Melodic Death metal is a vast expanse, with many bands
carving out their own niche space in the genre. The UK based new comers, Countless
Skies hold no such claims on their debut release, and instead they stand on the
shoulders of the existing giants, and make some good melodic death metal. The
band in its debut outing has released a self-titled 4 track EP.
The outfit is heavily inspired by the modern melodic death metal
scene, evident as soon as the first track “Ethereal” starts playing. Vibes much
similar to the atmospheric, keyboard driven sounds of Insomnium and Be’lakor are
prevalent throughout the album.
What works really well for the band, is the vocal skills of
the vocalist Ross King and the backup clean vocals by bassist Phil Romeo. The front-man, not only bellows out the growls in a
perfect manner, but syncs perfectly with the clean singing sections in the most
beautiful manner. The final track on the EP “Reverence” is the best example for
that. Clocking at just under 7 minutes, it the longest track on the EP and
probably the best. The track is very slowly built up, before it becomes truly
gigantic and hits the listener with a full punch.
My only small complaint with the record is the slightly poor
production value. At some instances, the music sounds highly ‘stuffed’ and ‘compressed’,
and spoils the overall emotion flowing out from the music.
Nevertheless, this is a good debut release for the band and
a must listen for fans of bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum and Be’lakor.
If the band can build upon the release and go forward, the future is bright. Going
by the EP, I will definitely keep an eye out for them in the future.
P.S: The extremely beautiful album art is something that got my attention to the band, in the first place. So a small praise to Carl Ellis for the great work on the art too!