Show Review: Converge, Torche and Kvelertak 11/4/2012
There is nothing that soothes the soul more than a good road trip. After a super stressful week, my friend and I headed up to Downtown Music in Little Rock, Ar for one of the best hardcore tours of the year.
After driving 3 hours and listening to bands like Unleashed, Terrorizer and Bolt Thrower we arrived to the venue, and I was shocked at how many people were lined up outside already. I made my way inside and bought Converge’s new album on cassette and shortly thereafter Kvelertak kicked the night off with a sonic boom.
Kvelertak are a six-piece hardcore/black metal/punk band from Norway. I had listened to their album a couple of times, but didn’t know much of their music. All four guitarists (3 guitar/1 bass) were absolutely full of energy, and though you could tell not many folks knew them, they won over a few fans on the night for sure.
When Kvelertak finished, Torche took the stage. Though this is the third time I’ve seen Torche this year, this was the first time they played through a legit P.A. and the difference was obvious…that sucker was nuclear. Setlist-wise, they played a pretty straightforward Torche set. It included plenty of songs from their new album Harmonicraft like “Letting Go”, “Kicking”, “Reverse Inverted” and “In Pieces”. They also played a few choice cuts from Meanderthal like “Piranha” and “Sandstorm”. They also played my two favorite songs “Charge Of The Brown Recluse” and “Tarpit Carnivore”, along with a couple of new songs on a split coming out soon. In my opinion, there aren’t many bands in the metal scene these days that are as fun live as Torche is. Though I’ve seen them a few other times, this was definitely my favorite Torche show for sure.
Once Torche finished, Converge took the stage and it was time to party. I’ve waited at least 8 years to see this band live, so seeing Jake Bann0n, Nate Newton and Kurt Ballou on stage and Ben Koller hunkered down behind his kit, I got super excited. My excitement hit the breaking point when they started their set with the Jane Doe opener “Concubine”. Next, they played “Dark Horse” from 2009′s masterpiece “Axe To Fall”, then “Heartless” from You Fail Me. From there, they launched through a bunch of songs from the new album All We Love We Leave Behind, as well as Axe To Fall, and a few more from You Fail Me and Jane Doe. For me, the highlights of the set were “Eagles Become Vultures”, “Aimless Arrow”, “Sadness Comes Home”, “Empty On The Inside”, and Jane Doe’s “The Broken Vow”. After blasting away through both new and old classics, they ended the set with “First Light/Last Light” from You Fail Me. By this point, I was in shock at just how truly incredible these guys are live. Ben Koller was the one I was most impressed with, however, his drumming definitely sets a blistering pace, and Kurt Ballou and Nate Newton didn’t miss a single note, while Jake Bannon prowled like a starving lion in a petting zoo. In fact, I figured Converge would sound kind of raw live, but somehow their songs, particularly the newer songs, sound almost identical live as they do on recording.
Overall, I’m very glad I made this trip because Torche are one of my favorite live bands and Converge put on an absolute clinic, and were just as amazing as I had hoped they would be.