Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

http://www.countingdaysmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Countingdaysuk

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

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