Sunday, June 19, 2016

Converge :"You Fail Me" redux

I normally don't do re-mixes are care about re-masters, but after reading an interview with Kurt Ballou, I decided to give this a shot. There is a warmer fullness that is tangible in "Last Light". The vocals sound like they are not as muffled as I remember them being. Aside from having a fuller sound to it's attack "Black Cloud" pretty much sounds the same. So have not fear none of the album's teeth have been pulled. "Dropout" is just as raw and nasty as it was when I first heard it, if anything the drums might have more crispness to them. This also makes more a cleaner explosion on "Hope Street". It might be my ears but the chaos to "Heartless" sounds more controlled. There doesn't sound like the gain is squealing off the edges of the guitar and gives the guitar a sharper punch.

The opening riff to the title track doesn't seem as dense at first, but there are more dynamics that find it filled out as it progresses. It's easy to hear how Converge inspired a generation of angry young bands. The sonic swell to this song has always been a favorite of mine. "In Her Shadow" is Ballou's favorite track from this album, so I am expecting it to be given a lot of love. The clean jangle of guitar strums out a droning pattern.Jacob's voice sounds more centered in the mix and is a decent stab at actually singing. He is more expressive than he is an actual singer. At the end of the day it still feels like more of an interlude than an actual song. "Eagles Become Vultures" is more what you expect from the band. The vocals sound like they are sitting back into the guitars more.The drums do have a little more presence. The heavier punches that it builds into sound about like they always did the bass is just more pumped up.

The new addition "Wolves at My Door" is pretty much worth the price of admission. For Converge it's more mid-tempo. The vocals don't come across like a spastic after thought but seem to have some purpose. "Death King" is more of a spazz out. It's more organic and less raw. Which might sound like an oxymoron, but the guitar is thicker and warmer. I know about this time they got some mean distortion pedal from Japan and it sounds like some of the snarl that it carried has been toned down. "In Her Blood" sounds more focused. The more shouted vocal sits back in the thick of things. I can make out some of Jacob's lyrics better on this mix. The biggest change to this song and the album as a whole is the bass and guitar are no longer competing for the same sonic space. The drum heads sound like they are more tightly tuned and the guitar is eased back to make "Hanging Moon" sounds more like a pumped up Fugazi song. This album was great to begin with , things have just been tightened and placed on more solid footing, as few sounds have been brought out of hiding along the way.

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