|Album: Blood Moon: I|
|Genre: Hardcore, Post-Hardcore, Post-Metal|
|Release Date: 19th of November, 2021|
|Released via: Epitaph Records|
|Cover Artwork: © Epitaph Records|
Axe to Fall was an exception in the Converge-Canon. Not by quality-standards, but it had a lot of guests and some stylistic experiments. Songs like “Cruel Bloom” (with Neurosis‘s Steve van Till) or “Wretched World” (with Mookie Singerman of Genghis Tron providing the lead vocals) hinted at what Converge could sound like outside their box (although they’ve never been in any box at all). While the aforementioned album contained some experiments but sounded like a Converge record on whole, Blood Moon: I in contrast is an experiment in itself.
Instead of taking guest-spots, Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisolm and Stephen Brodsky created this album together WITH Converge. It would have also been a great thing if they had created an album consisting of the great alternate Versions they premiered on Roadburn 2016, but an album on its own is a completely different beast.
What reads good on the net, sounds astounding in execution. Adding Chelsea Wolfe‘s haunting voice and Stephen Brodsky‘s Rock attitude to the Converge fold creates a unique listening experience. The opener released prior to this album, “Blood Moon“, serves as a good foreshadow of what the album has in store for us: a slower pace, more „drama“ and the fact that the four voices of Chelsea Wolfe, Stephen Brodsky, Nate Newton and Jacob Bannon sound awesome together. This tracks reminds me of the whole of the great last Wear Your Wounds album released in 2019.
This wouldn’t be a Converge album if all tracks fell into the same sound and category. The album is framed by the epic tracks “Blood Moon” and “Crimson Stone” (I count “Blood Dawn” as an excellent outro) while the centre is the trifold “Tongues Playing Dead“, “Lord of Liars” and “Failure Forever“.
This “frame” is worth this release alone. As mentioned before, the title track is a rollercoaster-ride into oblivion, with an unearthly finale by Jacob Bannon. “Crimson Stone” evolves from a melancholic start into a majestic, elegiac finish.
Those three songs in the centre represent to me what a “Converge only” album could have sounded like (of course without the guest singers). “Tongues Playing Dead” sounds like a Rock song reimagined by Converge. “Lord of Liars” is the shortest track on this album and the most Converge-sounding song (apart from Chelsea’s vocals of course) and “Failure Forever” is a good reason why Stephen Brodsky should come back as guitarist and vocalist in Converge.
Blood Moon: I is an experiment well worth our time. It will surely be a benchmark for future collaborations in the Metal and Hardcore genre for a long time. The sequel can’t come soon enough.