A lot of bitching and griping has gone on in the metal and hardcore scene as of late regarding the inclusion of For a Minor Reflection on tonight’s bill, and for good reason. While not as abysmally offensive to the inner ear as the naysayers (who spent their opening set downstairs from the venue, at Bakkus) would have it, their appearance tonight is horribly out of context. Even though their sounds can be quite gripping during the eerie ethereal parts and passably shaking during the more driven passages, the growing audience pays but lip service to their performance. I, for one, would like to have seen a band comprised of long time Converge fans (such as Celestine, Klink, Manslaughter, I Adapt, etc.) receiving the much sought-after honour of acting as support to the mighty Converge.
As segueing from the mellow mood of FaMR to the jarring aural assault of the almighty Converge was deemed unwise, the billing was switched around so that Logn explode as the act immediately preceding Converge. And a fearsome job they do of it too. My previous experience of these teenage lads has been mostly in form of me being violently awakened by their hellish ruckus on Sunday mornings (they live and practice next door to me), but the Logn du jour have come a long way from their earlier grindcore manifestation, and their set list tonight contains not only violent high speed ditties but heaving dirty dirges of catchiness far exceeding that presented during the forays into power-violence and borderline crust-core. Kick ass as they are, audience appreciation is a bit lacking, to say the least. No pit erupts and the response is just south of a golf clap. Their force however is totally unreasonable, as the drum kit makes several escape attempts and the drumsticks keep stealing away from the violently thrashing drummer’s grasp.
Next up are Converge. This show has been a long time coming—seven years, more precisely—and for this legendary crew of hardcore heroes to match the ferocity of their last appearance on these shores a minor miracle must occur.
Right out of the gate frontman Jacob Bannon displays an utter contempt for the idea of taking prisoners, and one can but wonder how any man can possibly kindle the same inexorable level of rage as this guy has and continues to exhibit through hundreds of shows and a twenty-year career in the profession of screaming his lungs out. As ‘Dark Horse’ escapes the backline as if out of a barn on fire, Converge suffer no lack of Grade A material to draw on as they burst out with hit upon feral hit, borrowing even from ‘When Forever Comes Crashing’, the 1998 precursor to ‘Jane Doe’, the critically acclaimed ’01 release that cemented the band as the leader of the hardcore pack.
In the sold-out venue the intensity reaches an impossible pitch with a terrifying pit ebbing and flowing, writhing, kicking and spitting in mouth foaming convolutions of aural ecstasy. The band continues to exert a forceful grip on the raging crowd as numbers from all their albums (and some yet unreleased ones) spill over the astounding musical brim donned by Jacob and cohorts, and after the last tones die out over the crazed noise of a rampant audience the cheer of “Meira, Meira” arises to egg the band on to further onstage glories, Converge are only happy to comply, and do so with a two-song encore terminating in the classic tune of ‘Last Light’, which ushers the spent fanbase out the door into the un-setting sun.
Converge, Logn, For a Minor Reflection. Sódóma Reykjavík, 20/06/2011