Album Review: Converge/Napalm Death - 'EP (Split)'

12 August 2012 | 7:33 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Prepare for the aural assault.

Any words used to describe Converge and Napalm Death are merely tautologies. They offer nothing that we don’t already know after an initial listen. Both are as chaotic, frantic and abrasive as they come. That is why it’s almost fitting that both have combined to present a self-released EP split.

Like taking a sledgehammer directly to the head, this EP is deliberately and devastatingly precise. It’s over before it begins in many respects (four tracks, under eight minutes), but when the music is of this variety it’s a direct reversal – becoming a sprint not a marathon.

Reputations ensure success off the bat, but this is not about ego or increasing appeal, this split is simply about catering to the fans. It’s just an honest, intermediate release that is taken on face value.

Converge start things off with their two slabs of controlled chaos. ‘No Light Escapes’ is interesting for its dual purposes. Slated to appear on upcoming studio album ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’, the track provides insight and perhaps a precursory listen to what we can expect from the Converge camp. While short (again is this a redundant label), the song has that ‘Axe to Fall’ feel, seemingly picking up from where the band directly left off. An aggressive opening gives way to a hardcore break before returning to its overt tempo.

Wolverine Blues’ is just an aural orgy for hardcore and metal listeners. The breakdown – Converge covering Entombed, with guest appearances from IsisAaron Turner and At the GatesTomas Lindberg. Enough said. It reads well on paper and translates even better to the ears. The riffs speak for themselves - down-tuned, downtrodden and assertive.

Enter Napalm Death presenting their four-and-a-half minutes. ‘Will By Mouth’ just sounds like Napalm Death without getting into any flowery descriptions. It’s grind, it is metal and feels trademark.

No Impediment to Triumph (Bhopal)’, which explores the 1984 Indian Bhopal disaster is more layered and mixed in tempo. It’s not as aggressive and has a suitable inter-changing pace to the melody. Probably the pick of the collective quartet of tracks.

This EP split is short and sharp. Fast and clear. Play it loud, listen to it for engagement or perhaps just give it a spin to piss the neighbours off. Either way, this is an effective release.

It's not about surprises here. There's no hidden revelations or unexpected musical departures. This EP is about two bands bringing the intensity and uncompromising style they are each renowned for. It's short but will leave a much longer impact.

Side A: Converge -

1.No Light Escapes
2.Wolverine Blues

Side B: Napalm Death -

1.Will by Mouth
2.No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal)