Comprised of tracks that didn’t fit onto last year’s ‘The Dusk In Us’, ‘Beautiful Ruin’ sees hardcore titans Converge deliver a potent shot of fury in under 10 minutes. Stripped away from the slow building tracks that have dominated previous releases, the group delve into the sharp aggression that influenced many bands since Converge‘s inception in 1990.
Kurt Ballou‘s guitar chords ring against Ben Koller‘s hammering drums as ‘Permanent Blue’ takes shape. After an economic scale run, Ballou holds off, allowing Jacob Bannon‘s unmistakable vocals to lead the way. Harking back to previous releases such as ‘Petitioning The Empty Sky’, the chorus becomes a frenzy of claustrophobic drum patterns and jagged screams.
‘Churches And Jails’ continues the energy with tremolo picking and frantic hi-hat work, forcing the track to its limit before unfolding finger-picked chords to off set the carnage. The moments of reprieve don’t last for long as we’re soon thrown into a punk led chorus, filled with energy and bite.
Lead single ‘Melancholia’ sees the group launch into angular riffs and thunderous drum beats at full speed before Ballou unleashes a short but effective guitar solo in between gruff vocals. Stomping chords dominate the chorus before being dismissed in favour of irregularly timed percussive fretwork. Ending as quickly as it arrived, this could quickly become a live favourite.
Bleeding in from the previous track, the title-track closes the EP off and sees the group take on a multitude of techniques, from jazz flavoured fills to tremolo picking. The song quickly takes a left turn with the inclusion of the chanted vocal refrain of “Love means nothing” to devastating effect.
Showing that they haven’t lost their edge in a nearly 30 year career, Converge have delivered an EP that covers more ground than some full-length records can even dare to manage.