Every year, there’s a few albums which make me remember why I do this, why I inundate myself with so much music (I’m probably past the 1,000 albums listened mark this year). They erupt from out of my headphones and speakers and take my breath away, piercing me right down to the heart with their beauty. While I listen to a lot of genres, these albums still tend to be metal; something about the grandeur and passion of the genre still speaks deeply to me. This year, one of the major albums to fit this description is Countless Skies‘s third album, Glow. It’s not a surprise, given the components: take one dash of moving, melodic death metal a la Insomnium. Add in operatic vocals, progressive song structures, and tasty solos brimming with heavy metal sensibilities (drawing another comparison, to Barren Earth) and you get Glow. Sounds good? You damn right it does which is why I am thrilled to bring you the album in full right here, today. Get to it!
Oh god, where to even start? I think it was the massive vocal line over blast-beats just over the four minute mark of opening track “Tempest” which first captured me. I vividly recall listening to it at the time, asking myself how this could get any better only for that absolutely marvelous guitar solo to hit. That solo reminds me of Anathema‘s approach to guitars on We’re Here Because We’re Here, all bristling hope and power of it.
But there are so many more powerful moments on the album: the title track’s three parter opening with a groovy, Opeth-like progressive riff. The soaring harmonies of “Summit”. The evocative piano/vocal/bass combo that opens “Zephyer”. The infectious main riff of “Moon”, calling back to the heyday of aforementioned melodeath stalwarts Insomnium or the soaring chorus of “Moon” or the bridge that follows it on “Moon” or the backing piano on “Moon” or just “Moon” itself to be honest, one of the best metal tracks I’ve heard in years.
I could go on, there really is that much incredible and moving music in these forty-four minutes of music. But you can find out for yourself by listening to the album; I don’t want to rob you of the journey. Glow releases on November 6th via the indescribably incredible Willowtip Records. Make sure you head on to the Bandcamp page above and pre-order it. These guys, band and label both, deserve your support.