After an incredibly long, stressful day at work, it was an incredibly pleasant surprise when I remembered on my way home that I could get all the pent-up frustration out with a night of ridiculously heavy breakdowns as Canadian Metalcore titans Counterparts hit The Mill in Birmingham with support from Khubai Khan TX, Paleface and Dying Wish. Alongside this being one impressively stacked line-up, I was excited for my first time actually photographing at The Mill. As I arrived at the venue with my gear ready to go, it wasn’t long until the first act of the night, Dying Wish hit the stage.
Dying Wish took the stage by storm, and quickly announced that it was their first-ever UK show, before absolutely laying waste to the packed-out room with their death metal-infused Metalcore. Aside from a couple of technical issues at the start, I was blown away by the performance. Tight, energetic and damn fun to watch, and getting the crowd warmed up enough for the night. It’s always great seeing a band play their first show in a country, and I was glad I got to be there to see Dying Wish.
After the first changeover, Paleface took the stage by storm with surprisingly atmospheric heaviness in the band’s unique form of Slam/Hardcore. From the absolutely crushing instrumentals and ridiculous levels of heaviness within the breakdowns, Paleface showed the crowd exactly how heavy they were. The band offered a tight, smooth performance which got the crowd moving and ready for the rest of the acts. If you like your beatdown, Paleface is a must-hear.
Up next, was a band I hadn’t actually listened to before the show, Kublai Khan TX, who brought their 90’s metallic Hardcore all the way from Texas to absolutely decimate the crowd. From slow, chuggy breakdowns to neck-snapping riffs, it was no surprise this was when the waves of bodies started to rush over the barrier. With the crowd going absolutely ballistic, it was easy for me to see why I’d heard nothing but praise for the band. Truly a great way to set up the night’s main act and an act I can’t wait to see again.
Finally for the night were Canadian metalcore heavyweights Counterparts. With their changeover music being a mix of 1975 and K-pop, the metalcore anthems the band brought to the stage sounded heavier than ever. Opening the set with Whispers of Your Death, a song dedicated to his cat (rest in peace Kuma) which blended every aspect of their sound into a perfect opening track. From there, the band played an utterly phenomenal set filled with predominantly tracks from the most recent two albums, but a track or two from most of their catalogue too. Counterparts are just great, nothing bad I could say. See them live.
To sum up very quickly, see all these bands live as soon as you get a chance. What a show.
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Review & Photography: Dan Stapleton
Birmingham-based portraiture photographer