The genesis of Converge’s new collaborative album with Chelsea Wolfe, her writing partner Ben Chisolm and Cave In’s Steven Brodsky, traces back to 2016, when Steve Von Till of Neurosis had an idea that they all should get together for some live shows and perform Converge songs in a different context.
This came to fruition at the Roadburn Festival of that year, as the the group performed under the Blood Moon moniker. They liked the results of this collaboration so much they planned to get together and write and record an album when time allowed.
That didn’t happen until late 2019, when the members of Converge (Jacob Bannon, Nate Newton, Kurt Ballou, and Ben Koller) got together with Wolfe, Chisolm and Brodsky for some sessions at Ballou’s God City Studios in Salem, Massachusetts, sans Von Till. More sessions were planned for 2020, but the global pandemic forced them to finish the album remotely.
Now, in late 2021, we hear the fruits of their labor, in the form of Bloodmoon: I It must be said that this album was worth the wait, as Converge, Wolfe, Chisolm and Brodsky have created a true collaborative album that merges so many distinct styles of heavy and more ethereal, music, into a living, breathing cohesive whole. It goes beyond the tagline of “Converge with Chelsea Wolfe” to achieve something that is grand and breathtaking.
The title track sets the stage for what is to follow, in that it’s harrowing, atmospheric, and builds to inhuman screams between Bannon and Wolfe. “Viscera of Man” opens with a raging blast of d-beaten hardcore, before giving way to doom-gaze where Bannon’s demonic yelp is merged with Wolfe’s tender falsetto for jarring and exciting results.
“Flower Moon,” with Brodsky taking the lead on vocals, is melodic and catchy, metallic sludge, with some gnarly vocals from Bannon toward its end, while “Failure Forever,” sounds like Jupiter-era Cave In, in that it’s epic, catchy, and atmospheric. Then there is the Spaghetti Western sounds of “Scorpion’s Sting,” which features Wolfe and Chisolm in full-on doom-folk/dark Americana mode.
“Tongues Playing Dead” merges Converges scorched-earth hardcore with more of a Cave In-inspired, ethereal side to create an invigorating slice of heavy rock. “Crimson Stone” juxtaposes lush atmospheres with heavy rock and melodic parts to create another excellent song.
After listening to Bloodmoon: I, one gets the feeling that you’re listening to a completely new band, one that is more than the sum of its seven talented parts. It’s jaw dropping how well all these divergent styles fit seamlessly and flawlessly together. This is something special created by a group of individuals coming together to form something new and exciting, making it one of the best heavy rock albums of the year.
It’s right at the top.
Buy Bloodmoon: I here.