The new album from Converge is so good that it would be wise for any other metal band planning to release new material in 2012 to hold off until next year. All We Love We Leave Behind, Converge’s eighth full length, is the kind of album that not only renews my faith in metal but also makes me damn proud that the music scene I grew up around is still making relevant, exciting music.
Visceral is the only word that comes to mind when thinking about All We Love We Leave Behind. Jacob Bannon sounds like an absolute monster once again and the rest of Converge is completely on fire. The fire and intensity that happens when these four men come together in Converge is undeniable. While still plenty diverse, AWLWLB is so much more in your face than Axe To Fall or No Heroes. Take opener “Aimless Arrow” which is just a brutal churning monolith of riffs that doesn’t let up until a breakdown in the third track, “Tender Abuse”, and that breakdown alone is enough to shatter bones. Next, Nate Newton does his best Angus Young impression with the hyper adrenalized AC/DC romp “Sadness Comes Home” to change moods.
For fans of the more experimental Converge, delve deeper into AWLWLB and particularly “A Glacial Place” (Also my favorite so far). There’s enough mood and tempo changes to keep even the casual fan intrigued and the razor sharp riffage is spot on. “Coral Blue” is another one that harkens back to that “Cruel Bloom”/”Wretched World” vibe (With a truly stellar guitar solo within) while “Vicious Muse” sees Converge getting their rawk on (Inspired by Doomriders perhaps?) and features a sick opening drum line from Ben Koller. By the time Kurt Ballou’s bass introduces the title track (Think an abbreviated “Grim Heart/Black Rose”) and “Predatory Glow” puts the last nail in the coffin, All We Love We Leave Behind will have ruined heavy music for you for the rest of the year.