Foes – The Summit Lies Skyward

Foes first album is an imposing, impressive debut.

8 out of 10

Foes are a four-piece band producing an impressively complex yet accessible sound. The band’s elegant mix of prog-rock, experimental elements with a flair of pop has been poured into The Summit Lies Skyward, their debut album via Basick Records.

The album opens with The Choir Invisible, an apt track name for a song full of understated melody. With the vocals taking centre stage in the info before the instrumentals crash in for a crescendo, it holds an epic feeling that pervades the album. The album works excellently as a cohesive artwork, with songs flowing into one another seamlessly in some instances. Young Sovereign opens on a harder note, with a grunge-like riff forming the backbone of the song.

Foes masterful recipe is suitably complex and experimental, but it avoids feeling exclusive or pretentious. The Summit Lies Skyward is a grandiose and lyrically profound album. No Sleepers Verse strips the formula back for a more minimalist track, and it’s a good variation. From Stillness Came Slow Bloom is in a similar vein.

Brothers Mortal is arguably the highlight track of the album, in so far as any track can stand above the incredibly high quality of the record in general. The song demonstrates some more pop-like tendencies within their songwriting, with a stronger hook and chorus. The vocal delivery of The Summit Lies Skyward is very impressive, with Chris Mackrill exercising a good range without any sign of a strain, and confidence in holding long notes in songs like Pin Feather.

Final song The Everest is a well chosen song to conclude the album. It’s self reflective, intricate yet resplendent, encapsulating everything Foes and their stellar debut album stand for. It’s a slow burner, but builds up to a fabulous pinnacle like its mountain namesake. An instrumental section with a ululating riff closes off the album.

The Summit Lies Skyward is a long album, and it’s somewhat impressive that it doesn’t get lost along it’s 56 minute breadth. Foes have crafted a massively high-quality piece of art quite unlike anything currently. In all, it’s a pleasure to listen to, and is sure to propel their career to the next level as they well deserve.


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English student, lifeguard and journalist. Always listening to music, live music where possible. Mainlining on pop punk and metal, most rock and dabbling in indie.

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