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4.10 | 31 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2001

Filed under Mathcore


1. Concubine (01:19)
2. Fault and Fracture (03:05)
3. Distance and Meaning (04:17)
4. Hell to Pay (04:31)
5. Homewrecker (03:51)
6. The Broken Vow (02:13)
7. Bitter and then Some (01:27)
8. Heaven in Her Arms (04:00)
9. Phoenix in Flight (03:48)
10. Phoenix in Flames (00:42)
11. Thaw (04:29)
12. Jane Doe (11:33)

Total Time 45:22


- Kurt Ballou / guitars, vocals, theremin
- Jacob Bannon / vocals
- Aaron Dalbec / guitars
- Ben Koller / drum kit
- Nate Newton / bass guitar, vocals, theremin

Guest musicians:
- Kevin Baker (The Hope Conspiracy) / backing vocals
- Tre McCarthy (Deathwish Inc.) / backing vocals
- "Secret C" / backing vocals

About this release

CD and 12" 45 RPM vinyl 2LP released 4th September 2001 on Equal Vision Records (EVR61). Vinyl limited to 2000 copies:

- 2000 copies on black vinyl
- 550 copies on brown / white split vinyl
- 300 copies on clear vinyl
- 150 copies on orange / red split vinyl

12" 45 RPM vinyl 2LP released August 2010 on Deathwish (DWI72), limited to 5005 copies:

- 2000 copies on white vinyl
- 1305 copies on clear red vinyl
- 560 copies on clear green vinyl (Exclusive Equal Vision colour)
- 550 copies on clear gold / white swirl vinyl (Exclusive band colour)
- 440 copies on clear gold vinyl
- 150 copies on red / gold swirl vinyl

12" 45 RPM black vinyl 2LP released 2011 on Deathwish (DWI72), limited to 3207 copies.

12" 45 RPM translucent blue vinyl 2LP released 2013 on Deathwish (DWI72), limited to 1114 copies.

12" 45 RPM clear with black smoke vinyl 2LP released 2014 on Deathwish (DWI72), limited to 1070 copies.

12" 45 RPM vinyl 2LP released 2016 on Deathwish (DWI72), limited to 5000 copies:

- 2500 copies on 180 gram black vinyl
- 1000 copies on clear with white smoke (Equal Vision exclusive)
- 500 copies on transparent gold with black smoke (Deathwish exclusive)
- 500 copies on transparent blue with black smoke (European exclusive)
- 500 copies on transparent red with black smoke (Converge Store exclusive)

Thanks to Bosh66 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

So, this is that metalcore stuff I keep hearing metal snobs dissing, eh? Mathcore, no less. Not bad, not bad... it's full of sound and fury, and part of me does wonder whether it signifies nothing at the end of the day, but the combination of frantic vocals, everything-louder-than-everything-else instrumentation and giddy, fast-paced songs is clearly technically competent even if it feels like less than the sum of its parts. This seems to be a concept album of some kind - certainly, the songs flow together marvellously, to the point where the transitions between then come and go without me noticing (but not to the extent that the whole album becomes homogeneous and monotonous) - but I'm damnned if I can work out what it's about. Still, it sounds pretty good, even if it's not going to end up on regular rotation as far as I'm concerned.
Jane Doe really took me by surprise. As someone who's opinion of "core" has been contaminated by bands such as Bring Me The Horizon and Emmure, this album was sort of "Well, let's give the best of this genre a shot and see if it can redeem itself." And it has. Jane Doe is a whirlwind of emotion and technicality that never ceases and makes you longing for more when it does finally fade out. Every song is a cohesive experience, you're not going to "get it" by just listening to Homewrecker or Concubine by itself; it needs the context of the album to fully appreciate. Every song is absolutely essential, feeling like a mad house until the last track fills you with some sense of closure, but still longing for more.

The lyrics have no real structure to them and instead every song feels like a poem, but with hXe screams. Most people are put-off from the vocal style, but I think if you can get over that fact you can find some really meaningful stuff. Jane Doe's lyrics were written from Jacob Bannon's heart and I really do think it blends very well. He takes you on a journey where you feel everything from: shock, to denial, to depression, to hatred, defeat, self-loathing, loneliness, and hope. When all our roads have been travelled and all have come to a most bitter end: Today I thaw.

And of course there are the instruments. There are nothing short of being some of the most creative I've heard in a while. There is no question that this is also a masterpiece regarding technicality. Right away within the first 30 seconds of the album, it throws you into odd time signatures, crazy riffing, blast beats, and screaming. Concubine sure kicks off the album with haste. And it really doesn't slow down with Fault and Fracture, continuing on with Concubine's crazy theme. But what I like about this song so much is the outro. The drums crashing in and then speeding up the song is just great. After that is Distance and Meaning which actually utilizes clean vocals. And yes, I have to say it has calmed down a bit here, although that riff in the beginning still sounds pretty clustered. Now, Hell to Pay is when it really calms down. No doubt the calmest song on the album, and it has a very climatic song structure. It also has some great lyrics and how they're presented are great:

"That night, I think he cried himself to sleep Just maybe, he felt more than we could ever know And I think he pulled that trigger to empty that memory I think he cut the weight to end the floods of you Let him soar, let him ride as budding gravestones do Just sleep, girl, just dream well"

Then it goes into Homewrecker, which is kind of a 'rocking' song, believe it or least I think so. It's still mathcore, don't get me wrong, but it has a certain drive to it that kinda makes it feel like that. Maybe it's the cowbell. Then there's The Broken Vow which is a pleasant little 2 minute'r. Starts off sounding like hardcore punk, but then quickly switches to a more mellow song until it finally hits you with the outro. And then it hits you with an even shorter song. This one just has a very punk-y tone through-out, I think. Heaven In Her Arms is when the album starts to take a turn. It's pretty fast the first half, but then it quickly goes into a more heavy sounding riff and then slows down until it fades off into Phoenix in Flight. Phoenix in Flight is like any other song on here, as it's just kinda slow and has an epic (forgive me for using that word) feel to it. It just sort of builds on itself instrumentally and then brings it home with a driving outro. And then there Phoenix in Flames which is just nuts. Just screaming and drums and the production turns kinda shotty. It serves as an excellent transition to Thaw, which is one of my favorites. It just never gets dull; it starts off with an awesome riff, and then just erupts with, yes you guessed it, an awesome outro. I know I kinda used that phrase a lot, but it's true: a lot of these songs' finishes are just golden. And I have to say, the best outro, and reward for the best song on the album, goes to Jane Doe: the epic to end it all. This song practically makes the album. I don't like to throw around the word 'perfect' a lot, but this song may just be. It's not as chaotic as you would think, but the song is driven by such emotion that it can be easily forgiven and in fact you wouldn't want it either way.

Jane Doe has went far beyond my expectations and deserves a 5 star for how much it enlightened me on other genres. It gives me hope for all of those other genres I disregarded. Maybe they will have a Jane Doe of their own.

Run on girl, run on.
So this here "mathcore" stuff is supposed to be somewhat weird right? It kinda is. From what I've heard from Converge so far is some punkish/crossover sounding metal with some grindcore appeal.

So what makes 'Jane Doe' stand out by critics and fans alike? Well, the way I see it, their genre of music is executed. 'Halo in a Haystack' seemed like the band was drifting between punk and metal sound not knowing which one to play. 'Petition the Empty Sky' was the first album to feature the mathcore approach and some cool tracks were featured such as "The Saddest Day", but it wasn't totally interesting. 'When Forever Comes Crashing' came next and was much more mundane. With 'Jane Doe' though, Converge manages to at least not make the music sound overly pretentious or boring. Unlike the previous three albums, I didn't feel any need to stop the album prematurely and pass my judgement. And the production makes it sound like Mastodon's 'Leviathan' (which came out three years later).

I feel like saying something about at least one of the individual songs here, so I think I'll talk about the 11 minute title track "Jane Doe". It's a slower song and the only song on the album that features any clean vocals. It provides a nice ending and a break from the mathcore chaos. Of course, I'm a sucker for long songs; and it builds up to a notable climax beginning at the nine and a half minute mark.

I'm quite pleased with this album. Though my listening experience with Converge got off to a rocky start, this album helped change my attitude. I only hope that the rest of their albums are at least somewhat as good as this one.

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