Jacob Bannon stood tall above his quartet's amps, crucifix arms eclipsing the sun and acres of dust blanketing the blue sky. An icon, a statue, the destroyer of worlds, he was all. Salem, Mass., hardcore poets Converge enjoy a long and potent career. It's year 22 and they still look like fresh meat. Tattoo-mottled arms and legs, plus low-hanging guitars, their noise-thrash pummeling on new album All We Love We Leave Behind makes for tasteful continuation. I kept my guard up on the edge of the pit, which at least one kid left with a broken arm. The same old songs – large, sharp, and impossible to contain – but sometimes love songs need to be brutal and deliberate. We flocked, we converged, the light was dimming, and a 36-year-old man screams into each and every one of our faces. That's what rock & roll feels like – earthquake jams curving around the bend. The guitars disappear, wind up, and come rushing back. Music and humanity radiate off each other. I'm doing my best to keep my kneecaps safe, but my goofy grin is inescapable. I don't even have a deep, dark relationship with "Empty on the Inside," but right now Converge is still the greatest band on earth.
Copyright © 2014 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.