Bloodmoon: I

Converge / Chelsea Wolfe

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Bloodmoon: I Review

by James Christopher Monger

Since emerging in the early '90s, Converge have remained innovative and open to collaboration, carving out their mercurial sound alongside Cave In, the Hope Conspiracy, Genghis Tron, Neurosis, and Disfear, among others. On Bloodmoon: I, the metalcore/mathcore pioneers team up with doom-folk songstress Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm, and Cave In vocalist/guitarist Steve Brodsky for a mesmerizing 11-song set that pairs bracing hardcore with expansive symphonic and post-metal. This propagated version of the band, which at the time also included Neurosis' Steve Von Till, made its debut at the 2016 Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands under the Blood Moon moniker. Conflicting schedules kept the super-charged group out of the studio until 2019, and a pandemic saw the remaining sessions completed remotely. Still, this remarkably cohesive album suffers from none of those inequities. Commencing with the labyrinthine title cut, the band continuously seeks out the nooks and crannies between beauty and discord, revealing layers of artfully crafted ultra-violence peppered with fever-dream lyrics. All three vocalists bend and twist their respective pipes to serve the songs while retaining their idiosyncrasies -- the pummeling Jacob Bannon-led "Tongues Play Dead" and the equally unrelenting Wolfe-fronted "Lord of Liars" are kissing cousins sonically, but they evoke disparate emotional ruins. The group's willingness to experiment pays dividends throughout, with moments of pure savagery, intricate world building, and widescreen grandeur often inhabiting the same measure. Even at its most melodic -- the opulent goth pop stunners "Coil" and "Blood Dawn" -- Bloodmoon: I bristles with nervy unease. That particular brand of agitation is textbook Converge, but with Brodsky's inventive arrangements and Wolfe's ethereal soprano added to the arsenal, that innate disquiet is glorious to behold.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 07:50 Amazon
2 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 05:29 Amazon
3 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 06:08 Amazon
4 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 04:37 Amazon
5 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 04:12 Amazon
6 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 03:21 Amazon
7 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 04:02 Amazon
8 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 05:48 Amazon
9 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 06:59 Amazon
10 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 06:47 Amazon
11 Converge / Chelsea Wolfe 03:30 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick