Truth and purpose is meant to sting.
I’ve been frothing at the mouth since 2012 for new Converge. Five years is a long time for any band (unless you’re Tool), but specifically it’s a long time for Converge. They haven’t necessarily been quiet, releasing a vast array of side material. A remixed and remastered edition of their dark 2004 album You Fail Me (my personal favorite) in 2016, pressing a live version of their masterpiece Jane Doe in 2017 with various different covers and colors for vinyl addicts, releasing A Thousand Miles Between Us, a collection of video and live recordings spanning from 2002-2015 and clocking in at over some ungodly amount of hours, and also releasing a live at BBC recording on 7” back in 2014. But remasters and live recordings aside, none of this was new Converge.
Speculation and rumors from various interviews and Instagram posts from front man Jacob Bannon and drummer Ben Koller hinted at recording and demoing, putting an anticipatory release date of “late 2017.” Instead of dropping just singles and small snips of songs until the eventual release date of their album, like many bands do as it seems like the customary route, they instead dropped two b-side brand new songs and put them on a 7”. Completely separate from an album which is already posed to have 15-18 tracks (speculated).
I Can Tell You About Pain consists of two tracks. One titled aptly “I Can Tell You About Pain” and second track “Eve.” The former track is Converge baring their teeth and showing their claws by doing what they do best. Delivering an angular, dissonant, jarring, and heavy mix of hardcore/metalcore/whatever you want to call it, “ICTYAP” hits hard. Sounding like a love child of You Fail Me era guitar and drum work with No Heroes era vocal delivery (especially the second half of the album), Bannon tosses back and forth between hell hound snarl and impassioned shouting to bolster the lines:
MY PAIN FEELS LIKE”
Followed by a crushing, slow-paced breakdown. Converge have found such a groove of putting out amazingly consistent work with their past albums that I can’t help to think that this song is a cut from that same cloth.
The second track “Eve” is where the band really shines, they explore a slower and churning sound, akin to the title tracks on both You Fail Me and Jane Doe. Both tracks are dripping with emotion, the first with anger and resentment, and “Eve” with sorrow, reflection and discontent. At over seven minutes long, “Eve” winds its way in and out of soft spoken verses and crescendo-ing choruses with added vocals by bassist Nate Newton who delivers the best lines of the song: “I need to forget and to move on, I need to feel loss to cherish love.”
After being a band for almost 30 years, you’d think the well would have gone dry for a band like Converge. But each new album or song still resonates deeply. And the one thing that a band like Converge will always have (which is why they are my favorite band of all time if you couldn’t tell), is authenticity and sincerity, even in the most aggressive and abrasive ways.
by Andy Wilcox