Converge is a four-piece American band, formed in the winter of 1990 in Salem, Massachusetts, United States. Playing a blend of extreme metal and hardcore punk, this pioneer outfit helped define a lot of the rudiments of the fast-burgeoning metalcore and mathcore genres. They first started by playing covers of hardcore, punk and heavy metal songs, being self-confessed "hardcore kids with leftover Slayer riffs." The band soon graduated to playing live performances in 1991 after recording some demos on a 4-track recorder. In their latter years, Converge have enjoyed relatively high levels of popularity despite the esoteric feel of their music and the substantial lack of media attention they receive. The extreme nature of their music, particularly the atonal vocals and often complicated finger-work of the guitar riffs make it difficult for some to appreciate this brand of metal. Later records have gradually become more extensively produced largely due to the maturation of their sound. Converge's influences range from hardcore punk bands, such as Black Flag, Negative Approach, The Accüsed, and Born Against; metal bands like Black Sabbath, Godflesh, Slayer, and Entombed; and proto-mathcore bands Starkweather and Rorschach.