After the release of their critically acclaimed new album, You’re Not You Anymore, Canadian melodic hardcore crew COUNTERPARTS embarked on a tour of the UK and Europe with support from POLAR and NAPOLEON. We caught them at their Manchester date at Rebellion to watch the chaos unfold.
UK tech-metalcore grafters NAPOLEON were on first, this being one of many gigs for them recently in Manchester. From Impericon Festival to supporting AUGUST BURNS RED and OCEANS ATE ALASKA on various tours, they’re a band that’s really put the work in recently. The turnout was impressive for the time in the evening, and certainly the best I’ve seen for them so far. As usual, the lead guitarist’s fretwork was impressive, and the occasional backing track to make up for the lack of second guitarist did not infringe upon the performance. Charisma and passion shone through with frontman Wesley Thompson, and much of the front row joined in on several songs. They’re a band that are only improving, and time will tell if their studio work will reflect that.
POLAR were up next, to a noticeably less turned-on crowd than before. Sensing they had something to prove, the UK-based hardcore quintet ramped up the energy in the room and gave a blistering performance. Whilst their old material leaves a lot to be desired in terms of originality, the style was enough to get heads nodding – however, the change came when the band introduced some new material. Tech-metalcore in the style of ARCHITECTS comes to mind, as their new material is laden with grooves and massive hooks. Exciting stuff, definitely going to show that they’re on a trajectory for higher places very soon.
After a short wait the main concern of the night appeared on stage – Canadian melodic hardcore kings COUNTERPARTS. A band that are currently hitting the top of the game after a very successful album release, the atmosphere in the room was to be expected. The setlist was dominated by songs from You’re Not You Anymore, with No Servant of Mine, Bouquet and Rope all translating perfectly live. Some of the wildest moments of the evening occurred during older songs, however, such as with Outlier from 2015’s Tragedy Will Find Us. The rapport of the band with the crowd left a lasting impression on many, as songs were dedicated to fans, Buckfast was discussed and drunk, and stage invasions were commonplace. From soaring and technical lead guitar, especially on the new material, to dirty hardcore breakdowns, COUNTERPARTS gave Rebellion a masterclass in their craft in the time they were given.