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Counterhold - All Of Them Slain

All Of Them Slain
by Emily Coulter at 08 November 2013, 2:22 AM

Wales is known for producing great bands and artists such as BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, SKINDRED and Tom Jones. COUNTERHOLD are the freshest new talent to come from the sheep filled valley's. The band are releasing ''All of Them Slain'' self-release and have already proven that you don't need to be on a huge label to get to high places supporting bands such as SEPULTURA, EVIL SCARECROW and DARKEST HOUR.

''Disease'' opens up with a standard melodic Metal riff. Steve Jenkins vocals are gravel throated but an immense range can be heard but the wow factor of this track is due to the guitar solo performed at 2.13 followed by Jenkins exclaiming the following lyrics: ''you're a god damn fucking disease!''. If you had to pick a song to be the soundtrack to your prominent death then ''Time to Die'' is it! Apart from the obvious title of the song it has everything you would need. Ryan Salter's repetitive drum fills open the song up along with rip roaring riffs. Jenkins shows how his gravel throated screams can be brought to full force in this mixed track.

An early IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST feel can be felt in most songs on the album, especially in track 3: ''Out For Dead''. The song is one of the calmer tracks unlike the previous two which harvest the raw power they produce. ''Hellsgates'' is brought to you by a very haunting Doom riff which breaks into a PANTERAesque guitar. Though all the instrumental parts are amazing in the song, Jenkins vocals don't live up to them. The vocals here are at the weakest point going from different points of the ranges too quickly to adjust to the guitar tones. ''The Beast Within'' has an exceptional melody, dramatic but realistic. Very alike to IRON MAIDEN's sound. The guitars have a slight Djent warp in the background with a lot of distortion in some parts. David Birbeck really knows how to show off how good he is on guitar with his solo at 2.36.

''Fatal Taunt'' is the weakest track of the album. This could have been sung by an equally as good band if not worse down my local pub on a Sunday night. The only good part is the solo. ''Walk on Water'' is an electro acoustic guitar mix which creates dramatic tones. The only problem with this song is that Jenkin's vocals are too harsh and the song needs very calm but exciting vocals to compliment such a wonderful song. ''Stand or Die'' takes so many elements from other genre's but gives it a COUNTERHOLD twist. Jenkin's vocals feel highly influenced by Folk / Viking Metal e.g. TURISAS, the drum fills are fast like thrash metal and the guitars are in the style of Hard Rock. Sometimes these mixes don't work at all but COUNTERHOLD has proved that statement wrong.

Very fast drum fills is what catches your attention in ''Children of a Lesser God’’, so fast they could compete against Aaron Kitcher of INFANT ANNIHILATOR. Because of the drums being so fast you barely notice the guitars and the vocals just seem dismal. Salter obviously knows how the work a drum kit. ''Victim of a Parasite'' is another weak track, if it's playing in the back ground you wouldn't bother asking who it's by. It's flat with no melody or tempo change, nothing to be excited about. But COUNTERHOLD come back with power with ''Get Out''. Easily the best song on the album it has everything a great Metal band needs on a hit track. Invigorating riffs and solo's by David Birbeck with a sweet rhythm from Karl Silverthorn and fast drum fills from Ryan Salter. Steve Jenkin's vocals are simplistic but still have effect.

''Inner Scream'' is opened up by a generic Power Metal chord; Jenkin's vocals are calm but dramatic in various parts of the song.  The lyrics are heavily emotional and you can actually feel yourself relating to them. Birbeck gives a haunting distortion riff midway through the track.  ''Isolation'' is the bonus track to the album and has a very different vibe to every other song. The guitars pack a massive punch and the lyrics are descriptive to the max as if Jenkin's is telling a story just to you, it's as if he is playing so many different characters with his range of vocals.

You can really feel the welsh essence in COUNTERHOLD's songs and that's what makes it special. This band is obviously meant for great things as it has its place in so many genre's it's hard to pigeon hole them into one. 

4 Star Rating

1. Disease
2. Time To Die
3. Out For Dead
4. Hellsgates
5. The Beast Within
6. Fatal Taunt
7. Walk On Water
8. Stand Or Die
9. Children Of A Lesser God
10. Victim Of A Parasite
11. Get Out
12. Inner Scream
13. Isolation
Steve Jenkins – Vocals
David Birbeck – Guitar
Karl Silverthorn – Guitar
Ben Saunders – Bass
Ryan Salter – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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