When a band is named after one of the songs of one of your favorite bands, you can’t help it to be quite skeptical about their quality (or lack of thereof). Luckily, Be’lakor’s song “Countless Skies” is also well represented by the killer Melodic Death Metal that the band of the same name plays. Delivering eight tracks of pure melodic brilliance, “New Dawn” is the perfect debut release from this UK outfit.
As soon as “Aubade” gets heavy, we instantly thought we had put an Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum album instead. The band’s guitar wizardry is this good, with James Pratt and Ross King delivering some brilliant melodic guitar passages from start to finish. Fully exploding into melodic brilliance, “Heroes” continues the onslaught with tons of killer leads and very expressive melancholic passages. The growls and drumming style are both quite familiar to the typical Finnish Melo-Death scene, but it is how all things come together that truly showcases the power behind this very proficient.
One of our personal favorite is the intense “Incendium” and its brilliant guitar leads. Again, this song will give you certain déjà vu. The drumming is super tight and the complete guitar work is truly amazing. Produced by none other than Juho Räihä, of Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon fan, both live and recording and mixing, so you know this album is 100% tight. Facing hard competition from all other solid songs, we think that the most epic track in this release is the moody “Ethereal”. One of the clear differences between Countless Skies and its influencers is the use of the clean vocals in a more natural way, allowing them to sound different.
With the album closing with heavy hitters like “Wanderer” and “Return”, we are increasingly fascinated on how good this release is. Many people will hate on the band due to their similarity to Insomnium/Omnium Gatherum, but we are genuinely impressed on how they managed to be this good in their debut release. If you like high-octane melodic Death Metal and bands like Be’lakor, Insomnium, etc., this is one release you cannot miss out on.
|Band: Countless Skies
|Album: New Dawn
Label: Kolony Records
Release: June 24th, 2016
Genre: Melodic Death Metal