Counterparts – ‘Tragedy Will Find Us’ (Album Review)

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Counterparts newest album Tragedy Will Find Us (2015) is phenomenal. The guys set the bar high with The Difference Between Hell and Home in 2013 but they’ve managed to surpass this, creating an album that commendably captures the essence of melodic hardcore. Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Counterparts are easily distinguishable by their audacious use of abrasive, aggressive and self-deprecating lyrics blended seamlessly with a mix of brutal heavy guitar riffs and beautiful melodic instrumental cleans. Tragedy Will Find Us continues the passionate aggression and self-criticism found within The Difference Between Hell and Home with even more rigour. So if you were a fan of the last album, definitely check this one out!

The opening track ‘Stillborn’ throws you immediately into the frenzy of the album, establishing it as fast paced, angry and dominated by the coarse and emotive screams of vocalist Brendan Murphy. Deep and explicit lyrics such as “The faults I can’t escape” and “I am a noose waiting to be tied” set up the dark and pessimistic tone of the album.

‘Burn’ is undoubtedly one of the strongest tracks on the entire album. I’d say it’s almost the epitome of a quintessential hardcore song. It flawlessly incorporates soft, clean melodic guitar riffs which build and flow seamlessly into raucously heavy hardcore riffs. Murphy’s vocals are potent and impressively consistent throughout. Filled with poignantly emotive lyrics like “Lifeless, I am dragging me down” Murphy makes the content of the songs more self-critical and darker than ever. Distinctively, Counterparts are adept at seamlessly blending both hard and soft elements within their music and ‘Burn’ is an impeccable example. These guys know how to vent their despair and work you right up to the edge by plunging you into track after track of frenzied guitar riffs, distressed lyrics and fast paced drums, before swooping in and surrounding you with serene, beautiful and enchanting clean guitar parts paired with optimistic vocals and spoken word which offer hope.

‘Collapse’ is saturated with technical consistency – using rapid fire drums, more intricate  guitar riffs alongside the energetic counterpart heavy hardcore riffs. Admirable is the utter bluntness and honesty in the lyrics – they’re always completely raw. Lyrics such as “We’re afraid to force our legs to break free from the earth and take the first step towards our insecurity” and “with my lips sewn shut by the stitches of my own indecision” show Murphy commendably confronting difficult personal problems making the album incredibly cathartic.

The album ends with ‘Solace’ which has a both an optimistic and melancholic tone. There’s almost anthem like feel to it. Murphy’s vocals are incredibly raw and emotive throughout. They’re coarse and gut wrenching as he vents and pours his heart out through lyrics such as “I’d rather die than live without you”. Genuine and heartfelt passion seeps out of the lyrics of every single song on this album. The track uses a slower pace and focuses on the brave and abrasive yells of Murphy. As opposed to the rest of the album which holds quite a pessimistic and bleak tone, songs like ‘Solace’ show the more positive side of Counterparts.

Counterparts have proved themselves to be at the very top of the hardcore scene. They’ve got more emotion and energy than most mediocre bands within the genre at the moment. Tragedy Will Find Us is most definitely cathartic and throughout Murphy overwhelms with heavy self-reflective outpours. The band advocate facing tragedy and adversity head on. These songs will sound huge live as these guys are known to put on one hell of a live show.

This is undisputedly my favourite album of the year so far.

4.5/5

Check out the videos for ‘Burn’ and ‘Collapse’ here:

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