There's not a whole lot of levity in the abrasive, storming hardcore world of Massachusetts-based quartet Converge. They guys don't favor long, wacky song titles, bathroom humor or frivolous mid-show banter. And they're not real big on the chat show format. As much as we consider ourselves a serious forum for metal news, analysis and conversation, we also relish the occasional witty quip or obnoxious comment. When we tried to pass the joke baton to Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou, we were greeted with annoyed stares that pierced our retinas like straight razors. Like we said, these are some serious dudes -- which doesn't mean they're impenetrable.

When we asked Ballou about an agreement he and Mastodon guitarist and vocalist Brent Hinds made to write guitar parts for one another, he told us an anecdote that resulted in welcome volleys of laughter, slightly lightening the mood.

Converge were joined for the rest of this week's ''Creep Show' podcast by editor Seth Werkheiser, Revolver senior writer and Noisecreep scribe Jon Wiederhorn, lead Noisecreep writer and music industry veteran Amy Sciarretto and Noisecreep newsman/prolific writer Chris Harris.

During the news portion of the show, we discussed the cause of death of Evile bassist Mike Alexander, the false rumors that former Danzig and Social Distortion drummer Chick Biscuits had died of throat cancer and Rob Zombie's decision to release his new album, 'Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool,' on Roadrunner Records instead of Geffen. We also talked about the temporary disappearance of ex-Destro bassist Brad Kirkland and the continuing mystery of the whereabouts of Metallica fan Morgan Harrington, who was last seen Oct. 17.

In our album segment, the ''Creep Show' panel shot up the devil's horns for the new Slayer album, 'World Painted Blood,' praised the dizzying speed of Nile's 'Those Who the Gods Detest,' and congratulated Peter Tagtgren on his decision to release a new Hypocrisy album, the mighty 'A Taste of Extreme Divinity.'

Converge's voices were noticeably absent during the news and album portions of the show, but they weren't shy of words during the interview portion. Even if the segment wasn't funny, it was surely informative, as the guys talked about their current tour with Dethklok, Mastodon and High on Fire, the rewards of playing for hostile audiences and the creation of their new album 'Axe to Fall.' We also chatted about the death of regional scenes, the multitude of bands that rush records to the marketplace the continued fragile state of the recording industry, and Converge's determination to soldier on despite the adversity.