Overall Score: 9/10 Vocals: 9/10 Aggression: 9/10 Variety: 8/10 Pros: Huge anthemic songs | Raw emotion felt throughout | Great balance between heavier and melodic moments Cons: Nothing completely new
With so many bands fighting to stick out in the hardcore scene right now it can be hard for a band to get noticed. Counterparts have spent the past few years working their way up the hardcore scene and with their third studio album “The Difference Between Hell And Home” Counterparts look set to leap ahead of the rest of the pack. It might not be a radical departure from their last two albums but this time Counterparts have refined their sound and delivered one of the best hardcore albums of the year.
This time round Counterparts are far more aggressive than before whilst still maintaining their melodic-hardcore sound from the previous albums. Opener “Lost” immediately engages the listener largely thanks to Brendan Murphey’s extremely emotional vocal performance. Every line is delivered with the same amount of passion and it gives the album a brilliant, anthemic quality. Standout track “Witness” perfectly demonstrates everything Counterparts do so well, with it’s mixture of melodic guitar lines, pummelling riffs and fast paced drumming it’s the kind of song that when played live will get everyone in the room moving.
Elsewhere tracks such as “Decay” brings in a darker sound beginning with a spoken word section over a soft guitar line before building up both vocally and musically to a huge ending, it’s a brilliant change of pace almost exactly at the midway point in the album. Closing track “Soil” is the albums longest track and brings things to a close in a suitably epic fashion bringing in all the best parts from the album.
The Difference Between Hell And Home is the perfect album for people who are fed up with the beat down heavy hardcore the scene is full of right now. Counterparts are just far more sophisticated than many other hardcore bands. Counterparts haven’t just delivered one of the best hardcore albums of the year but one of the best albums in any genre.
The Difference Between Hell And Home is out now on Victory Records.