Counterparts | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Counterparts performing during the Metalcore Dropouts 2nd Semester Tour at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas on February 7, 2023, with Brendan Murphy, Kyle Brownlee, Tyler Williams, and Jesse Doreen. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Counterparts is frequently seen as one of the leading lights of the melodic metalcore movement. It's easy to see why: The Canadian quintet offers a dynamic melange of clashing metallic riffs, brutal drumming, and anguished vocal wails from lead vocalist Brendan Murphy. Although these hardcore elements have always been the band's sonic hallmarks, they were particularly prominent on 2017's You're Not You Anymore, the second Counterparts album in a row to land on the Billboard Top 200.

Such success is well-earned and well-deserved. Counterparts coalesced in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2007, after Murphy was asked to be in a band by locals, including original guitarist Jesse Doreen. Although early songwriting attempts were naturally a challenge, and lineup changes were common, the group eventually found an ally in Silverstein's Shane Told, who signed the band to his personal imprint, Verona Records, in 2010.

More industry attention soon followed. Counterparts' second album, 2011's The Current Will Carry Us, and 2013's chart breakthrough The Difference Between Hell and Home (which landed at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart) both arrived via Victory Records. In 2015, Counterparts inked a deal with Pure Noise Records, which has since shepherded the group's albums into stores.

These days, the band is more prolific than ever. In fact, Counterparts followed up You're Not You Anymore with a new three-song EP, 2018's Private Room, that's exponentially more punishing than other work to date.

Unsurprisingly, Counterparts exudes comparable energy and urgency onstage, with Murphy serving as the passionate emcee spilling his guts to the audience every night as the rest of the band unleashes crushing sonic maelstroms around him. Accordingly, the band has co-headlined a tour with Being As An Ocean, opened for the Amity Affliction, and booked a European and U.K. tour with Stick to Your Guns.
Fan reviews:

I love this band. Live, they are even more amazing. I've seen them four times and will continue to see them every time they come to the area. It is my form of therapy, most genuinely.

My favorite band ever. I drove 2 hours for this show to watch the same setlist I already saw earlier in the year. So you do the math. Show was sold out. Which they deserve 100x.

Awesome show! This line-up was incredible! I had such a great time. Awesome bands, great venue!

Amazing! The greatest night of my life. Every band at the show killed it.
Setlist for the show at Emo's Austin
  • Love Me
  • Choke
  • Bound to the Burn
  • No Servant of Mine
  • What Mirrors Might Reflect
  • Wings of Nightmares
  • Paradise and Plague
  • Unwavering Vow
  • Monument
  • Whispers of Your Death

Counterparts shared the stage with The Devil Wears Prada, Fit For A King, and Avoid at Emo's Austin. They continue across the United States, Canada, and Europe with the last stop at the Born & Raised 2024 in St. Catharines, Canada on July 6, 2024.

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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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