Review Summary: Counterparts deliver a legendary debut album.
It's hard these days to find any kind of hardcore or metalcore worth listening to. Especially when the scene is overwhelmed with underwhelming bands delivering carbon-copy burnt out records that not only fail to reinvent the wheel - but also fail to even push the existing wheel forward.
Enter Counterparts, a young 5-piece hardcore outfit from Ontario and you'll immediately recognize something special. With the debut album "Prophets" these Canadians make their intentions bold and clear - they're here to be the future, and the future is now. On the opening track "The Reflex Tester" the band wastes no time getting straight to the point, as the track blisters through its short minute and a half length at break-neck speed, and paints a clear picture of what the rest of the album has in store.
All of the ingredients you would expect in a hardcore recipe are here - emotionally charged vocals and powerful lyrics, backed by chugging guitars and fast drumming, and of course enough breakdowns to keep you wanting to punch the closest elderly person in the face. However, the difference is immediately noticeable, the breakdowns are interesting and actually well used and well timed, the vocals seem more prominent and convincing, the cleans are used sparingly and flow seamlessly with the music, and the guitars are absolutely the most interesting facet this band has to offer, bringing a fresh technical-yet-melodic sound rarely heard in hardcore these days.
Throughout the album's 31 minutes you'll find yourself on a rollercoaster of a musical journey, one that is completely unexpected but entirely long overdue. Counterparts won't stop pounding away at your cerebellum and you'll wish it would continue even when it stops. This is a band that should become legendary, and with this album it's clear that will happen much sooner rather than later. The sky's the limit for these 5 guys from the north, and as Brendan says himself "Only Anchors" can keep them from moving forward.