Album Review: Converge & Chelsea Wolfe – Bloodmoon: I (Post hardcore/Doomgaze)

Written by Melinda

Converge & Chelsea WolfeBloodmoon: I
Post hardcore/doomgaze/voidgaze from Massachusetts USA
Released November 19, 2021

A constant reminder, that our failures last forever

A bit of a different direction that may not suit some fans, seems to have impressed most, but is certainly an album that feels like it was made just for me! I’ve been a fan of Converge for a good while and my favourite LP is All We Love We Left Behind because of the sweet atmospheres so I’m happy for such an atmosphere to continue, but now with Chelsea Wolfe in toe as well as Stephen Brodsky of Cave In. This concept is new to many fans due to it being the first studio version of this collaboration but this actually dates back to live performances in 2016 where they did slower and ambient renditions of Converge songs together for a few lucky audiences. Now we can all get a taste of this combined style, and be treated to new material at the same time.

I don’t know if I’ve told you how I feel about the Emma Ruth Rundle/Thou release last year (and the EP earlier this year) or Cult Of Luna/Julie Christmas, but this is set up similarly. So I’m going to be annoying online about it. It’s gigantic too, just shy of the hour mark. Converge could have comfortably made another metalcore album with a couple of surprises and still end up on the end of year lists and get all the accolades. Easily. Instead they decided to do something different, something so easy to listen to it’s absurd. It goes down like chocolate milk, I can’t get enough of it. 

It’s so tightly wound that the whole album feels like a single song that’s hard to pinpoint a favourite part. It’s all golden and I’m so willing to just lay back and let it unfold over and over again as I drift further into the voidgaze fever dream every time. Voidcore more accurately. Doomgaze? The ending track of the album “Blood Dawn” returns perfectly to the beginning track “Blood Moon” in such a way that when it repeats and you hear “blood moon” said aloud, you get excited all over again. ”Daimon” is a six minute bit of epic song writing with fantastic gang vocals that will surely carry you gently into a wistful mood. Otherwise there aren’t really any weak points for me, the whole thing is the meat and I’m chewing like a mother fucker.

Throughout the album you’ll hear so many things I can’t even say them all. There are spicy jazz bits and cool blues bits that pop up in quick jabs that hit effectively, but not overused. There’s a doom atmosphere to it all that results from the slower riffs but also the inclusion of gloomy acoustic guitar that accompanies Wolfe’s howls perfectly. Basically every kind of vocal, there are both clean and unclean vocals across the spectrum of voice. Even Wolfe gets in an approximation of death growls at one point among her usual impressive array of eerie performances. The cleans from what I assume is one of the Converge singers and Brodsky often soar alongside Wolfe’s cleans in a highly complimentary way and other times take on a more folksy tune on their own. All of these musicians are so capable and they can all carry a moment when they need to.

It’s just good. I can’t see how anyone with an interest in Converge and music in general, wouldn’t find something exciting here. It’s not like it came dead out of nowhere, there is a history to this album even beyond the live sets in 2016 with Converge having plenty of slower songs with striking guitarwork, and that’s very much what they are putting on display here. They already did the most heavy balls to wall shit you can imagine and made the massively influential Jane Doe. At the end of the day, when you’re a band for this long, no matter what new album you bring out and what style it is, you’re going to have naysayers. Personally, I wouldn’t listen to them. Surrender your heart to the composition in a relaxed environment.

The bottom line

Converge by teaming up with Chelsea Wolfe and Stephen Brodsky have created something that is memorable even in the context of their entire discography. I love whenever a talented singer-song writer teams up with an experienced and talented heavy band, and I look forward to more exciting combinations in the future. Given the title of the album is Bloodmoon: I, I can only hope for a II and III in a not too distant future. There’s clearly a mutual respect and enjoyment for each other’s music here.

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