Counterparts

Tragedy Will Find Us

Written by: MBC on 16/01/2016 03:39:41

2015 was a good year for hardcore with several releases making our best of the year lists. One of those that unfortunately was not reviewed until now is “Tragedy Will Find Us” by Counterparts which is another incredibly strong and passionate album from the Canadian hardcore band. With this their fourth album since forming in 2007, they continue to put out personal tales of anguish that are based within a very effective combination of ferocity and melody, and this album features some of the best material yet from Counterparts.

The album opens with one of the most aggressive songs ever from the band with “Stillborn”. The energy is incredible with vocalist Brendan Murphy screaming as if his life depended on it, at times over fast drums and semi-melodic riffs that keep building up tension, at times over slower, more melodic parts as well as a breakdown which creates great dynamics in the song. The lyrics keep up the high level of eloquent and poetic depictions of loss of faith in humanity that we have come to expect from Murphy:

“We are stillborns by definition but our pulse-infected wrists will disagree. We burden ourselves with intent and ambition and we’ve accepted that all hope is lost. So dance past my lips and disperse, leaving no trace of human condition. Our bodies blind the world with a sense of selflessness that only a trained eye can see. You blame me for your blindness, open your eyes.”

The track functions perfectly as an album opener as it in many ways defines the band’s musical style which at times is brutal and frenetic, at times is beautiful and melodic. This is not a case of a clear cut musical dichotomy though, as even the melodic parts often have a hard and dark edge. Murphy never succumbs to singing squeaky clean choruses, although he does occasionally deliver the words with more of a spoken word approach, but his screams are often so audibly clear that no lyric sheet is necessary. His screaming is raw and unrelenting throughout and plays a huge factor in the appeal of the album and the band’s music in general.

As is usually the case with Counterparts, this is not happy music. The atmosphere is thick and gut-wrenching, and the constant underlying misanthropic and self-deprecating nature of the songs might be off-putting for some. Musically, the album does not offer anything revolutionary or necessarily something that other bands within the genre have not offered before. What is so great about a band like Counterparts then is the fact that they are willing to go into the deepest depths of human emotion which might not necessarily be a pretty place, but a necessary one to illuminate nonetheless. Someone struggling with anger, depression or addictions might be able to find solace in the fact that these musicians are willing to put everything out of the line and come forth with a genuinely cathartic piece of art like this.

Speaking of solace, the album closer by that name stands as one of the strongest and most emotional songs of the album. Whereas most of the songs on the album are fast, the pace here is toned down greatly emphasising the sombre and defeated tone of the lyrics: “Carry me back to your bed, my conscience is my coffin and I swear sometimes I’d rather be dead. Make sure that I still feel, I don’t care how much it hurts. I’ll always be numb on my side of the earth.”. Murphy’s piercing fry screams soar above the song’s post-hardcore groove, and as the sorrowful and subtle guitar notes fade out at the end, one can imagine him being completely spent from having poured out his heart and soul throughout the recording of this album.

8

Download: Stillborn, Resonate, Tragedy, Choke, Collapse, Solace
For the fans of: Have Heart, Comeback Kid, Conveyer, Hundredth, Defeater, The Carrier
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.07.2015
Pure Noise Records

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