In memory of Kuma
‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here.’ Preparing for the inevitable death of those who are still alive. Counterparts has always embraced the emotionally painful topics of life, but embracing for the eventual loss of those you love is about as real as it gets. With their seventh full-length, ‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here’ tackles the difficult topic of the anxiety surrounding losing someone, even if they haven’t even been lost yet. The vulnerability expressed through the lyrical themes is exuded through not only the burning passion of vocal performance, but also through the melodic yet intense instrumentation that feels just as emotional as the words said.
Opening the album are the first three singles, which set the stage perfectly. Holding on to Counterparts’ typical style, “Bound To The Burn” and “Whispers Of Your Death” feature intense riff grooves and heavier breakdowns contrasted by melodic leads that soar throughout the chorus, creating an emotional atmosphere. “Unwavering Vow” ends with a build up that explodes into an overwhelming combination of pummeling guitars and drums with subtle clean leads in the back that create a haunting melody that amplifies the distraught thematics. However, this intense ending immediately transitions into a melodic background of powerful harmonies of clean vocals and guitar leads intertwined with the passionate harsh vocals in the title track. Much of the rest of the album has this same style of melody mixed with aggression, creating tracks that are full of grooves that burn with fury juxtaposed by almost-uplifting choruses and bridges that exude with emotional expression. “What Mirrors Might Reflect” features a beautifully melodic chord progression while still maintaining the typical Counterparts aggression throughout the verses with driving grooves and rhythms full of ferocity. The one-two punch of “Soil II” and “Flesh To Fill Your Wounds” combines the atmospherically melodic power of the former with the painful tinge of the latter, all expressed through the emotionally-felt instrumentation. However, the band truly shines with the conclusion of ‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here.’ “A Mass Grave Of Saints” is truly overwhelming. The entire track feels like a build of tension, only to be released with the final explosion of music that decays into an ambient soundscape filled with emotion.
While the instrumentation itself is powerful enough as it is, the lyrics of the record truly captivate the pain and hurt behind the record. The lyrical themes of ‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here’ are saturated with the despair of knowing that everything will come to an end, even if it isn’t ending right now. The anxiety of inevitably losing everything is expressed through the title track’s powerful words, “Grieving though you haven’t left my side / Knowing that one day you’ll disappear / As I write a eulogy for those still here.” This mentality embeds itself deep into self-thought, leaving your own image of self as one that’s negative; unworthy. “Skin Beneath A Scar” and “What Mirrors Might Reflect” almost act as self-reflections, seeing the brokenness inside and only wanting to leave and be someone else. This ultimately ends in the desire for one’s self to be a part of the inevitable loss, wanting to be the one in the coffin rather than watching the coffin close on someone close to you. “A Mass Grave Of Saints” painfully ends with this pondering of being in the coffin, concluding with engraving the words “goodbye” into the wrists.
Even after multiple records, Counterparts continues to build upon their style and improve with every release. With ‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here,’ the band exposes their vulnerabilities and expresses them through the burning lyrical themes amplified by the intense and overwhelming instrumentation and vocal performances. Even after over a decade into their career, Counterparts constantly looks to improve their sound and be even more open with their fans, revealing more of their personal selves within the music for others to hear. It’s not often that a band releases their best and most visceral record seven albums deep into their discography, yet Counterparts’ ‘A Eulogy For Those Still Here’ is just that.