On November 1st 2019, Counterparts are not just going to release their sixth studio album, they will also show what it sounds like to evolve without making any big changes.
On Nothing Left To Love the guys from Canada remain faithful to their melodic Metalcore Kaboom, but they deliver even more intense songs than you were used to.
But from the beginning: The album cover shows a bloodstained hand, pierced by a knife. Counterparts couldn’t have illustrated this album in a better way. Because what awaits us on the inside is a razor-sharp, painful tragedy that shakes you to the core.
Not only the lyrics are – as expected – pervaded by despair. Also instrumentally Counterparts demonstrate pain and anger at its finest. For those who already loved the previous albums, Nothing Left To Love will be a revelation.
The 10 songs work up to a climax in a row by using razor-sharp guitars, pounding breakdowns, well dosed melodies, frenetic drums and the striking voice of Brendan Murphy.
As always, his lyrics show the whole range of depressive feelings:
„Will you love me when there’s nothing left to love?“ he is desperately screaming for attention. And he gets my attention – from the first to the last song.
While the opener Love Me comes along in an almost sedate way, the upcoming tracks offer pure energy and madness:
Wings Of Nightmares, the first release of the new album, which comes with a video, blows me away with everything that is distinctive for Counterparts: A voice that jumps between rage and despair, subtle melodies, some Djent riffs here, a few downbeats there, not to forget: driving parts and even a few spoken words. Unbelievable how Counterparts can pack all of this in just under 3 minutes.
It is followed by Paradise and Plague, the song with the biggest hit character: Also in this one the pompous voice of Brendan Murphy is raging and the harsh beats make me wanna mosh hard. And also here you find despair on its climax. In the background a nearly too beautiful melody is rummaging forward to dip the song – despite of it’s brutal force – in bittersweet melancholy.
Hands That Used To Hold Me is my personal favorite. A song that hits you like a fist into the belly by fat breakdowns, and then stabs the knife into it by keen guitars and spoken words, until – to speak musically – the blood flows. Hold Your Knife even enhances the brutality by an enormous speed. I find myself listening to raging drums with my mouth open: Can a human being really deliver this with two hands at all?
Separate Wounds pulls the listener into a dark atmosphere, only to immediately snatch him from behind with suddenly appearing guitars, thundering beats and lyrics that testify resignation and mental exhaustion. I was actually frightened when listening to it for the first time. This says a lot about the dramaturgy with which Counterparts created Nothing Left To Loose.
The songwriting is as sophisticated as ever, the songs complex and playful. And the best: you don’t notice it at all. These songs transport me in a Shakespearian setting, I feel like being caught in a play – without action, but with even more emotions. Accordingly, every single song is leaving me overwhelmed and amazed as the album is already at its end after ten tracks.
I hardly ever experienced a melodic hardcore album being so compact and to the point. Counterparts don’t need any intro-/outro-gimmicks or guitar solos others would need to create suspense. They just whisk us away into their world from a standing start. And they show a kind of Metalcore that is not just black or white, but sad and angry at the same time, powerful and also vulnerable, complaining and just as pleading. I love the incredible power, the instruments that move forward in waves along with the voice in every single song. Listening to them feels like a roller coaster ride: down from the bottom, up to the peak point and then descending at insane speed.
And another comparison comes to my mind, after the album has just rushed through: Nothing Left To Love is like a Tarantino Movie: odd, bloody and so complex that you have to listen to it several times in order to understand what is happening here.
Recorded by star producer Will Putney, there’s no need to waste a single word about the sound quality. The sound is fierce, striking and also convincing by the fact that Putney has wiped the voice of Brendan Murphy on an equal level with the other instruments. Nothing is dominating here. Everything becomes one. Definitely THE album to love for me this year!