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Countless Goodbyes - Cycles

Countless Goodbyes
by Jack Lynch at 23 April 2019, 6:36 AM

You know what they say, “start strong and end strong”, COUNTLESS GOODBYES does exactly that with their debut album "Cycles." They are a five-piece Metalcore band from Pori, Finland that has released a string of singles since 2011. The band has since changed their lead singer to one, Onni Kivikaarre, therefore shifting their sound to cleaner vocals mixed with screams; often the blueprint among the genre. "Cycles" contains ten tracks.

The opening track “The Fallen” starts abruptly; breaking into harsh vocals and intricate, sporadic   guitar licks headed by guitarists Jancarlo Rodriguez and Ilari Ukkola. These guys get right to the point; there is no prolonged ritualistic album intro here, no sweeping piano movements or church choir. This lack of a buildup initially caught me off guard and I respected them for it.  The verse instantly recalled most modern Metalcore offerings; not surprising as the band has shared the stage with veteran groups such as August Burns Red and Asking Alexandria in the past. The chorus jumps in early, its catchy and backed by some very nice drum work from Andre Rodriguez. The double base pedal is turned up a notch and makes its presence known in the background. The song is a head bobber and a strong start to the album. The next few tracks “Butterfly Effect” and “Faith in Me” follow a similar structure; bouncy guitar riffs and drumming that really kicks; sometimes a little too much. There is some great guitar work on this album; but often I felt the drums were battling for the attention. Onni Kivikaarre does a good job of creating melody and showing off his ability to carry a song; though I found the overall effect of these tracks to be less memorable than the first.

Unfortunately, the middle part of the album is when things tend to blend together a little too much. Later tracks such as “Hiding from Myself,” “Are You with Me,” and “Who We Are” again sport some nice musicianship, even dabbling in some varying influences of post-hardcore and Djent, but in the end don’t do anything that hasn’t already been established , nor does it get the blood pumping in a new direction. Some listeners may start to feel they’ve been here before. The final track, “Hourglass” ends the album on a strong note. It is arguably the strongest song on Cycles as well as the most epic. Everything Countless Goodbyes do well is on display in this song. An attention-grabbing intro, creative vocal arraignments over head-bangy guitar riffs of varying speeds envelope the track as Onni calls out our worst societal fears. The song even manages to show us a few new tricks; faking its end before blasting through its outro at breakneck speed. The song structure is top notch.   I hit the replay button as soon as it was over. If only the rest of the album made me do the same thing.

Countless Goodbyes is a very good band, and with "Cycles" they deliver an album that has a few memorable tracks. However, there isn’t much on this album that is particularly eye opening, and in the oversaturated often shapeshifting landscape of Metalcore; it helps to push things into the obscure and break new ground. To be fair, no one should fault a band for not doing this initially, (this is after all, a debut album). In simpler terms, if a band writes 10 tracks for an album, and a listener finds themselves replaying at least five of them relentlessly, I consider the album a success. "Cycles" has two or three tracks off the bat that stand out that you’ll want to replay. The rest of the album leaves much to be desired. None-the-less there is something great brewing within this band, and I’m curious to see how they develop in the future. Their debut album has a few songs that showcase what is possible.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Fallen
2. The Butterfly Effect
3. Faith in Me
4. Memories Left Behind
5. Enemy
6. Hiding From Myself
7. Are you With Me
8. Who Are We
9. No Escape
10. Hourglass
Onni Kivikaarre - Vocals
Andre Rodriguez - Drums
Jancarlo Rodriguez - Guitars
Ilari Ukkola - Guitars
Lauri Lilja - Bass
Record Label: Inverse Records


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