Counterhold – All of Them Slain by Tom Payne

Rating: 1.5/5
Distributor/label: Self-Release
Released: 11th October 2013


 Band line-up:

 Steven Jenkins – Vocals
David Birbeck – Guitar
Karl Silverthorn – Guitar
Ben Saunders – Bass
Ryan Salter – Drums


1. Disease
2. Time To Die
3. Out For Dead
4. Hellsgates
5. The Beast Within
6. Fatal Taunt
7. Walk On Water
8. Stand Or Die
9. Children Of A Lesser God
10. Victim Of A Parasite
11. Get Out
12. Inner Scream
13. Isolation (Bonus Track)


Since their formation in 2008 Counterhold have transitioned from strength to strength, developing both their sound and their fan base substantially with their energetic and emotive conglomerate of Thrash and Power Metal. Veridically self-styled as a band with a mantra of ‘waging war on silence‘, the imprint of such tour mates as Sepultura is apparent from the outset in the dual guitar work of David Birbeck and Karl Silverthorn which resonates long after the closing track, ‘Isolation‘, has culminated with its idiosyncratic fast-paced, double-bass led, power chord-heavy riffing.

In short, ‘All of Them Slain‘ is a solid and potent release full of Throwdown-esque pounding riffs, galloping verses, and erupting pentatonic solos alongside harsh, yet clean vocals which are sure to bring a smile to any Metal fan’s face. However, despite standing proudly as exemplary of the genre and displaying a degree of artistic creativity and integrity, it simply doesn’t break any new ground. Steven’s vocals seldom alter, and unfortunately many of the songs can sound like the same riff re-hashed time and time again, though if you’re searching for a band that is sure to put on a great live show full of energy and emotion, and which brings Metal back a decade or two to what some may view as its glory days, then this truly is the band for you, but experimental and progressive this is not.

With that in mind, this release does have a few hidden gems, if hidden somewhat sporadically in the mix. ‘The Beast Within‘, for example, has an impressive breakdown in the middle, boasting a well-harmonized solo and a heavily textured, atmospheric ending, though the stand-out track is undoubtedly ‘Walk on Water‘: an acoustic piece which exemplifies the album’s recurring theme of erupting solos and emotive vocals, as well as the band’s often latent, though potentially multi-faceted musical nature; a winding and rewarding path that they may wish to pursue further in later releases – this is the album in a nutshell, and if this is your area, it should prove a most welcome addition to your collection.

Review By Tom Payne