"Working closely with these collaborators, Converge have made a record of surpassing power — one that exists in conversation with their past records without sounding too much like those records. Together, these seven people have made something beautiful." - Stereogum, "Album of the Week: Converge Bloodmoon: I"
" Bloodmoon: I is as magical and enthralling as you’d expect a collaboration to be from the highly esteemed musical legends in their respective genres..." - Everything Is Noise, "Converge & Chelsea Wolfe 'Bloodmoon: I'"
“We wanted to do something grander than the typical four-piece Converge music.”
That’s Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon talking about the seed of inspiration that eventually bloomed into Bloodmoon: I, the new collaborative album created by the legendary hardcore band alongside dark songstress Chelsea Wolfe, her bandmate/writing partner Ben Chisholm and Cave In vocalist/guitarist Steve Brodsky.
Harrowing and atmospheric, triumphant and melodious, Bloodmoon: I is Converge as you’ve never heard them before. It’s Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chisholm as you’ve never heard them before. It’s Steve Brodsky as you’ve almost never heard him before—after all, he was a member of Converge in the late ’90s and played bass on 1998’s When Forever Comes Crashing.
“It’s been a real treat to see one of my favorite bands continue to do cool stuff and break the molds of what’s considered hardcore and punk,” Brodsky says of Bloodmoon: I. “It’s a very rare thing in this kind of music to go an experimental route and challenge the quote-unquote ‘rules’ of what’s been laid out beforehand—and do it successfully.”
Thrilling in its apocalyptic grandeur, Bloodmoon: I is a collaborative work in every way—to the point where Wolfe, Bannon, and Brodsky found themselves writing lyrics for each other. “That’s one of the keys to the album,” Ballou points out. “Sometimes when there’s a collaborative group, it just sounds like such-and-such a person doing the thing they do in their band while the other people are doing the things they do in their bands. So for Jake to write lyrics for Chelsea or for Chelsea to write lyrics for Steve, it forces each person to approach the vocals in a way that’s unique to the project.”
Holding down the fort at GodCity while tracks came in from across the country, Ballou and Bannon were often surprised by the songs Wolfe chose to sing on. “I was surprised as well,” she confirms. “The project stretched my vocals in new ways. It’s so different than what I normally sing over that I was able to open up and be vulnerable with my vocals. I feel like I also heard that with Jake and Steve. It became one of the most fun recording experiences I’ve had in a long time.”
“As someone who’s been making loud music with the same guys for a long time, adding new elements to what we’re doing and having a new version of the band is very exciting,” Bannon enthuses. “Our dynamics are pushing and pulling in all different directions on this record, and I find that to be creatively rewarding.”
Indeed, the more hectic and seemingly Converge-esque material like “Lord of Liars” or the Cave In-like “Failure Forever” quickly veer into unexpected territory as Bannon trades vocal parts with Wolfe on the former and Brodsky on the latter. And even those tracks are outliers on an album that can’t be pinned down as the work of any one of its creators. Epic opener “Blood Moon” and the profoundly haunting “Coil” might be the best examples of this. They mark an indelible and climactic collision of artists working at the height of their collective powers.
Track Listing: 01. Blood Moon 02. Viscera of Men 03. Coil 04. Flower Moon 05. Tongues Playing Dead 06. Lord of Liars 07. Failure Forever 08. Scorpion’s Sting 09. Daimon 10. Crimson Stone 11. Blood Dawn