Counterparts - You're Not You Anymore
5.0Overall Score

If personal pain were to be perfectly translated into a record, the result would no doubt be You’re Not You Anymore, the latest album from the Canadian hardcore musicians in Counterparts.

Although it’s easy to slip into pure nihilism in such a context, the members of Counterparts do not do so on their new record. Rather, every agonizing bit of mental anguish is highlighted and magnified, covering the whole range of intense human emotion from being angry to giving up.

The tentative acceptance of pain displayed in the lyrics allows for a certain self consciousness to bloom on the album’s lyrical side that would not be there if the band either stuck to nihilism or switched their musical style and went thematically and musically softer. As the band’s Brendan Murphy sings on the track called ‘Haunt Me,’ “We’ve been seduced by suffering!”

The musical side of the album is as memorable as ever in of itself; You’re Not You Anymore goes from the crushing but captivating breakdowns of ‘Swim Beneath My Skin’ to the more brutal music of ‘Thieves’ to the agony driven, drawn out notes of the record’s title track, which comes last.

The music in of itself helps highlight the messages the album is meant to get across as much as anything; there is no filler. For example, the punishingly heavy music of ‘Thieves’ corresponds to an exceptionally dark lyrical theme. On that song, Brendan Murphy sings, “I will make my peace removing the arms of unrepentant thieves!” What those he is singing about stole remains to be seen.

In fact, the band takes the no-filler mentality far enough on You’re Not You Anymore to craft songs that are, comparatively at least, quite short. ‘Thieves,’ for example, clocks in at only one minute and sixteen seconds long.

Compared to past work from Counterparts, You’re Not You Anymore only shows the band as improving their craft. It both fits well into the band’s overall thrust and carves out a place for itself. The band goes as hard as ever on the new release, and if you’re a fan of heavy, generally melodic hardcore, make sure to give this a listen. The combination of captivating lyrics and driving music ends with something noteworthy.