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Counting Days: Liberated Sounds

UK metalcore survivors combine their fire

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the fertile UK alternative scene over the last few years, then Counting Days should have you salivating before a note has left your speakers.

Former members of the criminally underappreciated likes of Heights, TRC and Last Witness have joined forces, seemingly with the intention of bringing a flavour of all of their previous outfits marinated in the sound of more traditional metal.

And what a glorious recipe that proves to be. Opener Burned By Faith takes about one second to bump you from your comfort zone. Roaring forth on a white-hot riff before the album’s man of the match, vocalist Tom Debaere, screams with an anguished ferocity that’s been unheard since Will Haven at their peak.

It rarely drops in pace, intensity or quality from that moment, the crisp production of legendary producer Fredrik Nordström giving the spite-fuelled guitar work of Charlie Wilson the necessary clarity and menace, and hearing Tom and iconic At The Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg trying to see who can burst a blood vessel first as they trade vocals lines on Sands Of Time are obvious highlights. But overall, this is a metal record that should make your heart swell with patriotic pride.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.