Review Summary: A very solid debut that despite its shortcoming will appeal to a lot of fans of either mathcore or progressive "groove" metal.The Safety Fire
a quintet hailing from the United Kingdom, London to be precise and currently existing out of the following members=
The Safety Fire
- Vocals: Sean McWeeney
- Guitar: Joaquin Ardiles
- Guitar: Derya Nagle
- Bass: Lori Peri
- Drums: Calvin Smith
is a UK based band and this is something you can clearly hear in their music, one mustn’t look hard to find influences from TesseracT
, The Arusha Accord
and even SikTh
. These names should make it clear what to expect from this debut, a technical heavy and fast mathcore record mixed up with groove metal and even an occasional moment of post-metal. Quite an original mix indeed, but, does that mean it is good too?
Short answer, yes it is. But for those interested in the long answer I suggest too keep on reading.
On the bright side we have the instrumental part of the album. Every member is really proficient with handling their instrument and they don’t hold back to show this. The guitarists bombard you with polyrhythms (reminiscent of TesseracT
), arpeggio sweeps or other technical wizardry, the drummer certainly can beat his kit with blinding speed and even the bassist gets his moments to shine. For the most part their music is aggressive or even hyperactive (like we have grown to love thanks to bands like SikTh
) but we are also given an occasional interlude too let the music sink in. These interludes are mostly post-metal influenced and will end with a build-up that eventually will continue with their aggressive, even catchy sound.
For the most part the song writing is really tight, but there are a couple of moments that the album starts to drag and moments of “haven’t I heard this already” start to arise. The fact that every band member loves to smack you in the face with their technical prowess -especially the guitarists- can also become quite off-putting. There is a lot going on in this album which also doesn’t make it an “easy listen” either. One thing is for sure, those loving multi-layered technical music will have a lot to enjoy with this record.
So far I haven’t mentioned the vocalist, so let’s get on to that now. Sean McWeeney is one of those vocalist that isn’t afraid to explore his range. Ranging from high croons to icy low cleans, this guy shows it all. And while he isn’t dirty of adding some effect to them he never overuses them or sounds overproduced.
The reason I only started mentioning him now is because this is one of those guys where everyone has a different opinion about. Personally I adored his screams and found his cleans to sound forced and occasionally even out of place. While others share a complete opposite opinion and love his cleans, while thinking the screams sound weak and forced. But no-one seems to think they’re actually bad, either way he delivers a beautiful vocal contrast that will carry you through the album.
Having said all that, this still is a very solid debut album. And despite its shortcoming it’s one that will appeal to almost anyone that either enjoys TesseracT
or any band that even sounds remotely alike. The Safety Fire
delivered a catchy, technical and even fun album with “Grind The Ocean” that starts out strong and will try its best to keep you hooked from start to finish. If this review tickled your interest even a little bit I suggest to check it out, as there is a huge chance this will not disappoint. 3.5/5
- DMB (FDP)
- Huge Hammers
- Circassian Beauties