ALBUM REVIEW: Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

WORDS: Eddie Sims

Britain is somewhat of a conveyor belt for music at the moment. Churning out new music every week, most of it being tasteless bollocks mind, good ‘ol blighty has been standing firm and resolute at the forefront of musical discovery. Well, scratch a little bit at the surface and you’ll find a thriving underground scene that has been germinating and growing almost relentlessly, and it is within the dark recesses of this underground that we find COUNTING DAYS. Made up of  ex-members of TRC, HEIGHTS and LAST WITNESS, basically the best the underground circuit had to offer, COUNTING DAYS are the musical equivalent of The Hulk on steroids.

The snarling introduction of Burned By Faith kicks things off by going from 0-100 before you even have a chance to flinch at the blast beats just deliver blow after blow. The crunching guitar tone of lead guitarist Charlie Wilson has enough bite and weight to rip your ears clean off and he certainly swings his weight around too, as the riffs from the likes of Prison of Misery and Die Alone quickly and assertively become highlights of the album, second only to the stellar vocal performance by Thom Debaere as he simply strips the lining of his throat without so much as a wince or a grimace, it’s a joy to listen to seeing as we haven’t heard it properly after HEIGHTS called it a day. The re-mastered version of original single Sands of Time sounds impassioned, utterly angry and featuring a vocal appearance of Tomas Lindberg from AT THE GATES is essentially the best example of just how brilliant COUNTING DAYS can be.

Liberated Sounds is very much an album of two halves. With the first half seeing the motley super group establishing their riff led antics before kicking it up to 11 and ripping your face clean off with the supercharged tail end. Between these two halves lay three songs that are quite clearly not like the rest in terms of song quality and general feel for the album. Fire From The Sky sees an attempt at more of a melodic chorus that falls flat and Days Go By features almost inaudible spoken word sections that just completely kill whatever pace was gathered by the previous songs. With the mandatory interlude track The Vines featured also it’s a shame that these three culprits are sandwiched by the rest of the album, creating a very noticeable judder in the flow of the album.

With such a rich history to pull inspiration from, COUNTING DAYS are, on paper, the perfect hardcore outfit. With the best that Britain can offer in terms of individuals and the baiting crowd that have been bitterly anticipating this debut, they’ve got it all going for them. Liberated Sounds is, by and large, the best possible outcome for a debut. With enough bite and aggression to make anyone turn their heads to listen and the general ability to write brilliant songs COUNTING DAYS have finally arrived, and they’re bringing the noise with them.

Rating: 7/10

Liberated Sounds is out now via Mascot Records