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Converge You Fail Me

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01. First Light 02. Last Light 03. Black Cloud MP3 04. Drop Out 05. Hope Street 06. Heartless 07. You Fail Me 08. In Her Shadow 09. Eagles Become Vultures 10. Death King 11. In Her Blood 12. Hanging Moon
2004 Epitaph Records
Our score 9

by Cory
9/22/2004

Despite having been a fan of Converge for some time, I (like many other listeners) was a bit thrown at first to hear their progression on Jane Doe. While their music had always incorporated and embraced chaotic elements, that record pushed certain boundaries of heavy music farther than they had previously been pushed. Fast forward a few years to the release of You Fail Me. Expectations for this disc were among the highest for any release this year and most fans and critics alike were both excited and curious. The wait is over and while opinions are varied, I personally see the record as an unabashed success. You Fail Me, as an album, takes many of the key stylistic points of Jane Doe and does what that record did not always do: form them into cohesive "songs." The result is a disc that is both extremely listenable, and musically challenging, a work of art that is both immediately accessible and delicately nuanced. While this record is not necessarily a total departure for the group, it would be best if one were to approach this record without the sort of expectations that listeners often bring to an album by a group as established and respected as Converge. Every fan looks to this as compared to his or her favorite release and every critic expects something as potentially groundbreaking as their previous efforts have been. In many ways, You Fail Me fulfills these stipulations, but it doesn't seem that Converge went out of their way to satisfy anyone but themselves and I for one, wouldn't want it any other way. From the fast-paced eruptions of "Drop Out" to the slow drone of "In Her Shadow," this record is a sonic landscape of disappointment and despair. Every song drips in a surprisingly blunt air of utter despondence. The sound of the album complements the lyrical themes remarkably, with a sound unlike any record I've heard before. The drums echo deeply, completely inhabiting the backgrounds of every song, while the bass' thickness and clarity dominates the foreground. The space in between is filled in quite nicely by the always unique guitar work, which has been one of Converge's most constantly impressive qualities, and Jake Bannon's animalistic cries, which have made Converge one of the most instantly identifiable bands in heavy music. The songs of You Fail Me vary in pace and content but aside from two cuts ("First Light" and "In Her Shadow") every song is as primally fierce and musically thick as anything the band has done to date. The major departure then comes not in the sound, but in the construction of more traditional songs around musical themes and guitar riffs. Within the format of the album, the band explores musical variations on a sort of common sound scheme, but always with equal success. On a disc this uniformly good, it is difficult to choose individual standout tracks, but the disc's fourth cut, "Drop Out," was the first track I immediately connected with, anchored by a riff as phenomenally executed as it is written. The disc's title track and its seeming companion piece "In Her Shadow" are the true centerpiece around which the album is built and, as such, probably capture the essence of this disc best. Clocking in at a combined twelve minutes, they also account for over a third of the disc's length. Bottom Line: So, we've got that the record marks a different sort of approach, a bit of the history leading up to its release and the basics of its sound and structure, but what does this all really mean to us as listeners Converge's You Fail Me is a string of what I consider to be some of their best songs to date, tied together by production that juxtaposes depth and proximity to create an album as unique in the annals of heavy music as the band itself. The only real "problem" per se is that, for all its abrasive beauty and creativity, a record like this certainly can't satisfy everyone. While I personally think this record will go down in history as a classic of the genre -- one that Converge has helped to define over the past decade, moreso than many of their other releases -- it will probably also be a highly contested claim. Opinions are opinions and everyone's got theirs, but I can easily place this record above anything else especially "heavy" that's been released thus far this year.

Comments (56) post new comment
Screamin_Jay_Hawkins_ 9/22/2004 12:30:37 PM

first


canwestartagain_ 9/22/2004 12:39:09 PM

i would have given it an 8


wes_ 9/22/2004 12:48:42 PM

finaly a positive review of this amazing album


vegans_taste_good_ 9/22/2004 12:56:41 PM

good job on the review cory, although i didnt like this cd on initial listin, it has really grown on me, its defintly one of the better releases this half of the year.


nightmare_ 9/22/2004 12:59:19 PM

I KNEW Cory would be reviewing this one


scrigface_ 9/22/2004 1:28:27 PM

definetaly a good review


wiggy_ 9/22/2004 1:28:27 PM

sweet vocab brah!!


theturnon_ 9/22/2004 1:29:19 PM

Good review, good album. Not as good as Jane Doe though and meayeb not a classic. Still better than 80% of this years metal/hardcore releases.


Mixhail_ 9/22/2004 1:38:05 PM

I had high expectations for this cd and somehow Converge pulled through for me. The themes on this cd seem even more connected with each other than the ones on Jane Doe. My only gripe with You Fail Me is that the cd is waaaaaaaay to short. "You Fail Me" and "in Her shadow" seem to take up most of the time and without those 2, we'd be left with a cd consisting of a bunch of 2 and 1 minute songs (almost grindcore in length). lets see if someone can answer this... is the riff during the end of "


Hawkins(s)_ 9/22/2004 2:09:31 PM

Shit band, shit cd, shit reviewer, shit everything


Papertigers_ 9/22/2004 2:58:49 PM

i would also have given it a 8 good review though


blake sinclair_ 9/22/2004 3:19:39 PM

of the 12 songs on here, i enjoyed about 5 of them. the rest is just not very interesting. i liked it back when they were pissed and they showed it. now they seem to still be pissed, but they wanna sell records.


HB_Dad_ 9/22/2004 3:39:21 PM

"Last Light" and "Dropout" are my two favorite songs on this CD! There are a lot of really good songs on this one, but a few mediocre ones as well. The good songs were way too short, and the mediocre and crappy ones seemed to drag on forever. The title tracks is WAAAAY too f*cking long and boring. When you hear one measure of the song, you've heard the entire thing!!! Seriously, it should've been a short into to a good song! After this dull moment, it then nosedives into "In Her Shadow" which SU


Kris_ 9/22/2004 4:39:15 PM

what? lambgoat gave a converge album a good review? thats crazy.....


jefferson_ 9/22/2004 5:49:29 PM

cory's reviews are boarderline unreadable... take a journalism/english class DOOD


teddy_ 9/22/2004 7:15:39 PM

Coming from someone who can't even spell borderline, I'm sure that really hits hard.


Tim_Diesel_ 9/22/2004 7:44:33 PM

Good review. I love this album.


dutchstep_ 9/22/2004 8:01:34 PM

this review makes no sense because you had tons of superlatives for the album and the only flaw you found in it was "some people might not like it" and you only gave it a 9? is lambgoat afraid to give a 10? granted, i don't think this album is deserving of a 10, but that's my opinion. in your opinion, you loved it. it shouldn't matter to a reviewer what other people think of the album. if you're going to saturate a review with compliments and basically call it perfect, don't give it an impe


alex_ 9/22/2004 10:02:05 PM

cory suggested that the record could be a 10/10. However, an album will have to be ABSOLUTELY perfect to get that score, since i have final say. Just because he used superlatives in the review does not make the album perfect. I don't know why everybody gets so hung up on 8's versus 7's, or 9's versus 10's. If you have a problem with it dude, just email me, instead of this pointless whining.


homoki_ 9/22/2004 10:08:59 PM

here's a review for you. the disc is good. it isn't jane doe and couldn't ever be because it had already been done. the band is older now and i believe that music is their passion. they aren't going to make a cd that you or i want to hear but a cd that is going to please the band themselves as musicians. there comes a point in time when you look back at what you did as and question how good you really are. you fail me is good and that is that.


Mixhail_ 9/22/2004 10:18:33 PM

half of the reviews i have read for this cd on other sites are pretty scathing and yet have no real reason for not liking it. check out www.punknews.org for a such an example. good review here though, though i thought a little more reason for giving it a 9 instead of a 10 could have been given. i think this is why i liked the old rating system so much... this is like a 94 whereas "petitioning" could have been a 90 and jane doe a 100.


Dimitri_from_Paris_ 9/22/2004 10:45:50 PM

Honestly, this is insane. Dont get me wrong, You Fail Me is a great album in its own right. BUT.... the vocals could not have been worse, and the music on all accounts isnt as interesting as Jane Doe, which got the same score. I give it a 7, but an 8 is alright. Ultimately though, this album got a higher score than Miss Machine which simply makes no sense. The DEP put out a masterwork of technical proficiency, masterful songwriting, innovation and quality on absolutley all accounts. However,


11:22_ 9/22/2004 11:25:32 PM

First of f*ck FRANCE! But I agree 110% with Dimitri_from_Paris. DEP blew Converge out of the water, good album but this rating system is f*cked. Recount!


savemefromtheoutsideworld_ 9/23/2004 12:55:29 AM

petitioning the empty sky > you fail me > all the other worthless shit they put out


matt_ 9/23/2004 4:35:11 AM

great cd, good review cory. I enjoyed this one very much.


dogg_shit_ 9/23/2004 7:49:54 AM

i think the album gets a ten. converge is one of the only bands in hardcore that's lasted longer than 3 albums, consistently released solid albums, and has changed their style just enough with each album to keep things interesting and fresh rather than watering things down and singing or just releasing the same boring metalcore albums over and over again. mad props to these boys for doing it right every time.


Joe_ 9/23/2004 10:58:26 AM

You all need to get off this kids nutts. Personally, I think he hit the nail on the head. This is a f*cking amazing cd. Whoever said they "just want to sell records" is a f*cking moron. They are certainly still pissed. Whoever actively dislikes this cd is just doing it to "hate on the NEW cd" just like every other brainless f*ck. Good review, AMAZING band, Great CD.


kid_kilowatt_ 9/23/2004 8:13:57 PM

it's so weird how people categorize music...how can you say that converge wanna sell more cds? are you dumb or what? in 5 years everyone will talk about this one, not about the miss machine cd which is a good album, great, but how can you compare those two? read the lyrics, this is a masterpiece, pure emotional blackness and real violence...no need for too technicity to show how much you angry...Just one more thing, converge comes from the punk hardcore scene but they don't give a f*ck about stu


kingben_ 9/24/2004 1:01:59 AM

great band. good album. NOT a nine. give "leviatian" a seven and this a nine?! i think you got your reviews mixed up. this is not classic, and i am not blown away. it is good, but i expected a lot better.


mike_ 9/24/2004 8:31:36 AM

A 9!?! You've got to be kidding me. You gave Mastodon a 7. You should probably just get converge's c-cks out of your mouth, because it's obviously f*cked with your hearing. This record is boring.


Cory_ 9/24/2004 9:11:15 PM

I know girls who've put lots of c-cks in their mouths and it never affected their hearing. I liked this record a whole lot. I didn't like Leviathan nearly as much. This record was a good listen. Leviathan was not. Regardless, there is no point in comparing the two as they are two very different sorts of records and pretty much two totally different genres of music. For what they are, the scores I gave were, in my opinion, accurate. If you don't like the review, go to hell. If you do like it,


lewis_ 9/24/2004 10:06:34 PM

converge could come out with a rap album and lambgoat would still give it a ludicrously high score and the "album of the week" title. you guys are jerks.


alex_ 9/24/2004 11:26:14 PM

dad!!!!!!!!!!!!


Cory_ 9/25/2004 1:03:06 AM

Converge...rap album!?! OMG LOL ROLF Seriously, die.


jess_ 9/25/2004 10:00:50 AM

Yeah no offense but this is possibly the worst album converge has ever put out, and it's definitely not a 9/10. And it does feel like whatever converge puts out is going to get a high rating, because of WHO it is, not WHAT. Because if we're being honest, this record is bad.


holy ghost of abraham_ 9/25/2004 1:28:59 PM

I thought the review captured everything that this album is. 9? Maybe not, but that's really not a big deal.


Murph_ 9/25/2004 10:10:51 PM

You guys are completely comparing apples and oranges. Mastodon and DEP have *very* little in common with Converge. Sure, if you judge the music solely on "technical proficiency" other bands will win out. Either way, it doesn't matter. Opinions are like jerks (as we all know, the hardcore scene is chock full of 'em). It's always a relief to hear genuinely dark music that isn't infected with a bunch of Iron Maiden riffs played in reverse.


Lukecubed_ 9/25/2004 10:49:18 PM

Holy shit this album owns. Anyone that thinks this "sucks" or "doesn't live up to Jane Doe" or is their "worst album" needs to go back to their Hatebreed and Killswitch cd's and stop polluting the air with their low brainwaves. This album is beginning-to-end brilliant, just like every Converge album, and this album is a hundred times classier and more subtle than Miss Machine (which I like). Saying this album isn't as good as DEP because it's not as technical is like saying Floyd isn't as goo


john_ 9/28/2004 3:59:12 PM

why listen to converge when you can just listen to starkweather? they're better.


Stefan_ 9/28/2004 5:13:44 PM

I thought Jane Doe was better. You Fail Me is quite the boring straightfoward album.


Coldchain_ 9/28/2004 11:13:47 PM

I have it and its good. Obviously it could never meet up to Jane Doe, I didn't expect it to. I was disappointed with how overhyped it was, like the countdown on the website. But whatever. It doesn't detract from some good brutal songs. And personally, I think "In Her Shadow" is one of the best things they've ever done. A little slow and grating at first, but then gets into this evil and sad sounding swing. My only gripe is that I'm tired of hearing Jacob vent rage at some mystery hardcore girl o


deadwithfear_ 9/30/2004 4:05:20 PM

umm...this bad isn't that great


wigtastical_ 9/30/2004 9:32:19 PM

OVERRATION!!! this thing blows


Alleg_ 10/5/2004 10:43:41 AM

DUDE. Words like Nuanced blow my mind! SHRED IT!


Captain_Comic_ 10/6/2004 9:03:29 AM

I would have given it a 2.HAR!


xcpointx_ 11/4/2004 9:01:20 AM

well i dont think jane doe is that great as all you make it out to be.. what the heck??? this one on the other hand is fantastic... i can see me playing it and not getting tired of it like i do a lot of other new stuff coming out these days... this aint core by numbers. but thats what some people like.


cross_ 12/30/2004 11:43:13 PM

this album is amazing and im glad someone reviews it well, because alot of ppl didnt its a classic! good job, Cory!


anonymous 1/3/2005 9:32:09 PM

THE VULTURES


malidorimagpie_ 2/7/2005 2:54:01 PM

awesome album! (end of story)


Chad Judice_ 3/8/2005 7:28:58 AM

I have been a fan for 10 years now and by far You Fail Me is there most mature album so far. Plus, there is only 1 guitar player in this album too!


bob_ 3/23/2005 5:25:51 PM

www.hxcmp3.com/bands/22911


Jack_ 10/28/2005 9:19:22 PM

Went to a converge show, beasted some kids in the face, rocked out, got knocked to the floor, got thrown out for brawling...... perfect show man


anonymous 11/17/2005 3:40:26 PM

last post??


unders_core_ 11/26/2005 8:01:35 PM

no you fail last post i got it


anonymous 12/6/2005 2:26:27 PM

you both lose


Mixhail_ 5/20/2006 9:02:03 PM

a year and a half later and i still agree with this review wholeheartedly. It also seems as if most people have finally come around since September 2004 and realized that this cd is awesome despite it not being better than Jane Doe. Goodjob Cory.