It’s crazy to think that The Summit Lies Skyward is somehow only the debut album from F.O.E.S, because it feels like they’ve been around for ages – possibly because of their previous powerful EP releases.
If you liked F.O.E.S’ EPs, then you’ll no doubt you’ll enjoy this album, but it doesn’t exactly tread any new ground for the quartet so it doesn’t really consist of anything you haven’t already heard by them. It’s good, there’s no questioning that, but it is a bit of a shame that there’s no experimentation with their sound, even just for one song.
Nevertheless, this is still an engaging listen and the vocals throughout are particularly stunning. There’s a beautiful gentleness in their delivery and are absolutely brimming with emotion – and a particularly good element is when they’re performed atop of the heavier sections of the album as the two different approaches juxtapose so well against one another. A good example of this is in fourth track No Sleepers Verse, which is a track that starts off slow before descending seamlessly into a fuller, heavier sound, and the vocals are a constant throughout – they don’t change in style or approach, and F.O.E.S have really made this work.
As a whole, a great album and a strong debut from the band – and whilst it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it’s still a very worthwhile listen.