Review: Countless Skies – New Dawn

Countless Skies is a UK-based melodic death metal band which formed back in 2009, and changed its name to the current one in 2012. The four guys released their very first full album New Dawn in June this year. Let’s give it a go!

The record kicks off with a fantastic intro named Aubade, featuring a delicate piano melody at the beginning and a more powerful riff towards the end of the piece. A great opener which also sets the tone quite nicely for the rest of the album, and which blends in smoothly at the end with the next song, Heroes. Guitars and also the deep growling bring in heaviness, but never fully replacing an emotional, melodic undertone. Nicely done. Incendium was released previously as a lyric-video. Already here the variety, a hallmark of the album, can be perceived – the song is faster than the two previous ones, especially because the drums get more involved in that one. Solace, the first single of the album, starts off with an acoustic guitar solo, which then blends into a highly charged song, never missing the melodic parts though. The bits and pieces which make up this song are unique, but blend together well and add a layer of complexity to the song, as do the clean, whispered vocals and growls. The next two songs, Daybreak and Etherial, are nicely balanced and quite complex as well. The clean vocals are kept and are strategically placed to add some more atmosphere to the songs. The last two tracks, Wanderer and Return, are now extending for a quite a bit. Wanderer is a 7+ minute piece that takes your imagination on a hike across fields, forests and creeks. Again, it’s the little pieces that add up very well and build this wonderful atmosphere. Same case for the final track, Return. Flutes, keys, heavy and soft parts, all of them come together nicely, while still maintaining a very clear frame in which the song develops within 10+ minutes. The verses are both gloomy and hopeful.

Overall, New Dawn is a great melodic death metal album, with influences from Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium. The diversity of the songs is incredible, also while still, in every song, one can appreciate the core sound of Countless Skies. There’s a willingness to experiment with different atmospheres that makes this album special, and leaves you longing for more in the future. Definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future, and the current record comes highly recommended! 10/10.

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