Countervail The Most Abused Word

Like contemporaries Converge and Cave In, Countervail combine generous amounts of noise, metal (of the thrash and death variety), hardcore, emo rock, the odd acoustic interlude with some soundscape construction to create a sound comparable to that of Cave In or Converge’s but along the way one that has become distinctly Countervail’s. Building on the firm base that the An Empty Hand for A Heart EP gave them, The Most Abused Word features better production, songwriting and general all-around performances. Sounding more malicious and mature than on An Empty Hand for A Heart or their double seven-inch release, Countervail’s fascination with tortured throat abuse, aggressive passages and metallic chugging, has been tempered with some actually singing (mainly in a trade-off or underlying sense), an ear for establishing atmosphere/moods and some softer aspects to increase dynamics. However, it is in Countervail’s all or nothing assault that the strength and complexity of the band shines through, easily granting them equal footing with the leaders of this relatively new genre. (New Age)