Converge takes top honors in "Best Music Poll" voting!

"Ball of confusion - Converge began more than a dozen years ago as traumatic teenage hardcore kids with a fistful of South of Heaven riffs up their sleeves - an approach atypical enough for its time to make them seem prescient now that everyone's doing it. While the underground metal/hardcore axis of evil is just catching up, Converge have long since buried their thrash under increasingly dense layers of manic abstraction. Their panicky 1998 landmark When Forever Comes Crashing (Equal Vision) brought free-jazz chaos theory and grindcore immediacy into speed-metal's orbit, with a Neurosis-like algorithmic complexity that replicates, even after repeated listenings, the essential untamable confusion of all great post-modernisms. And after lopping off a guitar player, they turned even more slippery on 2001's Jane Doe(Equal Vision), whipping their freehand riffs into a cataclysmic froth of blood, sinew, and bone splinters.

Their popularity has only increased as they've become more uncompromising, and they took the Metal/Hardcore poll category in one of the year's biggest landslides: no other act in the local poll, with the exception of the Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, received as many votes. They did so without a shred of airplay, even less media hype, and despite not having released a studio album in three years. Credit the growing anticipation for the band's forthcoming You Fail Me (their first for Epitaph, due later this year), or the decade of aggression compiled on last year's The Long Road Home DVD (on frontman J. Bannon's Deathwish, Inc. imprint): their early shows were typical heartstrung mayhem, but by 2002 - even as their music got more diffuse - they'd grown their hair, discovered greasy rock and roll, and begun putting on some of the most visceral, unhinged punk-rock performances since Black Flag's heyday."

- Carly Carioli
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