5. Converge – Jane Doe (2001)
2001 was the era of Nu-Metal, so what the hell were Converge doing releasing this insane masterwork?
Taking the blueprint laid down by Cave In on their Until Your Heart Stops album (Converge and Cave In are intrinsically linked), Converge cut open the veins of pure emotion and unleashed a poetic, technically stunning and viciously heavy album that remains the pinnacle of Metalcore (if that term even applies to a band as maverick as Converge).
13 years on and Jane Doe never fails to floor you with its unrivalled intensity, bleak and crushing demeanour and unrelenting fury. Listening to it is the aural equivalent of washing your face with wire wool and bleach; you may not do it too often but the results are undeniably impressive.
On release, Jane Doe was immediately met with widespread critical acclaim and it’s not hard to see (or hear) why. Opening track, “Concubine” hits like a lightning bolt to the brain, shocking in every sense. The ferocity continues just 1 minute 19 seconds later when “Fault And Fracture” breaks you for a second time; unrelenting is a superlative that simply doesn’t convey the nature of this record.
Fortunately, through the haze of blasting aggression, Converge were savvy enough to occasionally caress you with a semi-melodic break from proceedings. “Hell To Pay” and “Phoenix In Flight” slow the beating down to a palatable pace, allowing for breath to be drawn and wounds to be stitched before unleashing hell once more.
Even if you can only sit through this record once, do so, it’ll stay with you.