Don’t you love it when bands deliver? Of Allies debut album ‘Night Sky’ has been a long time coming, but the epic riffing, memorable choruses and searing soundscapes the Hull quartet displayed on early EP’s, ‘Tempers’ and ‘Fragments’, have been pulled together in style to mark them out as serious contenders.
The album opens with the atmospheric title track, which builds into a massive sounding, impressively mature number that immediately signals just how far they’ve come. It then segues into the double punch of singles ’17’ and ‘Collapse’, the crunching riffs and killer hooks demonstrating the strong sense of melody that compliments their badass heavy sound.
The album is punctuated by atmospheric interludes such as ‘Apparition’, an echo of first ever single ‘Ghost’, to regulate the flow from one section to the next. It’s a bold yet effective tactic, two such numbers bookending the album’s climactic centrepiece, ‘Open Sea’, to effectively highlight its brooding contrast to more riff-heavy songs as it slowly burns to a pulsating climax, neatly showcasing their ambitions.
Although tracks like ‘Lost Not Found’ show how they’ve perfected their signature sound, there is plenty of variety to the album’s fabric. For instance, there’s hard-edged intensity on ‘Waiting for You’, sophistication on ‘Run’, which blends their melodic sensibilities into an emotive tune with an obvious commercial appeal, while ‘CMD-Q’ is a punky romp way outside their comfort zone that works a treat. However, it’s the superb ‘Glass House’ that best combines all their facets. Raw power. Melody. Thoughtful songwriting. That epic stadium feel. Stunning.
The entire album is of an extremely high standard, boasting memorable hooks and quality riffs, and as the flurry of feedback that rounds off the epic finale to closer ‘In Low Light’ fades out, there is a sense that this is a band fulfilling their potential. They have produced a stunning record that stands up to repeated plays and ticks just about every damn box imaginable for a band deserving to be massive.
‘Night Sky’ by Of Allies is released on November 17th.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)