Anybody who knows anything (which, regrettably, seems to be an increasingly minute percentage of the population) knows Converge are on the short list of the world's finest heavy bands, and this latest release should only solidify their already lofty reputation. While slightly less brilliant than its predecessor "Jane Doe," "You Fail Me" is an effortless continuation of this band's signature metal/hardcore/noisecore sound. With bands like Candiria, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Neurosis unveiling some pretty radical makeovers on their recent new releases, Converge have instead done an admirable job of sticking with what they're good at without running in place, a difficult achievement indeed. Just in case anyone needed another reminder of how terrible all the legions of nu-metal clones are, this one should suffice pretty well. First of all, just in case anyone doubted it, "You Fail Me" proves once and for all that Converge are virtually flawless in terms of pure skill. Although his voice does take on a slightly milder intonation every now and then, Jacob Bannon's demented shriek still easily places him among the best vocalists in all of heavy music. Kurt Ballou does the work of two or three people on guitar, churning out an unpredictable, ever-shifting assault of churning riffs and screeching noises. Top marks for this album, though, would have to go to Ben Koller, whose drumming is both relentlessly maniacal and surgically precise. Just listen to him hit about 5,000 times in three minutes on "Last Light" and you should have a pretty good idea what I mean. What really elevates these guys above the plain, though, is the craftsmanship and sheer emotion they put into their music. Sure, they don't make it a point to beat you over the head with their feelings like some lame emo band, but you can still feel the emotion in every note of the vocals and music here. And although they typically shift tempo every ten seconds or so, the songs on this album are still imbued with a combination of epic sweep and righteous grooves that's almost impossible to find anywhere. Indeed, no band working right now combines aggression, musicality, and technicality as well as Converge: not Meshuggah, not the Dillinger Escape Plan, not Mastodon, nobody (of course, this is not to say the aforementioned bands don't rule, only that Converge do so in their own distinctive manner). After all, you've got to respect a band that can follow the bludgeoning doom of "You Fail Me" with the atmospheric acoustic tune "In Her Shadow," and then jump right back into the fray with the warp-speed thrash of "Eagles Become Vultures." So, yeah. This album rules all creation, and must be added to your collection immediately. Since Meshuggah's "I" is a really long song rather than an actual album, "You Fail Me" has jumped into the front-runner's spot for my coveted "Album of the year" designation. This CD is sure to offend normal, well-adjusted people everywhere, which in and of itself is sufficient to make it a classic.