Counting Days

Liberated Sounds

Written by: MAK on 30/09/2015 15:34:37

When a band takes that step up from a demo EP to a full-length album, you expect some sort of improvement in sound quality and production. Yet only once before have I seen a transition this strong, from being a decent sounding band to becoming an absolute monster. Counting Days' album, "Liberated Sounds", takes the same leap from their EP "The War Of The Wolf" that While She Sleeps did when they stepped up from "The North Stands For Nothing" to "This Is The Six", creating a bigger sounding album than anybody expected. Albeit expectations are usually high when it comes to newly formed "supergroups" - this one featuring past and current members of various popular UK hardcore bands, including Rough Hands, TRC, Last Witness and Heights just to name a few. What you would expect from a band made out of these people is another hardcore outfit. You will be mistaken to a degree. Yes, there are strong elements of hardcore and cameos of what these men produced in their previous bands within Counting Days, but the element of metal is much stronger.

Quite frankly from the start of 'Liberated Sounds', Counting Days create music that is much heavier than the majority of us would have originally guessed. Opening track "Burned By Faith" within seconds punches you in the face with little warning. A wall of sound dominates your ears, full of dirty, distorted riffs, intense drum beats and deep roars, all before vocalist Thom Debaere unleashes his gruelingly harsh shouts of "BURNED BY FAITH". The former Heights front channels a Loz Taylor-like voice throughout this song and the rest of the album as another nod to While She Sleeps, even if that may be coincidence more than intentional. Consistently for the duration of the album Counting Days deliver a mixture of brutal riffs, even some sounding as if Charlie Wilson may have taken some that he might have used for TRC, as his guitar tone is too distinctive to miss. Wilson's fellow ex-TRC band mate, drummer Lasselle Lewis provides the same intensity and technicality we have come to know from him in his beats.

Just like with the opening track, every other song on "Liberated Sounds" take a rather similar approach. Strong metallic hardcore, high intensity and energy, all remarkably similar traits to the success of While She Sleeps' album "This Is The Six". Even the opening of the song "Life & Death" sounds ridiculously close to the atmospheric start of the title-track on the Sleeps album. Counteracting this high-intensity sound is a slight melodic side that seems influenced by the likes of either "Sempiternal" or "There Is a Hell..." era of Bring Me The Horizon, with small interludes of softer stringed guitars and ambiance fading back into the heaviness that clearly dominates "Liberated Sounds". Title-track "Liberated Sounds" acts as a pure anthem with an incredibly catchy chorus. The gang vocal shouts of "WE ARE THE LIBERATED SOUNDS" are clear and stand strongly out over a beat that would invite a sea of two-steppers in the pit.

Whether you call this album metal, metallic hardcore or metalcore is your choice. Whatever you decide, it is hard to deny that "Liberated Sounds" is a firm favourite for one of the better albums of the year in either category. Do not sleep on this.


Download: Liberated Sounds, Burned By Faith, Life & Death
For The Fans Of: While She Sleeps, Bring Me The Horizon, TRC, Last Witness, Heights

Release date 16.10.2015
Mascot Label Group

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