Countless Skies have been on Worship Metal’s radar for a while now, their melodic death metal prowess noticeably growing with each release and their debut full length, New Dawn, continues this upward trend….here lies a supremely confident UK band who are already riding roughshod over their peers and their journey has only just begun!
Surprisingly, accusations of ‘here come another gang of gloomy-guts peddling their melodically morbid wares’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Both “Incendium” and “Daybreak” are upbeat, pumping new life into an often stagnant scene, twisting and turning their way through ever-changing soundscapes of light and shade which require repeated listens to fully get to grips with. Brimming with ideas, each track on New Dawn is exactly like the promise of a new day; an anything is possible mentality that keeps itself grounded via its earthly appeal, the band somehow harnessing the elements to fully realise a sound that’s organic and overwhelmingly satisfying.
Performances are uniformly magnificent with some truly powerful singing pushing “Solace” into hair-raising territory, the vocals of Ross King reaching new (literal) highs and offering a counterpoint to the growls. The transference of “Ethereal” from their self-titled EP is also a masterstroke. This outstanding track could prove to be Countless Skies’ everlasting piece de resistance, its pummelling riffs and tempestuous melodies proving as insistent as ever and that chorus still packs an almighty punch. Exquisite.
On the flip side, “Wanderer” ironically loses its way during its 7 min run time. However, Countless Skies are able to fashion epic compositions that retain focus and the sheer weight of ideas on the 10 min plus closing track “Return” provides ample proof that this band can write big and can deliver on a massive scale.
Taking Scandinavia’s patented metal heritage and anglicising it is no mean feat but Countless Skies already proved up to the challenge on 2015’s outstanding self-titled EP. With New Dawn they’ve more than met expectations and while the greats of the genre may often feel light years ahead of the chasing pack, on this evidence, Countless Skies have taken a giant leap towards placing themselves alongside Insomnium, Amorphis and their beloved Be’lakor. 8/10