Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Converge/Napalm Death - Split Review

Expectation can be a funny thing sometimes. If you're mainly an optimist, like me, then you would naturally expect only the better things in life to happen. But, say you're a music fan, and you get your hopes up for one release that you expect to be incredible. And really, in the case of this split 7" release between Converge and Napalm Death (both legendary bands in their respective genres) there should be no reason why it should be anything but amazing. Two of my favorite bands sharing a single slab of pretty looking wax? Sign me up! So of course, I was hyped. Especially coming after the astonishingly disappointing split with Dropdead that came out last year, I was really counting on Converge to deliver the goods this time around. So this time around, we have two tracks from each band, and on the Converge side, we get one original and a cover of Entombed's "Wolverine Blues". The original song in question is called "No Light Escapes", and it's very, very, very, very...underwhelming. Goddammit, Converge, I was really hoping for something excellent here!! For one, it's a modest 52 seconds long. Which would normally be no problem at all, if the track was interesting in the slightest. It's just a standard, fast, Converge song, like I've heard many times before. Some D-beats, some skronky riffs, some bass breaks, it's all familiar. None of it is captivating, or memorable. It also just isn't a satisfying amount of music. I mean, the Entombed cover is pulled off faithfully, and it's definitely heavy, but I just don't care about it. It doesn't even really register in my mind as being a part of their side. Maybe if they added another original track that was more fleshed out and memorable, I wouldn't be as aggro towards their side. Fortunately though, this split isn't a total disappointment, as the Napalm Death side really is excellent. Two new tracks from them too. The first one, entitled, "Will By Mouth", is one of the most straight forward, grinding tracks that the band has made in years. The band just sounds ferocious, particularly Barney, who just sounds gnarlier and gnarlier with every release. After that, we get a more standard ND track entitled "No Impediment To Triumph (Bhpoal)". This song, I actually think I like more than the first. Mitch lays down some interesting melodic, semi-dissonant riffs all over this track, and the song has a nice gradual build into a fantastic bridge. It really sounds like the band is having fun while recording this. The recording does sound a little flat though, I would have liked to hear some more low-end. Something that recent ND recordings seem to lack. Overall though, Napalm Death dominate this split in terms of good song writing, and enjoyment, for me. I'm again left disappointed by Converge's contribution, which is upsetting, but hopefully their new full-length will restore my faith in the band.

Rating: 6.5/10


1 comment:

  1. Totally agree about the Converge side. The cover is sweet, but the original is boring. Bad lyrics, mediocre music. They lost something after Jane Doe; everything has sounded the same to me since that album.
    Agree about ND sounding more ferocious these days. i just listened to Smear Campaign last week and was really taken with the aggression of the band, especially the vocals.