Posted April 17, 2008 in

Bands get more prizes for adhering, sheep-like, to an existing and proven stylistic template than for actually forging a brave new sound regardless of any potential commercial prospects. Hence, while come-lately metalcore acts like Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying crash the charts and reach huge crowds on corporate package tours, Boston’s Converge—who were amongst the first to fuse hardcore’s caffeinated boom-chik grooves and guttural vocals to metal’s skillfully squealing guitars, unifying bombast and sense of scale—are, after 18 years and hundreds of shows, still playing, well, the Glass House. It’s the very relentless, unapologetic and experimental rage that’s kept Converge from the mainstream, and it’s also cemented their cherished cult status (especially since the release of their genre-defining opus, Jane Doe, in 2001): major labels can’t buy this type of utter, organic commitment; and middle-class kids playing guitars mummy and daddy bought them will never produce (or need) such cathartic outpourings. Sometimes Converge are just too introverted and perversely progressive—much of “Plagues,” from ’06’s No Heroes, sounds like choking machinery—but you can never doubt their authenticity and admirable refusal to cash-in their considerable credibility chips. At their best, Converge are a blizzard of frighteningly precise beats, guitars that nag like daytime flickers of forgotten nightmares, and bleach-guzzler vocals that evoke both the streets and the beyond. Just think: no Converge; no Hot Topic . . . oh wait—what have they done? (Paul Rogers)

Converge, Red Chord, Baroness, Genghis Tron at the Glass House, 200 W. Second Street, Pomona, (909) 865-3802, on Saturday, April 19. Doors at 6:30PM, $15






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