Jane Doe (album)

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Jane Doe
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 4, 2001
RecordedSummer, 2001
LabelEqual Vision
Converge chronology
Deeper the Wound
Jane Doe
Unloved and Weeded Out

Jane Doe is the fourth studio album by American metalcore band Converge, released on September 4, 2001. The band's last on Equal Vision Records, it was produced by Matthew Ellard alongside guitarist Kurt Ballou, and features artwork created by vocalist Jacob Bannon. It is their first album to feature bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller, and the last to feature guitarist Aaron Dalbec; Converge's line-up has remained stable since.

Although it did not chart, Jane Doe was a commercial breakthrough for the band and received immediate critical acclaim, with critics praising its poetic lyrics, dynamic range, ferocity and production.[5][6][7] It has since been repeatedly listed as one of the greatest albums of its genre and era by various publications. It has also developed a cult following, with the cover art becoming an icon of the band. A live version, titled Jane Live, was released in 2017.

Writing and recording[edit]

Bannon stated in an interview that many of the songs from Jane Doe came from side-project Supermachiner, the project was claimed to inspire Jane Doe's experimental side.[8] The songs "Jane Doe" and "Phoenix in Flight" were initially intended for the Supermachiner album, Rise of the Great Machine, but Bannon thought "it made sense for Converge to play them."[8] Ballou has stated that Koller "reinvigorated the band" and "pushed [the band] in a new direction"[9] and that prior to Newton joining the band Ballou was the dominant songwriter for the band. Ballou has said with the addition of Newton that the album became more collaborative in terms of songwriting, which Ballou states was not there prior.[9]

The band had a higher budget and recorded it differently from previous releases.[10] The record was made for $11,000.[11] The whole album was made on six reels of two inch tape.[11] The album was recorded in three studios and mixed in two.[10] The album was mostly recorded at Q Division, next door to James Taylor's recording session.[11][12] However additional recording for the album also took place at GodCity and Fort Apache and took around three years to make.[13] The band recorded for 7 days at Q Division Studio using two rooms which are dubbed "Studio A" and "Studio B". Studio A was used to record the slower songs because the room was bigger than Studio B which Ellard states the room was better for ambience than Studio B. Studio B was used to record the more up tempo songs because it was smaller than Studio A.[11]

Newton stated in an interview "I remember all of us wanting to write a hardcore record the kids were going to hate."[10] Matthew Ellard the engineer and producer of Jane Doe said he saw the album as a "big rock record" rather than a metal record.[14] Ballou has stated that Jane Doe is the first Converge album that he is "proud of from start to finish".[15]

Release and promotion[edit]

In mid-2000 Converge self-released a three track record titled Jane Doe Demos.[16] The record was released at Converge's 2000 tour and were limited to 100 copies. The CDs contained unreleased demo versions of "Bitter and Then Some" and "Thaw" from the upcoming album, Jane Doe as well as a cover of "Whatever I Do" originally by Negative Approach.

In the Summer of 2001 recording for Jane Doe began. The album was released on September 4, 2001 through Equal Vision Records as a CD and double vinyl which came in multiple colors.[17] Bannon's Deathwish Inc (under exclusive license from Equal Vision) re-released the album on vinyl format. For the first time in over 6 years, the 2XLP is specially packaged in a Deluxe Gatefold sleeve and is accompanied by a stunning 28 page album sized booklet. The double vinyl version of the album officially became available for pre-order at the Deathwish web store on April 1, 2010, and then became available to buy in August 2010.[17] Converge's first tour in support of Jane Doe was in September, 2001 with Drowningman and Playing Enemy.[18] Drowningman later dropped out of the tour to work on a new album.[19]


The artwork for the cover and liner note booklet of Jane Doe was designed and created by Jacob Bannon. The booklet features lyrics for each song on the album, however the lyrics are intentionally scattered and some times hard to read. Bannon stated "Visually, I just wanted to capture that disillusionment with relationships and channel the negatives I felt. I did this in hopes of creating some sort of positive out of all the negative I was experiencing."[20] The result was a mystery created from a variety of media, collage, photography, spray paint, ink—that Bannon then assembled digitally.[20] The cover image "has become Converge's de facto icon".[20] She is not based on any original model.[20]

In an interview Bannon revealed that he abandoned multiple art projects to work on artwork for Jane Doe;

"Abandoning several other ongoing art projects so he could work on 'Jane Doe' exclusively for a month, Bannon applied the same meticulous process in creating all of the companion images that appear in the album's 28-page CD booklet. "Once I had the basic images completed, including the cover, I worked on type treatments for the release," he says. "At first I used old Letraset type but later switched to contemporary typography as the project progressed. My goal was to continue the same kinetic feel of the imagery and make them one and the same.""[20]

"Concubine/Fault and Fracture" music video[edit]

In 2002 a music video was released for the track "Concubine/Fault and Fracture" from the album Jane Doe, the music video was directed by Zach Merck.[21] The video was filmed on location in Los Angeles in September. Over a three-day period, longtime friend of the band, Merck was responsible for bringing Converge's conceptual vision to life. The band stated on their website that "Although it's always difficult to hand over creative control of a project, we can safely say [Merck] did a commendable job on the project" and Converge also gave special thanks to Ashley for "sitting in a bathtub of blood for over two hours".[21]

Musical style and theme[edit]

Bannon stated the album's lyrical themes were born out of a dissolving relationship and the emotional fallout from that experience.[20]

The lyrics found in Jane Doe's liner notes differ from some of the lyrics on the recorded tracks.[22] One example of this is the liner notes for the opening track "Concubine" state the lyrics are “For I felt the greatest of winters coming/ And I saw you as seasons shifting from blue to grey/ That's where the coldest of these days await me/And distance lays her heavy head beside me/ There I'll stay gold, forever gold” however when listening to the song the lyrics are “You stay gold/I’ll stay gold" repeated over and over again.[22] On this topic, Scott Butterworth of Noisey said "It’s a somewhat confusing incongruity, but at the same time, it’s eerily reminiscent of a moment most of us have experienced. If you’ve ever planned an eloquent, well-reasoned speech in your head only to feel too overwhelmed, too hurt, too emotional to spit it out when the time came, you can understand the brilliant trick Bannon is pulling here."[22]


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[23]
Pitchfork Media7.7/10[24]
Sputnikmusic5/5 stars[25]
Stylus MagazineA-[26]
Punknews.org4/5 stars[27]

Jane Doe was highly successful (especially when compared to Converge's previous albums). Terrorizer Magazine awarded the record Album of the Year status in 2001.[29] On July 2, 2002, Christopher Dare of Pitchfork Media said the album was “So full of intelligence, skill and intensity that it’s simply masterful. I don’t know what to call it. That’s probably a good thing.”[30] In January 2007, Decibel magazine certified the album number 35 in the "Decibel Hall of Fame", and later named it the best album of the 2000s.[29] J. Bennett writes that "Jane Doe was both a semi-melodic milestone ("Hell to Pay", "Phoenix in Flight", the title track) and a discordant landmark (everything else), far and away the most crucial metallic hardcore record since Cave In unleashed Until Your Heart Stops three years earlier".[31] On June 11, 2010, Sputnikmusic deemed Jane Doe the best album of the decade, earning the #1 spot on its top 100 albums of the decade list.[32] Loudwire placed the album at #10 on its own albums of the decade list.[33] In March, 2011, Jane Doe was inducted into the Rock Sound's Hall of Fame. They described the album as "a gamechanger in the entire realm of heavy music".[34]


The album has exerted considerable influence in extreme music circles and attained a cult following. Japanese band Heaven in Her Arms are named after the eponymous song.[35]


A "—" denotes the publication's list is in no particular order, and Jane Doe did not rank numerically.

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Terrorizer[36] UK Albums of the Year 2001 2001 1
Decibel[29] US Decibel Hall of Fame 2007 35
MetalSucks[37] US 21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century... So Far 2009 5
Noisecreep[38] US Best Albums of the 2000s 2009 1
NPR Music[39] US More Important '00s Music 2009
Sputnikmusic[40] US Top 100 Albums of the Decade 2010 1
Decibel[41] US The Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums of the Decade 2010 1
Loudwire[33] US Top 11 Metal Albums of the 2000s 2011 10
Rock Sound[42] UK Rock Sound’s 101 Modern Classics: The Final Instalment! 2012 15
LA Weekly[43] US Top 20 Hardcore Albums in History 2013 5
Kerrang[44] UK 50 Albums You Need to Hear Before You Die 2015 21
Rolling Stone[45] US The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time 2017 61
Loudwire[46] US The 25 Best Metalcore Albums of All Time 2017 1

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Jacob Bannon; all music composed by Converge[47].

2."Fault and Fracture"3:05
3."Distance and Meaning"4:18
4."Hell to Pay"4:32
6."The Broken Vow"2:13
7."Bitter and Then Some"1:28
8."Heaven in Her Arms"4:01
9."Phoenix in Flight"3:49
10."Phoenix in Flames"0:42
12."Jane Doe"11:34
Total length:45:22


Jane Doe personnel adapted from CD liner notes.[47]


  1. ^ Atomic ID was Jacob Bannon's design company. All art direction and design is credited to Bannon on the vinyl reissue.[49]


  1. ^ "Converge: Jane Doe Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  2. ^ "THE BEST METAL ALBUMS FROM 40 SUBGENRES". Loudwire. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  3. ^ "Iconic hardcore album Jane Doe forged a new voice for Converge". April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Castillo, Arielle (November 9, 2009). "Massachusetts hardcore band Converge plays Pompano Beach Amphitheatre". Miami New Times. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Brilliance Behind Converge's Unintelligible Lyrics | NOISEY". Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  6. ^ "Converge: Jane Doe Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  7. ^ "#5: CONVERGE - JANE DOE". MetalSucks. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  8. ^ a b "Converge Have Innovation Through Suffering". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  9. ^ a b GodCity Music (2015-06-28), The Making of Jane Doe at Berklee College of Music, retrieved 2017-05-18
  10. ^ a b c "Iconic hardcore album Jane Doe forged a new voice for Converge". 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  11. ^ a b c d GodCity Music (2015-06-28), The Making of Jane Doe at Berklee College of Music, retrieved 2017-05-18
  12. ^ Bennett, p. 335.
  13. ^ "Deathwish Estore: Converge "Jane Doe" CD". store.deathwishinc.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  14. ^ GodCity Music (2015-06-28), The Making of Jane Doe at Berklee College of Music, retrieved 2017-05-18
  15. ^ GodCity Music (2015-06-28), The Making of Jane Doe at Berklee College of Music, retrieved 2017-05-18
  16. ^ "Discography". Converge's Official Website. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  17. ^ a b "Deathwish Estore: Converge "Jane Doe" 2x12LP". store.deathwishinc.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  18. ^ "Converge & Drowningman to tour". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  19. ^ "Drowningman off Converge tour". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  20. ^ a b c d e f "Interview: Converge's Jake Bannon on Legendary 'Jane Doe' Album Artwork". Revolvermag. 2014-09-04. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  21. ^ a b "CONVERGECULT.COM". 2003-01-04. Archived from the original on 2003-01-04. Retrieved 2016-10-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  22. ^ a b c "The Brilliance Behind Converge's Unintelligible Lyrics - Noisey". Noisey. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  23. ^ Jane Doe at AllMusic
  24. ^ "Converge: Jane Doe | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2002-07-02. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  25. ^ "Converge - Jane Doe (album review)". Sputnikmusic. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  26. ^ "Converge - Jane Doe - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  27. ^ "Converge - Jane Doe". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  28. ^ "Converge - Jane Doe review". Lambgoat. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  29. ^ a b c J. Bennett, "Who's That Girl?", Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces, Albert Mudrian (ed.), Da Capo Press, p. 331.
  30. ^ "Converge: Jane Doe Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  31. ^ Bennett, p. 332.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Albums of the Decade (10-1) « Staff Blog". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  33. ^ a b "Top 11 Metal Albums of the 2000s". Loudwire. Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  34. ^ "Converge's 'Jane Doe' Inducted Into Rock Sound Hall Of Fame - News - Rock Sound Magazine". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  35. ^ O'Connor, Andy (10 July 2017). "Heaven in Her Arms: White Halo". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  36. ^ "Rocklist.net....Terrorizer Magazine..." www.rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  37. ^ "#5: CONVERGE - JANE DOE". MetalSucks. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  38. ^ "Best Albums of the 2000s". Noisecreep. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  39. ^ "Missing The Cut: More Important '00s Music". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  40. ^ "Sputnikmusic - Top 100 Albums of the Decade (10-1) «  Staff Blog". www.sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  41. ^ "Decibel – The Top 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of The Decade". New Music Excess. 2010-01-28. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  42. ^ "Rock Sound's 101 Modern Classics: The Final Instalment! - Features - Rock Sound Magazine". Rock Sound Magazine. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  43. ^ Weekly, LA (2013-08-29). "Top 20 Hardcore Albums in History: Complete List". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  44. ^ "50 Albums You Need To Hear Before You Die - Kerrang!". Kerrang!. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2017-02-01.
  45. ^ "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  46. ^ Loudwire best metalcore albums
  47. ^ a b Jane Doe (CD booklet). Converge. New York: Equal Vision Records. 2001. EVR61.CS1 maint: others (link)
  48. ^ Bennett, J. (2009). "Chapter 25: Who's That Girl?". In Mudrian, Albert (ed.). Precious Metal. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81806-6. Tre McCarthy, Kevin Baker from the Hope Conspiracy and "Secret C" have backing vocal credits. I'm assuming the last one is Caleb Scofield from Cave In.
    Ballou: Yeah. He was under contract with RCA at the time. He didn't think there would be any problem, but we thought it would be better not to take any chances. Isn't his publishing company called Secret C? I think it might be. All those guys were on "The Broken Vow"—I think that was the only song they were on. On the last line, "I'll take my love to the grave," with each repetition of the riff, we'd add another person. So it's Jake, me, Nate and then those guys, one at a time.
  49. ^ Jane Doe (vinyl gatefold). Converge. Deathwish Inc. 2010. DWI72.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]