Bringing together a collection of rare and difficult to find songs and then having them remixed and re-mastered (by Kurt Ballou) is the way to any Converge fans heart. Originally released in 1995 as an EP (and itself now rare), this re-released package has the addition of further bonus tracks taking it to 45 minutes and making it great value for money.
The US Noisecore veterans create a masterpiece of originally crafted, creatively written and well thought-out songs. This is what they have done for well over eleven years and this collection is no exception. They are the musical equivalent to a ‘Magic Eye’ picture; at first it can just seems like chaos, but when you listen more you hear the well defined shape and as the musical mist rises the picture becomes absolutely clear. This is chaotic but organised, it’s a screaming noise but it’s musical. A demonstration of aggravated, chugging riffs interspersed with a peppering of fret board runs and angry, intense screams and shouts. Those antagonised guitars are tormented by changing pace, until out of the chaos comes an awesome obtuse riff that hacks and slashes at the listener; its noisecore chaos that materializes into a genre forming shape.
“Downpour” is simply homicidal happiness and “Flowers And Razorwire” melds sublime melody into devastating guitars leaving you with a haunted memory. “Tremor” is plain awesome with a chunky, crushing opening riff that has a slightly dark edge, before melting into blistering mayhem (you can hear where Johnny Truant took so much influence). Then, think of someone being murdered to music, that’s “The High Cost Of Playing God” and “When Forever Comes Crashing” sounds like Black Sabbath’s “Hole In The Sky” bent out of all recognisable shape.
It really sets great testament to Converge, that these songs which haven’t made it onto album releases before, can still be of such a high standard and it underlines just how accomplished they are in their art. Get this album and you will have the uncontrollable urge to go out and get everything else this band has ever released. Be warned!!!
- Rigsby (5th