Fifteen years and seven LPs into its existence, Boston's Converge has delivered one of the best heavy albums of the year. No Heroes is its fiercest and most strongly developed recording to date, solidifying Converge's status as the master of a chaotic and metal-informed brand of extreme hardcore it pioneered.
No Heroes manages to match the lawless abrasion of the 2001 breakthrough LP Jane Doe while avoiding that album's production clutter. Instead the album opts for the clarity, texture and variety that characterized 2004's You Fail Me. The quartet rages through the first four ultra-violent tracks in nearly five minutes, focusing less on tangibility or repetition and more on the strength of the instruments' caustic attack. "Grim Heart/Black Rose," the album's centerpiece, stretches past the nine-minute mark without smacking of self-indulgence. No Heroes' latter half follows a more riff-oriented approach, showcasing memorable songs that maintain Converge's unhinged brutality yet display no fear of verse/chorus structures. 5 stars
Converge plays the Masquerade on Wed., Nov. 15, with Modern Life Is War, Some Girls and Kylesa.