleep deep, girl, dream well
That night, I think he cried himself to sleep
Just maybe, he felt more than we could ever know
And I think he pulled that trigger to empty that memory
I think he cut the weight to end the floods of you
Let him soar, let him ride as budding gravestones do
Just sleep, girl, just dream well]]
- Doom Metal: "Wretched World".
- Epic Rocking: A handful of their songs. The longest are probably "Grim Heart/Black Rose" (about nine minutes) and "Jane Doe" (about twelve).
- Grief Song: Lots, "Dark Horse" a particularly well-known example.
- Grindcore: Not really, though it's a very obvious influence on their sound, what with the frequent use of D-beats, blastbeats and quite short songs.
- Harsh Vocals: Oh God yes. Jacob Bannon's vocal style is unusually high-pitched and screechy for hardcore punk, and has been compared to that of an angry pterodactyl.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: For the most part.
- Last-Note Nightmare: The previously mentioned "Phoenix In Flames" is one song's worth of this, as it follows the downtempo, almost-shoegazy Phoenix in Flight.
- Long Runner Lineup: Since Aaron Dalbec's leaving in 2001, their line-up has remained constant as of 2011.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Jane Doe, one of the angriest and emotionally raw albums of all ever was written about a nasty breakup.
- Miniscule Rocking: Plenty of their songs. The opening of No Heroes goes through five songs in about the same amount of minutes.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Most of Converge's output is at least an 8. At their most, they're a solid 11.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: At least once an album. "Ten Cents" on When Forever Comes Crashing, "Phoenix in Flight" on Jane Doe (and, at a push, "Hell to Pay" as well), "In Her Shadow" on You Fail Me, "Grim Heart/Black Rose" on No Heroes (although the very end is fairly heavy) and "Cruel Bloom" and "Wretched World" on Axe to Fall.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Jacob Bannon's singing voice is like this, and if they have a guest vocalist in the chances are they'll sing like this too.
- Progressive Metal: A big influence on the sound of Axe to Fall.
- Straight Edge: All of the members, with the exception of drummer Ben Koller.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Subverted- the raw, unrefined and driving sound made them famous, they base a lot of their songs off of polyrhythmic drumming and complex guitar work.
- Trope Codifier: For metallic hardcore, and arguably mathcore as well.
- Uncommon Time: Their frenetic time signature changes laid the groundwork for what would later be called mathcore.
- Vanity Publishing: Deathwish Inc., Jacob Bannon's record label, has been accused of this. It's hardly surprising that some of their earliest releases were his solo projects.