Release Date: Jul 23, 2013
Record label: Victory
"Raw feeling, distilled through true musicianship"... Following the chaotic tirades of their earlier offerings, this third album from the Canadian five-piece delivers a welcome progression; 11 tracks with all the anguish that melodic hardcore thrives on, but with enough testosterone to keep it on the right side of whiney. Their name comes from the Alexisonfire song ‘Counterparts And Number Them’ and moments here, like the spoken-word outpouring of ‘Decay’ and the meandering lead guitar of ‘Cursed’, give more than a nod to their recently-defunct countrymen.
Counterparts play warm, sentimental hardcore with a focus on layered melody and rhythmic complexity. While their debut featured a more metalcore sound, their follow-up strips down their approach considerably, with their latest effort striking a keen balance between the two without coming across as a needless regression. A clear reference point is Shai Hulud, although Counterparts' songwriting is less convoluted and spruces things up by borrowing from the up-tempo, punkier tendencies of Comeback Kid or Killing the Dream.
These five Canadians show that they’ve got what it takes to stretch hardcore’s boundaries on their third full-length (and second for Victory). Their sound is less knuckle-dragging than, say, Terror, and less metallic than Hatebreed, but The Difference Between Hell And Home is much heavier and more ferocious than its predecessor, 2011’s The Current Will Carry Us, something that’s noticeable from the first blasting roar of opening track “Lost. ” At the same time, they’ve got a melodic side, amply displayed on the almost pop-punk “Outlier” and the emotive “Wither.