Converge unveiled an intense new rock song, “Under Duress,” last Tuesday. It’s the first single from the Boston hardcore band’s upcoming album, The Dusk in Us, released November 3rd, via Epitaph (the album features “I Can Tell You About Pain” but not “Eve”).
Kurt Ballou’s guitar cycles through a short, brutal notes, as Ben Koller’s cymbals similarly sound like bricks thrown through glass while Jacob Bannon as ever, sings defiantly. “I don’t need to learn to live in compromise/ I will never kneel and kiss your ring,” he sings in an assaultive tone. Bannon called the song “my emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live,” in a previous statement.
Five years since their last release, Converge return with a brutal but beautiful album that shows the group’s artistic evolution while still capturing their classic sound. The ninth full-length from the Boston-based heavy-music innovators—vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton, and drummer Ben Koller—The Dusk In Us proves to be both dark and hopeful, abrasive and melodic, devastating and powerfully cathartic.
In recording The Dusk In Us, Converge once again worked in Ballou’s renowned Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts. Produced by the band and mixed by Ballou, the album matches its raw energy with a subculture-crossing inventiveness that’s earned Converge longtime reverence within the punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. One of Converge’s most dynamic and avant-garde albums to date, The Dusk In Us unfolds with an uncompromising honesty born from “writing about experiences in my life and working through the complexities of those things through song,” as Bannon explains.
On the album-opening “A Single Tear,” pummeling drums and caustic riffs form the backdrop to strikingly vulnerable lyrics like “When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.” (“‘A Single Tear’ is about becoming a parent, and the perspective and strength it can give,” Bannon notes.) With its abrasive guitar work and menacing undertones, “Under Duress” brings a tortured howl to lyrics channeling what Bannon describes as “my emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live.” “I Can Tell You About Pain” offers pure fury, and on the seven-minute-plus title track to The Dusk in Us, Converge deliver a slow-building, quietly haunting epic of ethereal beauty.
Converge formed in Massachusetts in 1990, then made their debut with 1994’s Halo in a Haystack. Soon regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with their landmark album Jane Doe—a 2001 release. The latest offering arrives as the follow-up to 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind, an album that Consequence Of Sound called “as skull-cleaving as it is beautiful” and that made its way onto Pitchfork’s Best New Music list.
While The Dusk In Us finds Converge defying boundaries and pushing into new sonic terrain, it’s also a natural progression for a band that’s long thrived on making music that both challenges and connects. “Our only goal is to create something that moves us and resonates with us emotionally,” says Bannon. “For us, it’s simply a new album about new chapters in our lives. We are a very ‘human’ band—always have been—and our songs are all rooted in our real-life experiences. The Dusk In Us is that new chapter, just as previous records were before that.”
“Under Duress” will appear as the third track on The Dusk in Us, the band’s 9th studio LP and first since 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind. Like Converge’s previous four albums, this one will arrive through the record label Epitaph. Converge produced the LP as a group and Ballou mixed it.
The Dusk in Us is available for pre-order through Converge’s website.
The Dust in Us Track List
1. A Single Tear
2. Eye of the Quarrel
3. Under Duress
4. Arkhipov Calm
5. I Can Tell You About Pain
6. The Dusk in Us
8. Murk & Marrow
10. Broken by Light
12. Thousands of Miles Between Us
Converge Tour Dates
Aug 18 – Bristol, UK @ ArcTanGent 2017
Aug 19 – Eisleben, Germany @ Destruction Derby Festival
Aug 20 – Warsaw, Poland @ Zaklęte Rewiry
Aug 21 – Bratislava, Slovakia @ Majestic Music Club
Aug 22 – Vienna, Austria @ Vienna Arena
Aug 23 – Munich Germany @ Backstage
Aug 24 – Aarau, Switzerland @ Backstage
Aug 25 – Paris, France @ Le Trabendo
Aug 26 – Tilburg, Netherlands @ 013
Written by Natalie Wardle.