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Live Review: Converge, War On Women, Worlds Apart

18 March 2019 | 10:31 am | Christopher H James

"Few bands are able to hit innocent fans with a wall of sound in quite the same way Converge can."

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“Move forward! Move! More energy! Let’s go!” You wouldn’t want to be stuck in a lunch queue with Brandon Dibbs, the vocalist from Worlds Apart. In contrast to his animated fury the rest of the band wore the expressions of executioners, their concentration helping them to sound tighter than the bolts on a 16 wheeler. For the last song of their ferocious set, Dibbs ventured into the front row of the crowd to bang heads. 

The four co-ed instrumentalists of War On Women all found ways to express their individual personalities, but none could compete with frontwoman Shawna Potter, who worked every inch of the stage, slipping in and out of characters with alarming volatility. Fearless in her outspoken defence of the rights of women and minorities, she drew probably the fiercest cheer of the set when she demanded that women should feel safe at gigs, inevitably following up with a flammable Say It

With a few slower tempos on their last album The Dusk In Us, fans might’ve been wondering whether Converge was easing down their notorious ferocity. No chance. Few bands are able to hit innocent fans with a wall of sound in quite the same way Converge can. But if the physical blows from their instruments weren’t enough, Jacob Bannon’s vocals burst like sledgehammers. You couldn’t look away from his demonic vehemence; whether he was searching out every corner of the room with his telescopic gaze, or doubled up as if in crippling abdominal pain, you half expected his lungs to come up through his mouth such was the force of his vocals.

Dark Horse united the crowd. Worms Will Feed / Rats Will Feast was typically oppressive. All We Love We Leave Behind was delivered with an intensity, propelled by replacement drummer Urian Hackney, as Bannon stretched his sinewy arms over the crowd, successfully compelling them to scream the chorus. The mayhem didn’t peak until Concubine imploded, and it seemed that the front row might do the same with limbs flying left, right and centre. Tonight’s fervorous performance should invoke flashbacks of carnage for years to come.