Nearly six years in the making, the Massachusetts metalcore/punk legends' ninth studio LP serves up a punitive barrage of sonic exclamation points. Nervy, brainy, bold, and uncompromising, The Dusk in Us doesn't deviate much from the Converge playbook, and why should it? For over two decades the band has been administering lethal slabs of fractured and frenzied punk metal without a dip in quality, and with the same seasoned crew no less. Catharsis has always been the band's m.o., and the 13-track set doesn't disappoint, delivering lacerating waves of compartmentalized brutality with the kind of left-field, knotty precision that has come to define the group's post-Jane Doe career. The band and frontman Jacob Bannon are essentially symbiotic at this point; undulating beasts of sound and fury that leave everything on the studio floor. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the combustive opener, "A Single Tear," a four-minute detonation of conflicting twists and turns that eventually come together like mismatched doll parts. That inclination toward constantly tearing down and rebuilding rhythms and melodies reaches its apex on the melodic, slow-burning, and unusually epic title cut, which serves as the album's midpoint/halftime show, and suggests how Converge might have approached Radiohead's OK Computer. Singles "I Can Tell You About Pain" and "Under Duress" impress as well, with the former living up to its moniker via Bannon's apoplectic delivery, and the latter distributing the kind of aural assault usually relegated to driving gunmen out of their boarded-up homes, but to be fair, it's all good. At this point in their story arc, Bannon, Kurt Ballou, Nate Newton, and Ben Koller really don't have anything to prove, which makes it all the more impressive that they haven't let up on trying to do just that.
The Dusk in Us Review
by James Christopher Monger