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At this point, the unrefined anger of youthful musical movements from decades past should have given way long ago to a more reflective kind of angst. The last thing heavy music needs is more blame-fixated material that allows listeners to wallow in finger-pointing while avoiding introspection. Thankfully, Converge frontman Jacob Bannon doesn't make it convenient for listeners to forget to check themselves — in spite of his near-constant focus on his mistrust of people. Just like 2004's You Fail Me, the album title here lets you know in no uncertain terms where Bannon is coming from: a wounded place where his faith in others has all but died. Bannon presents us with some hard questions. He often gets free-pass praise for his passion alone, but he manages to strike a balance here, several times opening his heart to a universal sadness so pervasive and tragic that it renders concepts like villainy and valor impractical. Where You Fail Me contained plenty of breathing room and rich guitar texture, Heroes adheres more closely to blast-beat frenzy. Even with this single-minded approach, though, Converge proves once again why it is one of metalcore's most innovative and expressive acts.

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Saby Reyes-Kulkarni