I saw Countervail many times at the pickle patch. They were from Ventura, about 30 minutes south of Goleta, so they came up a lot. I always looked forward to seeing them. What I remember from the shows was the singer screaming his bones off with his head between his knees, accompanied by a relentless, pummeling wall of sound. They sort of looked tuff, but the music wasn’t at all your standard straight edge chugga stuff. Well, they could certainly chug, and there are some breakdowns, but they took more influence from Rorschach and One-Eyed God Prophecy (and, in terms of steady, driving hardcore, from OEGP’s later incarnation, The Black Hand).
The CD-ep is called An Empty Hand for a Heart. It came out on Phyte Records in 1998. Four songs.