No Heroes

Written by: PP on 03/11/2006 14:07:10

The first five tracks of "No Heroes" are not just a punch in the face that knocks you unconscious. While you are lying down, it kicks you in the face, rents a 5-tonne truck and drives over you, reverses, repeats, and finishes the touch with some artillery shells and a nuclear bomb to be 100% sure you vanish from the planet. Converge has done it again, the heaviest album of the year - maybe even the decade - and its relentlessness is contested by nobody. In a time where hardcore bands are flourishing like flowers in the spring, Converge's new album is timely and sends out a statement: "OK kids, playtime is over, it's bedtime", threatening to ground anyone who resists.

The furiosity of "No Heroes" is indescribable. The first five tracks clock in just five minutes with the bands indeciphrable vocalist Jacob Bannon's vocalists assaulting you like a sharp kitchen knife second after second giving you absolutely no space to breathe whatsoever. Punch after punch, intricate complexities within the fantastic guitars hammer their way through your consciousness, not showing off more than giving a statement of the pure genius the band's guitarist Kurt Ballou possesses. But that, we of course knew long time ago, as throughout the last two decades classics such as "Petitioning The Empty Sky", "Jane Doe" and "You Fail Me" have influenced the entire spectrum of both underground and mainstream music scenes around the world.

But to go back to the first five tracks, it is impossible to explain the ultimate destruction they contain in words, one must simply listen and bow your head in respect in front of your new (old) masters. And then, suddenly, as if the band wanted to take the piss on people, they bring in a nine-minute progressive epos "Grimm Heart / Black Rose", preceded by the hypnotic downtuned riffs of "Plagues". All the furiosity is gone in an instant and replaced with epic soundscapes and ghastly clean vocals, surrounded by chord progressions any of today's experimentalist bands would be proud of. Then, as soon as the track ends, "Orphaned" picks up the frenzied madness again, pushing Jacob's desperation-filled screams through your nostrils whether you want it or not. The track, together with "Bare My Teeth", works as a display of the incredible instrumental talent the band possesses. Their riff-structures are so original and innovative that they make The Dillinger Escape Plan's "Miss Machine"'s 'math metal' sound unprecise. Especially "Bare My Teeth" brings this forth - Jacob's unrhythmic barks and growls are supported by some of the most aggressively unmelodic guitars - yet the portray the kind of secret melody this kind of music shouldn't posses, and when it all melds down into a chaotic crescendo half-way through the song you can't help but be impressed as fuck.

Track ten "Lonewolves" displays the last 'hope' anyone ever had of this album slowing down into something understandable by only being three times the speed of "Grimm Heart / Black Rose", but the despair the listener has at this point is immediate, the chaos is everywhere: in the thorough punishment of the drums, the guitars that just seem to be on a high note and a low note at the same time while throwing in an industrial feel as well, and in the clean vocals that sound like those shouted in utter desperation by someone just about to commit suicide and explaining what's wrong with the world today as a reason of doing it. Finally, when the fourteenth track "To The Lions" finishes its incredible attack on all-things melodic and organized, telling every single hardcore act today to sit down and shut up with its precise riffs and unbeliavably heavy execution, your ears have been torn apart more thoroughly than ever before, but yet at the same time you've just heard something so incredibly good that it's hard to put it in words, let alone understand how the band could possibly come up with this. The best album of 2006 discussion can hereby end, nothing will, let alone can top what Coverge has done here, they've simply fused together the brilliance of clarity and the uglyness of chaos in a way we haven't heard in over a ten years. An instant, timeless classic.


Download: Hellbound, Bare My Teeth, Orphaned
For the fans of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Beecher, Botch, Norma Jean
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.10.2006

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