Let us paint you a picture. September 2016. Somewhere in the Bedfordshire countryside. The rain is thickening, the crowd thin, but FOES dominate the Fort Fest stage. Although a long way from their native Liverpool, they could not look more at home. 2016 has been a big year for them; culminating in a deal with Basick Records and this, their debut full length ‘The Summit Lies Skyward’.
It is clear that FOES have upped their game since 2015 EP ‘Antecendence’. The production is crystal clear, opener ‘The Choir Invisible’ acting as an introduction to a beautiful and, at points, other-worldly landscape. This is a theme apparent throughout, with tracks like ‘Brothers Mortal’ and album highlight ‘No Sleepers Verse’ sharing the same haunting tones the band are synonymous with.
That’s not to say that this album doesn’t rip when it needs to. The metallic stomp of ‘Young Sovereign’ changes gears completely and in ‘Sworn Host’, FOES show they are more than capable of writing catchy hooks too. The eclectic nature of the record is in no way to its detriment. All these factors pull together to create a forward thinking, powerful, defiant and at times utterly epic collection of songs.
It is no doubt that these songs are huge, and those willing to lend an ear will be rewarded. However, in places, the album doesn’t quite capture the energy of their live performance. To fully realise FOES’ intent, go and see them live, stand with your eyes closed and your ears open. These songs will click, resonate, and cement this album as the masterpiece it deserves to be. FOES’ ascent to the top will not take long and when they get there, there will be a hell of a view.
‘The Summit Lies Skyward’ by FOES is released on October 7th on Basick Records.
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Words by Jay Harrison (@just_jay_89)