Counterfeit Culture – ‘Deathwish’

By Mark Johnson

Post-hardcore/metalcore newcomers Counterfeit Culture open their account with three-track EP ‘Deathwish’. In a genre where it can be hard for new bands to make an impression, Counterfeit Culture attempt to freshen things up with a tech-metal-style focus on musicianship and for the most part, it succeeds in giving them an edge.

Opening track ‘Apothecary’ hits hard with a heavy central riff before catchy, cleanly sung choruses and screamed verse patterns ensure the basics of the genre are covered. A well-placed breakdown adds even more heaviness and it’s during these aggressive parts that the band shine. While vocalist Nick Broglio has a good voice, the cleanly sung choruses feel like an exercise in melodic box-ticking rather than seamlessly integrating into the track.

‘Second Soul’ offers impressive musicianship with an excellent intro riff that brings Northlane and Erra to mind. The screamed vocals combine to great effect with the heavy riffs but the almost scripted chorus prevents the song reaching its full potential.¬†‘X’ changes the formula slightly by bringing¬†clean vocals to the verse patterns, helping the melodic sections flow more organically. It’s clear that the band have some excellent ideas and when they think outside the predefined genre framework, they create their most interesting results.

For a debut EP there’s a lot to admire on ‘Deathwish’; it definitely brings the riffs and the band show their potential as talented musicians. When they’re at their most creative it really works but when ‘Deathwish’ gets constrained by the standard genre formula, its effectiveness is hindered. The melodic sections have promise and break up the aggression well, but they need to be integrated more naturally to become a lasting component of their sound. This is a promising start for Counterfeit Culture and gives hope that more quality will come in the future.

MARK JOHNSON

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