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You Fail Me

4.5 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 21, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epitaph / Ada
  • ASIN: B0002PUH06
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,670 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Anybody who knows anything (which, regrettably, seems to be an increasingly minute percentage of the population) knows Converge are on the short list of the world's finest heavy bands, and this latest release should only solidify their already lofty reputation. While slightly less brilliant than its predecessor "Jane Doe," "You Fail Me" is an effortless continuation of this band's signature metal/hardcore/noisecore sound. With bands like Candiria, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Neurosis unveiling some pretty radical makeovers on their recent new releases, Converge have instead done an admirable job of sticking with what they're good at without running in

place, a difficult achievement indeed. Just in case anyone needed another reminder of how terrible all the legions of nu-metal clones are, this one should suffice pretty well.

First of all, just in case anyone doubted it, "You Fail Me" proves once and for all that Converge are virtually flawless in terms of pure skill. Although his voice does take on a slightly milder intonation every now and then, Jacob Bannon's demented shriek still easily places him among the best vocalists in all of heavy music. Kurt Ballou does the work of two or three people on guitar, churning out an unpredictable, ever-shifting assault of churning riffs and screeching noises. Top marks for this album, though, would have to go to Ben Koller, whose drumming is both relentlessly maniacal and surgically precise. Just listen to him hit about 5,000 times in three minutes on "Last Light" and you should have a pretty good idea what I mean.

What really elevates these guys above the plain, though, is the

craftsmanship and sheer emotion they put into their music.
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Format: Audio CD
It's hard to imagine a Converge album that is an outright disappointment. Even at their worst, they rock a million times harder than your average metalcore band. A lot of people claim that You Fail Me is a disappointing follow-up to their masterpiece, Jane Doe, but I personally couldn't disagree more. You Fail Me stands on its own as a fine addition to the Converge canon.

"First Light," a short, Godspeed You Black Emperor!-esque instrumental opener, and "Last Light," are a fantastic one-two punch to open You Fail Me. "Last Light" has a positively colossal sound and a great sense of dynamics. Jacob Bannon begins the song in an oddly conventional sounding yell until the breakdown kicks in and he revitalizes his trademark venom-spewing shriek. Goosebumps every time. The next four tracks are all great Converge cuts with the chaos, speed, and volume cranked up to 11. It's at the title track where You Fail Me begins to take a noticeably different turn.

"You Fail Me" is a sinister dirge set at an excruciatingly (in a good way) slow pace. It runs for over five minutes (not at all weird for Converge considering Jane Doe's title track broke 11) and the atmosphere is completely suffocating. "In Her Shadow" is the other "ballad" on You Fail Me, and features acoustic guitar, piano, and Bannon at his creepiest. Despite the aforementioned instrumental elements, the track is not weak at all, but rather is highly effective due to its entirely unsettling tone and slowly building (but never really climaxing) structure. "In Her Shadow" stretches for over six minutes, and along with the title track make up a third of You Fail Me's running time. The tracks may seem like fish out of water, but I think their irregularity makes the album all the more dynamic.
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Format: Audio CD
Converge comes from the late `90's pack of experimental hardcore, sometimes called noisecore or metalcore, that is quite impressive. When I compared Converge to their peers Neurosis, Deadguy, Botch, Coalesce, Cave In, and Bloodlet, I initially thought they were inferior.

Converge had everything going for them: great artwork on their album covers, fan loyalty built by touring, powerful personal lyrics, technical and original music. There was only one thing that put me off which was Jacob Bannon's vocal sound. He sounded like a black metal singer being strangled. It was enough to annoy me and dismiss them altogether. That was a mistake.

Converge's material takes several close listens before you can pick out the stylistic mixtures and brilliant shifts. It all comes together for an intensely psychotic experience. The whole songs are emotional breakdowns, not just certain parts. The vocal style still isn't my favorite, but I couldn't imagine them any other way.

"You Fail Me" is an album like no other. Chaos is still the rule, but when they hit something close to a groove it's pretty sweet. To keep it unpredictable, they throw in an Old Man Gloom style acoustic part to keep you on your toes. Bannon even has a moment at the beginning of the album where he lays off his signature shriek and uses a more natural approach which I hope to hear more of in the future.

Converge is an acquire taste, even for hardcore veterans, but once you acquire that taste you'll see what all the hype is about. Their whole catalog is great, but they seem to grow into something more unique with each album. Start with "You Fail Me" and work your way down.
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