Ben Koller

Album Review: Converge- The Dusk In Us

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Five years have come and gone since Converge‘s last epic album All We Love We Leave Behind. In those five years, there seems to be no signs of any member of Converge losing their “edge” or desire to push themselves creatively. On their new album The Dusk In Us, Converge takes a bunch of stylistic chances and they all pay off. For a band that has constantly set the bar for this style of music, it definitely doesn’t come as a shock that they are willing to experiment musically, vocally and lyrically to make the best album they can.

The moment the album begins with “A Single Tear” it shows that there are no signs of Converge slowing down. The riff alone will cause you to stir and move. There are songs on the album that are reminiscent of classic style Converge like “Eye Of The Quarrel,” “Under Duress,” “Broken By Light,” and “Cannibals.” Then there are some truly epic songs like “I Can Tell You About Pain,” the title track “The Dusk In Us.” The more experimental songs like “Murk and Marrow,” and especially “Thousands Of Miles Between Us,”  and closing song “Reptilian,” show that Converge still has grown over the years but also they have a maturity about them that is often overlooked.

Converge has always done things their way and it’s because of that, that they are highly regarded as highly influential and originators of this style of heavy music. Vocalist/lyricist Jacob Bannon has really spread his wings on this album. Lyrically this is some of his best work and vocally he shows he’s got more that just a guttural scream. Guitarist Kurt Ballou continues to impress with his unique style and impactful riffage. Drummer Ben Koller is an absolute beast and he is fully unleashed on this album. Finally bassist Nate Newton has really come into his own and is showcased more on this album. By Nate adding vocals to the songs, it makes them stand out and his own playing has never sounded better.

The Dusk In Us is one of the best pieces of work Converge has put out. It’s pretty crazy to think that as these guys get older they only get better. Something else about this album that is quite interesting is that Converge still has songs left over that didn’t make the album. One of those songs “Eve” is probably one of the best songs the band has ever written. Do yourself a favor and delve into The Dusk In Us and explore a side of you that you didn’t think existed. You will be quite surprised with how much you enjoy this.

Overall Rating: A

 

Converge- The Dusk In Us:

 

Converge- Eve:

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Album Rank: Converge

Converge_Logo.jpg Over the years, Converge has established themselves as an influential and underrated band. Musically, they are powerful and enigmatic. Vocally and lyrically they are passionate and ferocious. The entire package of the band is approached with a “take no prisoners” type of attitude and it shows in every album they’ve released. Converge are also one of the few bands that seem to get better and better as time goes on just like a fine wine. Recently, Converge released two new songs to wet the appetite of their fans and those two songs are full of what you’d want from Converge. So, with all that in mind here is a ranking of their albums from not their best to the best.

 

Halo In A Haystack:

 

Petitioning The Empty Sky:

 

When Forever Comes Crashing:

 

No Heroes:

 

You Fail Me:

 

All We Love We Leave Behind:

 

Axe To Fall:

 

Jane Doe:

New Release: Converge- I Can Tell You About Pain 7″

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Today, Converge premiered two new tracks online from their upcoming 7″ single,“I Can Tell You About Pain” The two songs released “I Can Tell You About Pain” and “Eve” are pretty classic sounding Converge. “Eve” is one of the most epic songs the band has put out. It almost could have been on Axe To Fall, with the vibe that it puts out.  You can also pre-order the 7″ edition of the aforementioned EP via deathwishinc.com.  There are still plans for Converge to release a new album later this year. In the meantime, check out the two new songs below!

 

Converge- I Can Tell You About Pain:

 

Converge- Eve:

Live Review: Mutoid Man, Helms Alee & Mustard Gas and Roses at The Resident

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Let me set the tone for the evening. It was a perfect Southern California evening. The weather was perfect and the mood was meant for music that would knock your socks off. It also seems that Downtown Los Angeles is fast becoming the place for rock/metal bands to play. Last night was worth the trip for sure.

Kicking off the night was the very alluring Mustard Gas & Roses. Their brand of doom metal set the standard for the evening. This Los Angeles based four piece is the perfect band to get you in the mood for a night of great music. They are cinematic and proficient in their performance. I’ve been hearing about this band for a little bit now and they were everything I thought they would be.

Next up was Helms Alee. This band left me absolutely breathless. I’ve been meaning to go see them live for some time and I finally had my chance and WOW. Their blistering set was visceral and inspiring. The magnitude of tone they delivered from their drums, bass and guitars made it seem like they were playing an arena. I’m always intrigued by melody and even with their doom approach, the melody was not lost. With all three members doing vocals, that really gives a whole different dynamic to their style of music, There were times during their set that they reminded me a bit of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins and self titled era Alice In Chains but with a bit of doom to it. Helms Alee is the type of band that releases great albums but, in order to fully grasp the greatness of this band, you NEED TO SEE THEM LIVE.

The main event of the evening was Mutoid Man. They are another band that I’ve been really wanting to see live. Their albums are stellar and the fact that drummer Ben Koller and singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky were finally able to get together and form a band makes me extra happy, being as I’m a HUGE fan of Cave In and I really dig on Converge. The addition of bassist Nick Cageao adds a whole other layer and dimension of heavy to the band. Mutoid Man really knows how to deliver a great night of riffs, pummeling drums, jokes, and great performances. Like Helms Alee, Mutoid Man puts out great albums but, it’s really best to go see them live. Their set featured songs from both their full length albums (Bleeder and War Moans) along with songs from their debut EP. They drove the crowd into a frenzy, with a perfect mosh pit as well. My friend and I couldn’t resist joining in on the pit fun, as we moshed our way to the front of the venue.

What a great night for a show. Three great bands on one bill to make it known that heavy music is alive and well along with the take no prisoners approach. I highly recommend you all taking the time to go see them live and give a listen to these three great bands albums. You will not only thank me later but, you’ll feel compelled to go buy their albums.

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Anticipated Albums: Mutoid Man- War Moans

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Mutoid Man have a new album coming out June 2nd and I couldn’t be more stoked. I’ve long been a fan of Cave In and Converge, so the idea of Stephen Brodsky (of Cave In) and Ben Koller (of Converge) making a second full length album is music to my ears. Their first EP Helium Head was a great introduction and exactly what you thought the music would sound like. Then on their debut full length, Bleeder, they stepped it up about 10 notches and delivered a very ass kicking record. The two new songs from their upcoming album War Moans, are blistering and full of intensity. This is one band that you should be playing with the volume turned all the way up.

Check out what Mutoid Man has to offer on their upcoming new album!

 

Mutoid Man- Kiss Of Death:

 

Mutoid Man- Melt Your Mind:

 

 

Mutoid Man Tour Dates with Special Guest Helms Alee:

06/04 Boston, MA – Great Scott
06/06 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus
06/07 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
06/08 Detroit, MI – El Club
06/09 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
06/10 Indianapolis, IN – Black Circle Brewing
06/12 Dallas, TX – Curtain Club
06/13 Austin, TX – Barracuda
06/14 Houston, TX – The Studio at Warehouse Live
06/15 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
06/16 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (Hell)
06/17 Orlando, FL – The Social
06/19 Raleigh, NC – King’s
06/20 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts – Black Box
07/06 Seattle, WA – Neumos
07/07 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
07/08 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
07/10 Los Angeles, CA – Resident
07/11 Santa Ana, CA – The Constellation Room
07/12 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
07/13 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
07/14 Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
07/15 Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
07/16 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge

Supergroup Alert: Mutoid Man

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It’s been a lot of talk and back and forth but the day is finally here. The long awaited Converge/Cave In collaboration has arrived. Mutoid Man, formed by Stephen Brodsky (vocals/guitar) and Ben Koller (drums), this dynamic pairing has created something special. Their twisted time signatures and love for thrash punk with a dose of melody can all be heard on their debut Helium Head. Live Nick Cageao handles the low end. There is very truthful and honest approach to what Mutoid Man has created. Their album is short, precise, and direct that after it’s over you immediately want to start it over.

https://www.facebook.com/mutoidman