Countless Skies - Glow (2020)


Unleashing one of the most impressive releases of 2020, today we have Countless Skies and their sophomore full-length release “Glow”. In a time that there is so much uncertainty and shittiness in the world, one of the things that brings smiles to people is music, and this is one of those releases that will captivate and change the mood of the listener from the first minute. If you thought that Dark Tranquillity was going to take the best Melodic Death Metal release of 2020, you better wait until you check this one out.

Opening with an instrumental intro, “Tempest” sets a very magical and wondrous vibe thanks to its crafty use of atmospheric keyboards and the soaring guitars. The mixture of harsh vocals and soaring clean vocals alongside epic guitar leads gives the song a certain proggy edge that makes it even more impressive. The magic continues with the lush “Summit”, a slowly building piece that shines a very bright light by combining elements of bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, with the roughness of Bela’kor. This track takes epic vocal arrangements to a whole new level for the band, creating an epic complement to their already superb core.

The headbanging anthem, “Moon” delivers those blistering guitar leads that everybody loves about the genre, while creating brutal passages of unparalleled catchiness and rhythmic brilliance. The guitar work in this piece is particularly amazing thanks to some killer solos. Showcasing a more prog/post Rock side to their sound, “Zephyr” is a very effective transition piece with tons of melancholic interludes and dramatic vocal arrangements.

The centerpiece of this release is the mesmerizing three parts of the album title track, which clock at nearly 20 minutes of brilliance. Mixing classical string instruments like cello, with a proggy edge, this song starts with a big bang thanks to its gradually more epic guitar work and atmospheric capabilities. We particularly enjoy the jazzy and moody sections of “Part 1: Resolution”, while the killer melodeath parts of “Part 2: Awakening” just had us furiously headbanging non-stop. Rounding up such an amazing and intricate piece, “Part 3: Reflection” closes with style with more killer guitar riffs surrounded by dramatic mood changes and lush atmospherics (with a few vocal surprises).

Overall, “Glow” is one of those rare releases that had us on the edge of our seats from start to end. Masterfully constructed and brilliantly executed, Countless Skies have unleashed one of the most amazing albums of 2020. We have probably listened to this album over 40 times and we have had it for less than a week, and we still discover new and even more epic passages with every spring. If you are a fan of the genre and there is one album that will bring a smile to your face, this is certainly it.

Band: Countless Skies Album: Glow

Label: Willow Tip Records

Release: November 6th, 2020

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Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Country: UK

Rating: 99/100

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