Petitioning the Empty Sky

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Petitioning the Empty Sky
Studio album by Converge
Released Early 1996 (EP)
1996 (CD)
January 20, 1998 (reissue)
March 22, 2005 (remaster)
Recorded August & October 1995, February 1996, May 1997
Studio Salad Days studio, West Sound, live on the air at WJUL, The Outpost
Length 14:19 (EP)
29:00 (CD)
42:58 (reissue)
47:00 (remaster)
  • Brian McTernan
  • Mike West
Converge chronology
Caring and Killing
(1995)Caring and Killing1995
Petitioning the Empty Sky
When Forever Comes Crashing
(1998)When Forever Comes Crashing1998
Alternative cover
2005 remaster artwork by Aaron Turner.
2005 remaster artwork by Aaron Turner.

Petitioning the Empty Sky is an album by American metalcore band Converge. While many sources catalog the release as a studio album, the band considers this a compilation album as it's a collection of songs recorded at different times.[3] It also features both studio recorded tracks among three songs recorded live. Petitioning the Empty Sky was released and distributed through several different labels beginning in the mid 90s.


Petitioning the Empty Sky was originally released through Ferret Music in 1996 and was also one of the earliest albums released through the newly formed label.[4] This early version was a 7" EP featuring only the first four tracks of the eventual full-length.[5] Later that same year the record was re-released with four new tracks added to it. Two years later, the album was reissued through Converge's new label Equal Vision Records as EVR040 on January 20, 1998.[6] The full length reissue contained three live tracks ("For You," "Homesong," and "Antithesis") recorded during a radio broadcast, three newly recorded tracks ("Buried But Breathing," "Farewell Note to This City," and "Color Me Blood Red") and one track ("Shingles") that was recorded along with the original four tracks, but were unreleased.

Shortly after the release of Converge's 2004 album You Fail Me through Epitaph Records, Equal Vision reissued remasters of Petitioning the Empty Sky and When Forever Comes Crashing. The updated version of Petitioning the Empty Sky featured new artwork from Isis frontman Aaron Turner, production work from Converge's Kurt Ballou in addition to Mike Poorman and Alan Douches, and an alternate version of "Love As Arson" as a bonus track. The liner notes also contain the first half of an essay written by the "Aggressive Tendencies" columnist and editor of the Canadian online magazine Exclaim!, Chris Gramlich.[4][5][7] The second part of the essay is continued in When Forever Comes Crashing. The remaster was Equal Vision's EVR109 released on March 22, 2005.[8]

In 2006, Jacob Bannon's Deathwish Inc. released a vinyl box set collection for the remasters of Petitioning the Empty Sky and When Forever Comes Crashing in a package dubbed Petitioning Forever.[9] Due to the physical limitations of a vinyl LP, a single 12" record cannot hold all of the songs from the remaster. The three live tracks were released separately with the first pressing on a 7" vinyl with its own artwork based on box set packaging.[10] The box set was Deathwish's DWI47,[11] and the separate vinyl was cataloged as DWLIMITED04.[10]

Song history[edit]

Studio recordings of the live tracks "For You" and "Homesong" were originally released on the Unloved and Weeded Out 7" EP in 1995. The full length compilation version of Unloved and Weeded Out was later released in 2002 through Deathwish and also featured these two songs. The studio recording of "Antithesis" could originally be found on Converge's debut album Halo in a Haystack in 1994, and later on the compilation album Caring and Killing released in 1997. The song "Dead" was rerecorded from the version on Caring and Killing, which was recorded in 1994/1995. The original version of "Love As Arson" was released on When Forever Comes Crashing in 1998.

Tracks nine through eleven - "For You", "Antithesis" and "Homesong" - were recorded live during a performance on radio station WJUL, run by college students at UMass Lowell. A notable moment on the live track "Homesong" is when a band member breaks a guitar string and pauses the song, and bleeding singer Jacob Bannon claims to have "hit my head on a mic stand" and that it will "make us look punk." The original CD release on Ferret Music features "Homesong" as a hidden/untitled song following "Antithesis".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2] 5/5 stars[12]
LambGoat (9/10)[13]
Prefix (9/10)[5]

Allmusic critic Blake Butler wrote: "Converge can break multiple bones throughout the body with sound alone, assaulting with beautiful metal riffs, throat-ripping screams, and aggressive smashing percussion."[2]

Track listings[edit]

All lyrics written by Jacob Bannon; all music composed by Converge[4].



  1. ^ "Converge - Petitioning The Empty Sky review | Lambgoat". Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d Butler, Blake. "Petitioning the Empty Sky – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Bennett, J. (December 2009). "A Cut Above". Decibel. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Red Flag Media Inc. (62): 69–74. ISSN 1557-2137. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Gramlich, Chris (2005). "Waiting on Forever: Part I". Petitioning the Empty Sky (Reissue) (CD booklet). Converge. Albany, New York: Equal Vision Records. EVR109. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hughes, Josiah (January 1, 2002). "Review: Petitioning the Empty Sky / When Forever Comes Crashing". Prefix. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Converge: Petitioning the Empty Sky". Equal Vision Records. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ "About Us". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Converge: Petitioning the Empty Sky (reissue)". Equal Vision Records. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Petitioning Forever – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "Converge: 'DW Limited Petitioning Forever Bonus 7" EP'". Deathwish Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Converge: Petitioning Forever". Deathwish Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  12. ^ Hensch, Mark. "Review: Petitioning the Empty Sky". Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ Mond, Mustapha (February 4, 2010). "Review: Petitioning The Empty Sky". LambGoat. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b Butler, Blake. "Petitioning the Empty Sky – Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]