To say that i think this album might be better than _Jane Doe_ seems counterintuitive. _Jane Doe_ is a masterpiece, and people just don't make albums that good twice in a row, if ever more than once. Yet I am inclined to say that Converge has done it.
_You Fail Me_ is everything I had hoped it would be and more. Compared to _Jane Doe_, this album is more punk and freaked out. The same violent technicality, frantic rage, and humbling physical stamina are entailed by all Converge's creations, but this is just more _unleashed_. The rather punk-like first half of the album is non-stop, superkinetic speeds. After the short introduction, "Last Light" unleashes hell with a sparse chord structure grinding on torrential drum polyrhythms. Half-yelled, half-sung vocals build into brutal scream, and near the end the song reorganizes itself into a massive, sick odd-metered clash of death as Jacob Bannon declares "This one's for the hearts still beating." (no, this is not an emometalcore cd.) Then, if you can survive the brutally audacious "Black Flag" through "Heartless", you will probably survive the rest of the cd. Things finally slow down on the title track, a suffocatingly slow, heavy dirge that sounds like the grotesque lovechild of Meshuggah's "Nebulous" and the ugly-yet-very-atmospheric early music of Isis. The sixteenth note cycle grinds away as heaps of electric noise are smeared across it, until either the sound or the listener dies. This ruthless, noisy, and relatively minimalist track carries a change of feel for the middle section of the album. "In Her Shadow" follows it closely. It is the plaintive centerpiece, a disturbingly and discordant piece of minimal fury that begins with restraint on only acoustic guitar. It crescendos into a screaming fury of noise before returning to its slight beginnings. Amazing! By now in the album, you feel like you've just crawled naked through five miles of rusty barbed wire. Bloody and dirty, you reach the end and speed picks up for the next two songs. The manic bursts and off-the-wall rhythms characterizing the early parts of the album return with all the fresh energy of before. "In Her Blood" slows down again, setting the stage for the tempered climax of "Hanging Moon".
Like _Jane Doe_, _You Fail Me_ is an album that best serves its listener when listened to completely as one piece of music with different parts. Some bands use albums merely as a tool for compiling songs, but others use the album as a whole for the application of their concepts. Such an album is a powerful experience; I would recommend it to anyone with good taste. Now buy this and bow before Converge's awesomeness.