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Fathoms – Counter Culture

Counter Culture
by Jon Conant at 31 December 2017, 1:52 AM

If you’re into the ATTILA-esque brand of Rap Metalcore, the latest (and final) album from FATHOMS is a tour de force. If you’re not into that sound, walk away, for it will most likely just bum you out. And yes, this is the crew’s final album. According to a FB press release there is no bad blood and they simply decided to call it quits as a band; most likely due to the fact that they peaked as a support act in a fleeting genre - good call boys, good call. In any case, they’ll run a ‘Final Farewell Tour’ next year in February, with UK dates only.

But look, I am a total sucker for this kind of shit, so as far as I’m concerned this album fucking jams. It’s the classic Metalcore sound we’ve all come to know and love (some of us), but elevated by a bouncier Rap feel, as well as layered synths and clean vocals. It all blends together well and results in fantastic mosh/party music. We even get a Djentier type sound in some places, especially in “Fated”. The clean vocals can get corny, but they’re balanced out nicely with the dominant harsh vocal sound, so I can live with it. I don’t want to say that this album sounds like someone crossed RAGE and ATTILA…buuut…

And to FATHOMS’ credit, this album does not attempt to pretend to be anything it’s not. They’ve really doubled down on the sound, and I respect that. Album opener “Hate Preach” starts off with a drum solo and then a rap line before moving into the dank groove guitar riffs that define the band’s sound. It’s not the best or most technically advanced music you’ve ever heard, but if you can throw down with the style, it goes pretty hard - to each their own.

The harsh vocals are fantastic right from the get go, setting the rest of the album up perfectly. I’d say about the only serious slip up for me was the token power ballad “Slip Away”, which was horrible and should have been left back in 2008. It is truly the epitome of a generic filler track and kind of throws a lump in the album’s groove. If you’re going to double down on a genre that half of the Metal community sees as bullshit, you should probably just fully double down.

But no worries, we right back into the thick of it afterwards with “The Spaces In Between”, a pulsating and textbook display of Rap Metalcore at its 'rappiest' and 'coriest'. Most of those words are made up, but whatever…

“No Compromise” is the choice track of the album for me. It wonderfully combines an electronica presentation with a more Punk/Hardcore-inspired guitar delivery as opposed to a rap metal feel. I would almost go as far as to say that if they had kept moving in this direction they may have been able to build a bigger following moving into the next decade.

Alas, the band decided to call it quits anyways - for completely understandable and obvious reasons. That being said, their final rip at Rap Metal, “Counter Culture”, is an enjoyable time if you’re in the mood. That farewell tour is going be quite something, those crazy Brits.

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

3 Star Rating

1. Hate Preach
2. Counter Culture
3. B.E.L.I.E.V.E
4. Fated
5. I’ve Been Trying To Leave
6. Slip Away
7. The Spaces In Between
8. No Compromise
9. You Ain’t On What We On
Max Campbell - Vocals
James Munn - Gutiars
Sam Rigden - Guitars/Vocals
Steve Cogdon - Bass
Lui Sarabia – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 December 2022

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