CONVERGE @ The Palladium, Hollywood (11/19/09)

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Show attendees lined up in front of The Palladium long before doors opened at 6:00pm in anticipation of headliners, DETHKLOK. Once the sold out crowd was allowed in, HIGH ON FIRE went to work warming up the crowd with their rockin’ brand of doom. While CONVERGE were setting up, some members of the crowd had their reservations about a bunch of short hairs who don’t appear on Headbangers Ball or covers of mainstream metal mags. However, the band quickly went to work pummeling the crowd with their brand of raging hardcore. Their set consisted of songs from their last four albums. There was a good number of CONVERGE fans that came out to represent. Whether it was the chaotic and heavy guitars and bass, the powerhouse drumming, or anti-rockstar vocal approach, CONVERGE introduced the majority of the hardcore virgin crowd to what they were all about.

DOOMRIDERS – Darkness Come Alive

DOOMRIDERS‘ impressive debut, Black Thunder, was an exciting, gritty don’t-give-a-fuck metal record with MAIDEN dual-guitar harmonies, a sometimes-DANZIG croon, and death ‘n roll edge of late 90’s era ENTOMBED. Their anticipated follow-up, Darkness Come Alive, deliver a lot of those same influences, albeit in a more refined manner. Where Black Thunder had a fun party vibe, Darkness Come Alive is focused and captures a more serious tone.

Fronted by CONVERGE bassist, Nate Newton, on guitars and vocals, the screamer bellows with a distinct yet understandable growl that, along with their dual-guitar harmonies, really characterizes the band. The album begins with their “signature” harmonized guitars in “Heavy Lies the Crown,” a midpaced number that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Unfortuantely, tempos never get too much faster than that, but the album is all about the guitars and song arrangements. “Knife Wound” then picks up the pace a bit. The track is full of strong breakdowns and is less reliant on the guitar harmonies. The album continues without straying far from their established bark. Some highlights include “Crooked Path,” “Lions,” “Mercy,” and closing track “Rotter.”  Though there really are no weak songs.

The rest of the band, JR Conners (CAVE IN), Jebb Riley (DISAPPEAR), and Chris Pupecki (CAST IRON HIKE) are no slouches. They’re a tight unit exhibiting no entry-level flaws. And production, by CONVERGE‘s Kurt Ballou at his Godcity Studios is praise-worthy. The mix is full and deliciously bass-heavy.

Darkness Come Alive perhaps isn’t quite the “expected” follow-up to Black Thunder, but it’s a thoroughly solid album of heavy music that isn’t to be labeled “this-core” or “that-core.” It’s just heavy fucking metal! (Deathwish Inc.)

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CONVERGE – Axe to Fall

CONVERGE‘s highly anticipated Axe to Fall album immediately storms out of the gate, pummeling the listener with an unmatched aural onslaught. The first four tracks, “Dark Horse,” “Reap What You Sow,” “Axe to Fall,” and “Effigy,” waste no time flooring the listener with balls-out extremity. Driven by the pushing, restless drumming of Ben Koller, who executes with finesse and flavor, as does Kurt Ballou, whose guitars dance around with maniacal grace. The flow is fluid and bounces with such a natural spontaneity, you don’t want to come down from that high. The way the album begins is right on the money.

But all is not just blood and violence… the album suddenly shifts gears to the dissonant yet crushing two-part “Worms Will Feed/Rats Will Feast,” which is parallel with the two-part “Grim Heart/Black Rose” track off their previous No Heroes album.

Axe to Fall is perhaps the band’s most interestingly diverse album. The album’s two closing tracks are mellow but rich with melody. “Cruel Blood” is a jangley track with a bluesy, folksy vibe that’s dark and haunting, yet complete with a sway side-to-side groove and sing-a-long (or hum-a-long)-friendly chorus. “Wretched World” is a somber shoegaze number that twinkles with harmonics. You won’t find yourself skipping over these closers.  Both are dark yet full of color.

CONVERGE‘s landmark Jane Doe album will forever be the measuring stick by which their music (and others’) will forever be compared to. And it’s amazing to experience an album that has matched that level of musical excellence and fervor. Axe to Fall is 110% CONVERGE and has easily succeeded in meeting (and quite possibly surpassing) everyone’s expectations. (Epitaph Records)

DOOMRIDERS Announce East Coast Shows with CLUTCH

Boston’s DOOMRIDERS, featuring Nate Newton of CONVERGE, have announced a few east coast dates supporting the mighty CLUTCH in December.DOOMRIDERSjust released their sophomore album, Darkness Comes Alive, on Deathwish Inc. Here are the dates:

12/27: Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend
12/28: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
12/29: Albany, NY @ Nothern Lights
12/30: Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
12/31: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

CONVERGE’s Axe to Fall Up for Streaming

CONVERGE’s new album, Axe to Fall, has been made available for streaming in it’s entirety on their MySpace page.  Get blasted here:

Axe to Fall officially drops October 20th worldwide via Epitaph (and on vinyl via Deathwish Inc.). You can pre-order the album at their official online shop now:

CONVERGE Unleash “Axe to Fall” Video

CONVERGE have premiered the video for the title track from their forthcoming new album, Axe to Fall, on FEARnet.  Check it…

FEARnet also conducted an interview with frontman Jacob Bannon. Read the interview here:

CONVERGE are currently on the road supporting MASTODON and DETHKLOK.  Visit the band’s official website for all the latest tour dates:

Axe to Fall hits stores October 20th on Epitaph Records.

Download the Title Track of CONVERGE’s Axe to Fall; Album Pre-orders Now Available

Spin Magazine has posted a free downlod of CONVERGE‘s “Axe to Fall,” the title track off their forthcoming new album. Download the ripper here:

The album, which drops October 20th, is also available for pre-order beginning today. Axe to Fall is available in CD and vinyl formats. Pre-order packages are also available which feature an Axe to Fall T-shirt and/or a limited edition print, the latter which is only available via one the special pre-order packages.

Pre-order from the official CONVERGE estore or the Deathwish Inc. estore:

CONVERGE: New Album, Axe to Fall, Drops October 20th

Lambgoat has revealed that CONVERGE‘s new album will carry the title Axe to Fall, and is scheduled for release on October 20th through Epitaph Records (with vinyl to come via Deathwish Inc.).

Axe to Fall, which was recorded at guitarist Kurt Ballou’s Godcity studio in Salem, MA, features a flurry of guest contributions from Steve Brodsky (CAVE IN), Adam McGrath (CAVE IN), J.R. Connors (CAVE IN, DOOMRIDERS), Uffe Cederlund (DISFEAR, ex-ENTOMBED), John Pettibone (THE VOWS, HIMSA), Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS), and Mookie Singerman (GENGHIS TRON). Artwork was, once again, crafted by singer Jacob Bannon.

Here’s the full album track list:
01. “Dark Horse
02. “Reap What You Sow
03. “Axe To Fall
04. “Effigy
05. “Worms Will Feed
06. “Wishing Well
07. “Damages
08. “Losing Battle
09. “Dead Beat
10. “Cutter
11. “Slave Driver
12. “Cruel Bloom
13. “Wretched World

The band will be touring extensively in support of the new album with a slot on the MASTODON and DETHKLOK tour.  CONVERGE will also be playing off-tour dates and making festival appearances including this year’s F Yeah Fest and Maryland Deathfest.

DOOMRIDERS Forced to Drop Off KYLESA Tour Due to Scheduling Conflicts

Boston’s DOOMRIDERS have been forced to drop off the upcoming KYLESA tour due to guitarist Nate Newton‘s commitment with CONVERGE. The band posted the following message apologizing for the cancellation:

“We’ve gotten a lot of messages regarding our dropping off of the KYLESA tour and yes…unfortuately the news is true. Due to scheduling issues between DOOMRIDERS and Nate‘s other band CONVERGE we had to pull out of the tour. Our deepest apologies go out to our friends in KYLESA, and also to anyone who had planned on coming to see us play on the tour. We love KYLESA, and we love our brothers in SAVIOURS, who have taken our spot on the tour and encourage everyone to go to these shows and have a blast!! Its going to be a great tour and we’re all very sad that we won’t be a part of it.

“We will hopefully be announcing some exciting tour plans for later in the year very soon. We’re sorry everyone! We’ll see you next time!!”

Visit KYLEA‘s official MySpace page for dates of the affected tour: