Review Summary: Currents come out the gates with a brutally impressive debut record packed full of riffs, breakdowns and exceptional musicianship. A definite name to watch.
Currents are a progressive metalcore/djent band from Connecticut, formed in 2011 and currently signed to SharpTone Records. 'The Place I Feel Safest' is the band's first full length record, and their first release with vocalist Brian Wille after his joining of the band in 2015.
The production on this record is excellent. Every element is noticeable and present in the mix. The drums are clean and hard hitting, the bass isn't too loud but it's clear and poignant with it's distinct tone, and the guitars are crisp and bright, which is vital when translating the complex and polyrhythmic riffs that are laced throughout into a recording. This is only highlighted by how spot on the playing is on this record. A particularly good example of this is the breakdown in 'Delusion', which blends the rhythm of the breakdown with the lead guitar, and it honestly just sounds incredibly cool. This record has these moments sprinkled in throughout, reeling you back in time and time again.
The real highlight here is the instrumentation. I've always been a fan of technical and progressive metalcore, and this record provides that in abundance. There are signs of innovation within the genre in these tracks, and above all this record displays fantastic promise. This is best appreciated through a good pair of headphones and is rewarded equally by a decent subwoofer. There's clear passion and imagination oozing out of every corner of this album. The guitar work is exceptional, and I think this would stand up as an instrumental release just as much as it does with vocals.
With that being said, the vocal performance here is fantastic in it's own right. The screamed vocals are ferocious and passionate and the cleans are evocative and emotional. Brian Wille is a perfect fit and a stunning individual talent, his ability to mix up vocal styles from track to track keeps this a consistently interesting listen. His aggressive lyricism and conviction in what he's saying pilot the monolithic instrumentals and give this record a definitive direction.
The only real criticism I have of this record is that it's almost too intense. Whilst the instrumentals are incredible and punishing I feel as though they needs to be more space in these tracks. There's clear understanding of atmosphere throughout, particularly in 'Shattered' and 'Delusion', and I think a few more moments like this would give the record a great sense of diversity and really set each song apart.
This record is a fantastic listen if you're after a perfect blend of crushing breakdowns and technical riffs. Currents are one to watch, and another strong name in SharpTone's roster, a label slowly building up one of the best collections of new bands in the scene, including bands like Holding Absence and Loathe alongside Currents. This about as strong as debut records come, and exhibits massive promise. Favourites here are 'Apnea', 'Delusion' and 'Silence'. Give this a listen, and check out the other bands on SharpTone if you like what you hear, this label is quickly becoming one of my favourites and I look forward to what the rest of the bands signed produce in the future, as well as what Currents have to offer going forward.