Five things we learned at Counting Days' album release show

Counting Days released their debut album in the most raucous way possible

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Brit hardcore crossover crew Counting Days have just released one of this year’s most savage albums, titled Liberated Sounds. To celebrate they threw a party at London’s tiny Black Heart in Camden. As we at Hammer have been bigging them up since the beginning, we were never going to miss this shindig. Here are a few things we learned…

**London Loves Riffs
**An encouragingly hefty crowd, especially for a Wednesday night, are here to dine out on a feast of massive guitar riffs from our headliners. But they get an extra added bonus dose from tonight’s support acts. Death Remains and Soul Crusade get heads a-bobbing, but it’s the middle of the three, Stoneghost, that really impress tonight. The Londoners mix BLS style heavy metal with a more extreme and contemporary slant, and are very good indeed. Satisfying those looking for meaty guitar hooks before Counting Days even enter the fray.

**There’s A Genuine Buzz Around Counting Days
**By the time Counting Days take to the stage, the healthy crowd in attendance for the supports has swelled to a cramp and sweaty mass of excited punters all craning their necks to get a glimpse of the band. Perhaps because it’s a free gig? Maybe. But unlikely given the reaction when they launch into opener Burned By Faith, with the venue fighting for space to move to the music. The record has only just come out and Counting Days are getting this kind of reaction?! Wait till the music really beds in.

Thomas Debaere Is One Of The Best Vocalists In New Music
Sure it would be easy for the cynics to paint Counting Days as just another metalcore band, riding on the coattails of one of the most popular scenes in alternative music at present. But in former Heights frontman Debaere they possess someone with whom most bands would kill for – a vocalist with a pained, paint stripping roar, seeped in authenticity and emotion. Watching him summon those white hot sounds from his larynx is an incredible experience, nearly as incredible as the power he can generate from his lungs. With him on the mic Counting Days have a focal point that makes them immediately stand out from the pack.

They Aren’t Afraid To Mix It With The Big Boys
Towards the end of set that barely pauses for breath, everything stops and the oh so familiar sound of Slipknot’s 742617000027 comes snaking out of the speakers before Counting Days plough into (sic). For anyone to attempt this, let alone a brand new band, is a pretty ballsy move. The fact they pull it off with a massive circle pit and stage invaders trying to grab a piece of the action, goes to show that this is a band who have the ambition and the confidence to take on anyone. They’ll outgrow venues this size in no time at all.

Did We Mention Riffs?
Ultimately though, all that matters is that Counting Days have made a great record and can definitely pull it all off in the live environment. But it’s here in a tiny pub full of people unable to stop their heads from moving that you realise just how many riffs of enviable quality CD have in their locker. Charlie Wilson and Bobby Daniels peel out precision metal (yes, these are pure metal riffs I’m afraid Mr. Purist) guitar lines that decimate on impact. After they leave the stage, most people are holding their heads with pained expressions on their faces after bashing their necks into oblivion. Oh London loves riffs tonight alright, and Counting Days have got them by the bucketload. Get involved.

Counting Days are on a mission to make amends and kick some ass

Stephen Hill

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.