Review Summary: The Safety Fire really have offered up a veritable feast for their long suffering fans.
Having formed back in 2006, Londons The Safety Fire have certainly bided their time in releasing their debut full length, managing still to gain a strong following through a series of UK tours and the widely lauded 'Sections' EP. However, whether it be through shrewd tactics or merely right place, right time, 'Grind The Ocean' proves to be entirely en vogue with its heaving technicality and shimmering melodicisms.
What is immediately apparent here is the bands absolutely stellar musicianship. Opener 'Huge Hammers' employs some spiralling riff work and juddering grooves, the meloncholic 'Circassian Beauties' floats on a bed of delicate lead lines and sparkling atmospherics, whilst 'DMP' pummels and soothes in equal measure. Indeed, there is not a track on 'Grind The Ocean' that does not prove to be an instrumental tour de force. Yet, as with any modern metal outfit worth their salt, the songwriting still manages to remain at the forefront.
Such is the expansive and progressive nature of the songs, it is the vocal performance that manages to tie the tracks together. Sean McWeeneys harsh attack is utterly decipherable without compromising on aggression, and his clean melodies, such as in the fantastic 'Floods Of Colour', have a majestic, ethereal quality which not only make them wholly engaging, but also ramp up the infectiousness. The hooks are not enitrely reliant on the vocals however. Although highly dexterious, much of the guitar work ebbs to and fro with a satisfying stomp and danceable swing which pleasingly offsets much of the technicality.
The Safety Fire really have offered up a veritable feast for their long suffering fans. Taking in an abundance of genres, from post-rock to jazz to hardcore, 'Grind The Ocean' is as dynamic as anyone could ask for and displays yet again that the British metal scene is undoubtedly thriving. Worth the wait.