Time, dear readers, to revisit an old review! This one was published back in the primordial days of the Sleeping Village--before, in fact, there was even a website to speak of. Enjoy! - Ed.
Upon releasing 2017’s brilliant The Dusk In Us, Massachusetts hardcore stalwarts Converge unabashedly stated that the album was composed of some of their weaker material. In the words of guitarist and producer extraordinaire Kurt Ballou, "We all disagreed about what the strongest songs were...it was a compromise. Some of the songs on that album are actually some of the weakest ones that we recorded, and some of the ones that aren't on the album are the strongest. We're just not exactly sure how we're going to release them yet.”
The result of this uncertainty is Beautiful Ruin. Representing these mystery tracks recorded during The Dusk In Us sessions, this four track EP is startlingly brief, but certainly worthwhile.
The reasoning behind their absence in The Dusk In Us makes a certain sense. Clearly demonstrating the meatier side of Converge from earlier albums, the only 2017 tracks that truly exude the same energy are "Arkhipov Calm" and "I Can Tell You About Pain." Meanwhile, somber opener "Permanent Blue" recalls All We Love We Leave Behind standout "Sadness Comes Home." From here, however, the level of explosively frantic and raw energy only grows, with the face-melting abrasivity of "Churches and Jails" and "Beautiful Ruin" complementing the deliberately punky "Melancholia." It is this track that centers the EP with barking grit and foot-stomping zeal. There is nothing formulaic about Converge's brand of metalcore, and that sentiment rings especially true here.
Nothing here is astounding, and nothing here feels like it would have made The Dusk In Us any more excellent than it already is. Sure, us Sleepy Villagers can’t (and won’t) deny that such a short release after the hype is a little disappointing. With that said, seven extra minutes of Converge is never a reason for complaint.
Converge - Beautiful Ruin was released June 2018
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!