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Converge Jane Doe

Converge - Jane Doe
01. Concubine
02. Fault And Fracture
03. Distance And Meaning
04. Hell To Pay
05. Homewrecker
06. The Broken Vow
07. Bitter And Then Some
08. Heaven In Her Arms
09. Phoenix In Flight
10. Phoenix In Flames
11. Thaw
12. Jane Doe
2001 Equal Vision Records

Reviewed by: Alex   //   Published: 10/23/2001

Converge is a difficult band to describe. Reading about them never properly prepares one for actually listening to them. Producing a jagged mosiac of metal, hardcore, rock, and noisecore, Converge has been pioneering their own genre of extreme music for nearly ten years. Love them or hate them, it would be unfair to question their originality.

Their previous efforts have been uneven at times, with flashes of absolute brilliance tempered by fits of disorganization. Converge always seemed to have the right ingredients, but often failed to follow through with the final product. Some fans will consider this record to be less intense than 'Petitioning The Empty Sky', but 'Jane Doe' really is a large step closer to perfection for Converge. For the first time, they've produced an effort overflowing with consistency, from start to finish. They're trying things they haven't tried before, and more importantly; they're pulling them off.

If you've never listened to Converge, don't overdo it at first. Digested in large doses, these guys can have a caustic effect on the senses. Swirling guitars, piercing vocals, dense layers of noise, and dizzying tempos make "Concubine" a challening track with which to begin one's Converge experience. "Fault And Fracture" comes across much the same way, a blistering arrangement of dangerous riffs and spastic grooves. Following the Jesus Lizard-ish "Distance And Meaning", things start to get really interesting on "Hell To Pay", a plodding track with some odd vocal offerings. Towards the end of the song, the guitars take over and the song becomes quite powerful.

'Jane Doe' begins to hit her stride on "The Broken Vow", complete with some solid singing vocals, and "Bitter And Then Some", which features some menancing guitar work amongst the typical Converge backdrop of organized chaos. The next track, "Heaven In Her Arms", rolls through some high-paced runs of abrasive metal before slowing down and fading nicely into the stirring "Phoenix In Flight". This track really only consists of a few repeating guitar melodies, but it's truly exceptional in its simplicity. The haunting riff used during the track's second half will echo in your head long after the song ends.

Following the 40 seconds of various noises and drum fills that comprise "Phoenix In Flames", Converge returns with some major firepower on "Thaw", a blistering combination of searing guitar leads and supercharged metalcore. Listening to Jake unleash his banshee screams over the skin-grating guitars is both painful and disturbingly satisfying. Sometimes it amazes me that I can enjoy music this abrasive. Regardless of what comes before it, there is little on this album that will prepare the listener for the title track and final song, "Jane Doe". This song is quite possibly one of the greatest things Converge has ever done. It molds every facet of this band into a coherent tapestry of aural imagery and dissonant melody. The track is over 11 minutes long, and there is no filler, just quality music. This song could almost be an album in itself.

Bottom Line: Don't expect to fully enjoy this album without listening to it at least 5 times. Take your time, don't rush it, and be patient. 'Jane Doe' is a journey of sorts. There are brief periods of discomfort, but the overall sensation is mind-blowing.

Ryan_   posted 4/20/2007 3:44:37 PM
This album is overrated. Holy moly. 5-6 max. Totally not worth buying... in my butt
FICKLExFUCKER_   posted 2/28/2007 11:48:13 AM
f*ckin great....changed my life
sovereigncomfort_   posted 8/27/2006 1:29:04 PM
*joins in on the sucking*
Mixhail_   posted 5/20/2006 8:49:02 PM
this is the greatest album of all time in pretty much every facet and it is packaged with the Best Production and Best CD artwork ever as well. I can list 5 songs that can be considered the greatest individual metal and hardcore tracks ever created... Concubine, The Broken Vow, Heaven In Her Arms, Phoenix in Flight and Jane Doe. Each of those songs tackle some sort of subgenre of 21st centure metal, whether it be grindcore, mathmetal, metalcore, melodic death metal or the atmospheric. And every
Adam_   posted 3/27/2006 9:58:34 PM
this is the shit
although some of the vocals get a bit lost in the mix sometimes

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