First track "Disease" is the sound of a band bursting at the seams with a hunger to play hard and heavy, bearing all in the form of crunching guitars and drums, before front man Steve Jenkins' clear yet gruff vocals carry the song through a bold narrative. It's a solid start and makes for a promising listen.
"Time To Die" is a riff heavy beast reminiscent of early Megadeth and such, with it's blunt delivery and classic sound, where as "Out For Dead" turns to a more melodic approach. A really well written track, an almost punk-rock sing-along chorus and some superb guitar work. An album highlight.
"Hellsgates" is a sharp burst of intensity, the albums shortest track, thrash metal in places and quite in-your-face, a deeply personal creative influence fueling the track, resulting in not only a passionate but brutally honest performance from Jenkins'...which is a stark contrast to the eight minute monster that is "Walk On Water". It's beautifully played acoustic intro and soft vocals are an unexpected change of direction but showing there is more to Counterhold than meets the eye. Epic stuff, building in intensity until the very end.
The rest of the album, despite being an enjoyable listen, almost lives in the shadow of that one track...some top head bang-inducing moments such as "Victim Of A Parasite" but they don't quite live up to the grand scale of "Walk...", however closing track "Inner Scream" revisits the bands tender side to wrap things up nicely.
Counterhold are undoubtedly lovers of metal and that shows throughout this album, they play with pride in the knowledge that this album is the result of a LOT of patience and hard work, their DIY ethic paying off, and have every right to feel proud of this album. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for this lot, until then, regardless of your genre preference, give this a listen.