For years now, I’ve been using Countless Skies as one of my greatest referrals when it comes to melodic death metal that really pushes the boundaries of what the style can become when new and creative blood is added to the mix. Yet, they’ve just one full-length and an EP to their name. The last four years have been absolutely grueling waiting for a new record from these guys but after doing multiple amazing sounding tours and crafting their own fucking studio, Countless Skies is finally ready to bestow on us their sophomore effort and in every single way it embodies the very meaning of a magnum opus.
What we need to understand here is that Countless Skies is just as new to the scene as they are already quite masterful at their craft, especially the brand of it that they bring to the table. It’s truly like nothing I’ve ever heard before nor even a near-identical work afterward and, yet, they make it sound like it’s been performed for decades. There’s immense finesse, creativity, and intensity that are all mixed together into an extremely eclectic bag that should not work yet works flawlessly to make Countless Skies a rightfully rising act that deserves a lot more attention. “New Dawn” showed us in 2016 what these guys could do when given a full-length to craft, but the question of a continuing momentum for a second album is always the question to someone like me. Going into “Glow”, I had high expectations but wanted to reserve them in case a new approach was taken. It’s been about almost a day since I’ve had my hands on this record and after almost half that time soaked into “Glow”, I can categorically say in every fucking way it blows everything they’ve done before right out of the water!
What we get here isn’t necessarily anything new if you’ve listened to Countless Skies before albeit more progressive than any of their previous works but not in a way that at all diminishes the melo-death elements. If anything, it’s been enhanced! But everything that’s ever been done by this band has been turned up to a hundred for “Glow”, and there isn’t a single facet of that which does not astound me to my very soul. It’s just seven tracks (including the three-part finale (which I truly wish was one track)) that somehow all come together for this truly masterful creation that leaves you stunned in awe at its beauty in virtually every track, wondering at the genius instrumentation that each song boasts, and the brutality that’s always perfectly balanced and executed in the most flavorful of ways. There is no such thing as a stone left unturned with “Glow” as Countless Skies truly laid everything they had to offer down for this record, and I cannot express enough how beautiful it all is. It is, without a doubt, one the best albums of the year that I’ve had the immense pleasure and honor of listening to, and anyone who considers themselves any proper connoisseur of modern metal will check out “Glow” the moment they can. We’re spoiled with a virtually perfect album that I could gush over all fucking day, but, at the end of it, there’s no way to deny that Countless Skies has created something so wondrous and so stunning that it’s damn hard to look away as soon as you hit play for that very first time, the second, the fifth, the tenth, or even the twentieth time for “Glow” is just that gripping.
I do my best to be “professional” when reviewing even when it comes to albums that I’ve been looking forward to, but I just cannot contain myself at all with this album! It’s everything I could’ve asked for and so much more in every single way, and I know for a fact that if Countless Skies will ever have a chance at being truly recognized then it’s “Glow” that gives them the best possible guess right now. It’s a virtual masterpiece of its kind in so many different ways, and if you don’t check it out then I am truly sorry for you.
“Glow” releases on November 6th via Willowtip Records!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Glow” on Bandcamp here or via YouTube below.
LIKE Countless Skies on Facebook here.