Ice Nine Kills
Safe Is Just A Shadow


2.5
average

Review

by danielito19 USER (22 Reviews)
December 24th, 2011 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ice Nine Kills lies indecisively between semi-technical, catchy, and downright cool guitar parts, and horribly generic breakdowns and vocals.

Safe Is Just A Shadow has been described as far heavier than their debut, Last Chance To Make Amends. Upon visiting Ice Nine Kills’ myspace page, I was greeted with a run-of-the-mill metalcore tour poster, and the “br00t4lly” typeset logo of Hot Topic. I’ll spare the generic ‘hot topic core sucks’ paragraph, but I came into this album with low expectations. They were warranted, right?

Upon listening, however, I was somewhat surprised. Instead of a brutal assault that could be tabbed out in binary, I was greeted with an actual innovative guitar riff. As the album progressed, there were plenty of binary breakdowns and verses, but these were rivaled by an equal number of semi-technical, catchy, and downright cool riffs. If Ice Nine Kills focused more on the sweet guitar riffing that populates every song instead of the obligatory scene “brutality,” they would actually be an enjoyable group. However, they don’t; for every well-executed bridge (that’s right, a scene band has a bridge, not a breakdown) there’s another faux-epic chorus, or tried-and-false breakdown.

Individually, each member is solid. I’ve already described the guitarists, but to emphasize, they have a great sense of riff-writing, but delve into the generic breakdown far too often. The bassist is predictably inaudible. The drums are somewhat low in the mix in places, but the drummer is one of the best in the genre, as he changes up the beats often, and most of the breakdowns even have separate drum assaults.

The vocal section is a little less impressive. According to their facebook, their lead vocalist Spencer does screams and singing and one of their guitarists does screams. Spencer’s performance isn’t anything special, but he manages to change it up enough that Safe isn’t just the mindless screamed verse sung chorus extravaganza that is expected. The screaming is somewhat diverse from the genre, with lower-range growling, and higher-pitched shrieks, as well as the familiar mid-range yell. The singing resides almost exclusively above middle C, but isn’t so whiny that it’s unlistenable.

Ice Nine Kills has some amazing moments, like most of “Acceptance in the Waves” and the vocal harmonies around 2:15 of "Red Sky Warning," but generic, boring verses are found almost everywhere. They are definitely far better than their peers, but their peers weren’t exactly great to begin with. Ice Nine Kills have plenty of potential, but waste it with very ordinary songwriting.



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user ratings (82)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
danielito19
December 24th 2011


6089 Comments


Quick write-up, criticism would be lovely.

Digging: -

Tyrannic
December 24th 2011


3262 Comments


sometimes i think openly admitting that you did myspace research on a band (before going to facebook?) is kind of weak. it's fine that you went there (who really cares) but just don't mention it, you'll sound more confident.

danielito19
December 24th 2011


6089 Comments


Tyrannic, I looked for a stream before going to facebook. Does facebook do streams? am I that out of the loop?

Tyrannic
December 24th 2011


3262 Comments


i didn't mean originally hearing it, i meant just mentioning myspace or facebook in general is just kind of amateur. be confident and just say you heard a mu-f'in stream on the mu-f'in internet.

danielito19
December 24th 2011


6089 Comments


I didn't know it mattered that much.

iFghtffyrdmns
December 24th 2011


7047 Comments


this band's name
ugh

NewOrleansSwimTeam
December 24th 2011


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

While being submerged in the (unfortunate) context of the metalcore genre, this album is actually mind blowing. Ignoring the breakdowns, of course. The vocal and guitar interplay is actually a very technical feat for how limited the chug-chorus-repeat formula tends to be. The album shines through songwriting and production, and stands well above most it's peers in the genre. However stagnant said genre may be, I don't think it should be reflected so negatively on this album in itself.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 24th 2011


22014 Comments


read that name as "Nine Inch Nails". got confused by the idea of them having breakdowns

Digging: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

iFghtffyrdmns
December 24th 2011


7047 Comments


get outta here jacob

this band is an abomination of an attempted kurt vonnegut reference; we hipsters must therefore hate them.

AlecBaldwin
December 24th 2011


147 Comments


Still love The Burning. This, however, sucked.

Ulsufyring
December 24th 2011


1724 Comments


band name makes me facepalm so hard i am afraid i might concuss myself

iFghtffyrdmns
December 24th 2011


7047 Comments


yeah i'd say that just about sums it up.

fsharptrit0ne
December 24th 2011


4814 Comments


cat's cradle fucking rules, this band sucks

BallsToTheWall
December 24th 2011


44644 Comments


Review is binary.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

danielito19
December 24th 2011


6089 Comments


eric and everyone else: yeah I can't believe they wasted a vonnegut reference like that.

NOST: It is far better than most of their peers. Most of their peers are in the 1.0-2.0 range. their music is still plagued by breakdowns and choruses that are supposed to sound 'epic' yet don't really go anywhere.

anarchist:

balls: care to offer some con crit?

Ulsufyring
December 25th 2011


1724 Comments


uhhhhhhhhhh

first paragraph is unnecessary

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2011


9049 Comments


I'LL BE OUT IN 6 MONTHS WITH A SHOTGUN AND YOUR ADDRESS

^Only reason I ever cared about this band

danielito19
December 25th 2011


6089 Comments


I forgot about looking at the lyrics. oops.

MarkTheDead
March 8th 2012


652 Comments


I like the cleans, but the others are pretty bland. ;o
Lyrics are decent, but I feel like I'm being preached to a bit too often. Instrumentally pretty sound, but like you said there's an abundance of breakdowns that just bring down the atmosphere of the album.

LifeAsAChipmunk
March 26th 2012


4854 Comments


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a50/metheme123/shows/DSCI0003.jpg



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