Counting Days ‘Prison of Misery’ review
written by Andy Davidson (across the pond)
The UK’s current wave of Metalcore bands is something that restores my faith in the country I call myself a citizen of. In a country whose culture seems to celebrate queuing politely, reality shows about baking and this thing, it’s the underground that gives the nation some edge and reminds us that we still have fire in our hearts.
One of the standout albums of this scene to be released last year was Liberated Sounds the debut album from Counting Days, which surpassed already high expectations, largely due to previous members of Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, TRC and the much missed Heights being along for the ride. But this ‘supergroup’ prospect shouldn’t define this group alone. They are their own monster, and their new video for ‘Prison of Misery’ shows off what destruction the monster is capable of implementing.
Composition-wise, ‘Prison of Misery’ is firmly structured around a solid verse and chorus structure to begin with, making it a challenge for the band to outlet as much chaos as possible within this structure. And it’s a challenge they pull off to maximum effect, even opening on an isolated melodic riff, which any Megadeth fan will recognise to act as the calm before the riffs rip your face off. And naturally it’s not long to wait before the facial removal service opens shop, as chugging guitar triplets are fired out supported by Lasselle Lewis’ accelerated drumming to create something of musical typhoon whipping up all homes, forests and lives that stands in its path. During choruses the switch to playing beats at half-time, summoning the crushing weight that those homes and trees would probably make once they hit the ground. And this is all before the song’s closing breakdown, a pummeling groove that picks up listeners and smashes them to the ground repeatedly like the Hulk. It’s the only way you could conclude a song this devastating.
Lyrical themes of isolation within the song reveals the inner brutality of the undernourished human condition (‘Silence is golden, so I’ll bite off my tongue’, ‘I am breaking, losing all feeling, out of my mind, inside I am fading’) as frontman Thom Debaere states in the chorus he is ‘sentenced to my own thoughts’, implying time spent alone and thinking is akin to punishment. Maybe he thinks a lot of embarrassing high school memories. Who knows? Themes of this nature are a staple of metal music, but the viscerality of Debaere’s performance makes the lyrics more real, almost like this song acts as therapy for him, and likely relatable for many listeners.
It’s unsurprising that Counting Days have chosen to make a video for ‘Prison of Misery’. It showcases everything that’s great about this band and proves why they’re one of the tightest and most uncompromising new bands around. Providing infinite layers of melodic death metal inspired brutality with the kind of battering grooves that will make you want to throw down so hard your body folds in half, this song is just the start to this brilliant band that makes the UK the place for new metal at its nastiest and isn’t just a hotspot for boring inoffensive culture it paints itself as being.
Check out the video below
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written by Aberdeen correspondent Andy Davidson