You Fail Me marks the first taste of large-scale commercial success for a band long lauded by many in the know as one of the most important underground acts on the metal-minded hardcore scene. Luckily, Converge changed little after signing to Epitaph, retaining its trademark mix of half-screamed/half-grunted vocals, brutal guitars, and stop-start rhythms. The production is exquisitely raw and immediate, providing the listener with an impression of sitting in the group's warehouse rehearsal space, ears near the speakers.
Despite its brief running time of around 35 minutes, the album manages to hit all the right emotional highs and lows. On the title track and the dirgy, Swans-like "In Her Shadow," Converge trump the competition with a mastery of dynamics and pure rock energy; there's as much Melvins as metal here. In addition, vocalist Jacob Bannon's cathartic howls never seem put on, but rather a genuine expression of rage fueled by real-life experience. You Fail Me is a visceral and bracing blend of metal and old-school, CBGB-worthy gutter hardcore, and challenging enough to satisfy even the most intellectual Dillinger Escape Plan fan.