Neurosis / Converge / Amenra at the Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, 2 August 2017


Crushing hypnotic sludge. Screamed vocals. Very Neurosis-like in style. Slow parts and catchy melodies. Nice black and white visuals. Clouds and nature with burning and smoking landscapes. Maybe close to as punishingly epic as a cult of Luna show. Lots of feedback and ringing and sustained notes and riffs.

Echoing bass and drums can be felt through one’s feet up into their soul. Desert vistas at sunset and sundown used in the visuals add to this bleak escape.

Singer has his back to the crowd (almost like Maynard from Tool) and contorts his arm at times (the one without the mic of course). He also does some body swaying or circles while moving just his arms and torso. Makes things a little more hypnotic.

Later visuals of trees and forests. Tall trees on a lane way. Guitarist on the left with the gold green starburst Les Paul using tapping and slight repeated short strumming with fingers and pick to make hypnotic effects. More crushing punishing sounds and rhythms for the listener to be pulled in and by, smashed under weight of this powerful tune. Without his t-shirt the vocalist reveals an upside down cross on the full length of his back.

Some parts are faster than others but the group always plays to their strengths and keeps it sludgy. And it always keeps the crowd nodding  away in unison. Overall a very head nodding, crushing, soul melding set that most enjoyed.


High energy frenetic fun. Punishing in different ways. It’s an addiction of noise when Nate brings the bass groove and back up vox to this hardcore attack like few in the genre.

Ben is the beast or master or top of the list in his respective musical chops on the drums. Just playing with punishing speed precision and overpowering on his drumming attack.

To this reviewer, there might be no better band when it comes to embodying passion and aggression than Converge.
Everything from the tiniest notes, riffs, snare and ride hit to Jacob’s head thrusts and consistent screams with a word and with a single stroke from Nate’s right arm on his bass and the accompanying head nod.

It also could be said that Kurt’s playing has revolutionized the term metallic hardcore. His fast yet accurate riffs are sludgy when they have to be and brutally fast and punky too.

The band seems to build more power and intensity with each song. The intros just before more and more epic and long lasting. Maybe it’s because the songs and their meanings really target what it’s like to be alive and instances, situations that each and everyone of us has gone through or someone close that we know has.

Like a frenzied metallic unstoppable beast pulling at everyone’s heart strings in just the right way. And really that’s all that anyone needs, in this writer’s opinion. It’s the greatest escape and makes you feel alive and good about what you have been through and survived. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. The set these guys played couldn’t have been stronger.

Jacob dedicated the final song, “Jane Doe,” to Neurosis and to all they have given him as an artist, and says they are one of the greatest bands of all time. It’s so easy to say a CONVERGE live show is an experience and this was no exception. They have really changed since the last time this music fan saw them in 2010. They have added a whole new level of performance arts to playing in front of an audience.


They open with the epic “Lost” off Enemy of the Sun.

What hasn’t been said about Neurosis. Most bands who are attracted to modern extreme music owe them royalties for the sound structure and mystic that comes with being a sludge doom progressive and even hardcore band.

At times the band is a progressive beast, at others they are a psychedelic monster that breathes sludge, crust and doom. The musicians in the group also each have their own space and create a little artist vibe that is each their own.

You can hear their influence in other artists like Isis, Mastodon, Fear Factory, Tool and, of course, Converge. The rhythms, the grooves, are mechanical yet human.

The band takes a peek at nature through a universal lens, which is life, death, decay and existence. Piano and synths bring to life the mix of heavy and the stuff that has not been duplicated by any band this they came on the scene.

They play the song “Locust Star” and the ending when Scott, Steve, and the bass player all sing at once is something to feel and behold as it bends and shakes one’s bones.

The use of synth and samples on intros just creates more depth to the songs and sound. Coupled with Jason’s tribal drumming, the grooves are unstoppably moving. Echo and other effects mirror the drums and help create a bigger, crunchier and crisper sound.

Talk about an experience.  This band might just get better with age. Steve Von Till’s vocals just get better and clearer. It’s as if Tom Waits had a louder more intense vocal approach. The heaviness is like a ton of bricks smashing through 200 panes of glass.

Scott Kelly, well, he brings down some of the most ferocious, razor sharp, nails on the.chalk board screams. They can’t be ignored and are at times frightening to some, but I want to hear more now and nod my head and clench my fist as I shake it to the beat. It’s also important to note that the sound guys were really on point tonight as Scott’s Les Paul was ripping through all the PAs, even with all the other sounds going on.

The set could be categorized as a religious experience by some, or just another incredible live Neurosis show filled with crushing riffs, industrial effects, tribal experimental drumming and some of the greatest artistic work to have ever been heard on this realm of existence.

It also helped being heard and seen in this amazing venue which is the Danforth Music Hall. The huge ceiling and wide viewing area really did create more of a bigger and fuller sound while still keeping the acoustics clear and very tight.
Overall one of the best shows of the year to come to the fair town of Toronto and an unforgettable night for those in attendance.

You can also check out Gruesome Greg’s comments on and photos of the show: