As the decade enters its final stretch, metal audiences are forced to look back and wonder, “what did we contribute?” In the grand scheme of things, what has the 2010s changed in metal’s ever-changing sound? The obvious choices, djent and blackgaze, exist mostly on the fringes, while the new crop of stadium-packers like Ghost and Five Finger Death Punch are often seen to draw more jeers than cheers. At the same time, the last decade of metalcore is still going strong, even as the music starts to slip slowly into repetition.
Count to Six stand somewhere between these last two styles. They are obviously straining to have the stadium sound, but keep running over the same clichés. This is clearly metalcore from the Bullet For My Valentine school. Linkin Park-y synth litters the album (including no less than FOUR synth interludes), and the overall production gives everything a decent pop sheen. It can be nice at times, but usually, it just robs the music of the primal oomph that metalcore demands. “Free Me” is an exception to this rule, and this ends up making it the album’s standout track.
The band hails from Russia, so it follows that they are singing in a second language. At least they better be, because the lyrics on Perfect Circle are so derivative and angsty that it threatens to wreck the entire experience. It’s hard to fault them for something that probably isn’t their fault, but Christ, it’s like every early 2000s MTV metal video is being played at the same time, over each other, until there’s just the ultimate average. It’s incredibly familiar, yet also entirely forgettable at the same time.
Count To Six could become huge. All the parts are there, and they know how to nail this kind of nostalgic pop metalcore. All they need is a little more bite in their music, plus a major overhaul in the vocal booth. There’s definitely a massive audience out there for what they are doing.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Mike Milito