By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
Metalcore is one of the most dominating genres in heavy metal music today, and one of my favorites. For those who do not know, metalcore is a fusion of heavy metal and hardcore punk, known for its slow breakdowns and passionate messages, that can incite moshing. Some of the best heavy metal bands today have incorporated a metalcore attitude. These bands include Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Wage War, Bullet for My Valentine, Parkway Drive, etc. They come from all over world, primarily from the U.S. and the U.K. There is a band hailing from Ontario, Canada, that has been mowing down fans, with their aggressive nature and attitude. They call themselves Counterparts. They are Canada’s metalcore heroes, and they released their fifth studio album, You’re Not You Anymore. I was unfamiliar with these guys, but I decided to get familiar with Counterparts, give the new album a listen and see what they had to add to the metalcore world.
Counterparts has recently gone through a major change; original lead guitarist Jesse Doreen, and longtime drummer Kelly Bilan left the group, making vocalist Brendan Murphy the sole original member. However, that did not stop Murphy from creating his coolest record yet. You’re Not You Anymore is filled with the same metalcore power that every fan loves to hear. Murphy screams to the top of lungs, spewing out words, that spell out raw hostility. As evidenced in “Bouquet,” Murphy is telling the listener to forget the misery he is leaving behind in this life. New lead guitarist Blake Hardman plays some sweet, harmonious solos that counter the brutal rhythm guitar riffs played by Adrian Lee, like in “Arms Like Teeth.” Both of these guitarists go hand to hand, and are able to create some virtuous guitar licks.
New to the band as well are bassist Tyler Williams and drummer Kyle Brownlee, who have toured with Counterparts in the past. They bring new life and energy to the group. Brownlee levels the playing field with his drumming skills. I liked his rapid movement on the snares when he is playing “Swim Beneath My Skin.” Williams is whooping the bass strings, with utter firmness. Most of the songs are full of anger and torment. Murphy lays all his emotions on the table, with songs like “Thieves,” “No Servant of Mine,” and “Rope.” Letting out all their passion, metalcore never sounded better.
The champions of the metalcore scene in Canada, did not let lineup (roster?) changes derail their creativity and spirits. Murphy has brought in new players, and has constructed a vicious album, one that the most diehard metalcore fan can come to appreciate. The record time runs for 28 minutes, just enough time to hit the weights at the gym or punch a boxing bag. Release the beast from its cage, when you put on You’re Not You Anymore. The title speaks in volumes; once you start listening to the album, you become a different person for 30 minutes. To Counterparts, I salute you. Horns up!!! 8.9/10
1. Walk Away Slowly
3. Arms Like Teeth
4. No Servant of Mine
5. Haunt Me
6. Swim Beneath My Skin
9. A Memory Misread
10. Fragile Limbs
11. You’re Not You Anymore
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