The Safety Fire – Grind The Ocean [Review]The début album from London technical/progressive metallers The Safety Fire has been long and eagerly awaited and Grind The Ocean does not disappoint. From the moment their critically acclaimed EPSectionswas released in 2009 this release has been highly anticipated and now it has been unleashed it is hard to imagine anything but greedy demand and unbridled praise going its way.

Formed in 2006 The Safety Fire were already renowned for their stretching and testing of boundaries within melodic metal driven upon djent veins and progressive creativity, the previously mention Sections the initial striking introduction to their now fully grown vibrant disruptive sounds on Grind The Ocean. Tours alongside the likes of Rise To Remain, The Arusha Accord, Bleed From Within, and Xerath across the UK, the intrusion of Europe with Periphery and Monuments plus a jaw dropping appearance at last year’s Sonisphere Festival has only swelled the impatient longing for their début album, a release that sets it as firm contenders for album of the year and the band at the forefront of UK progressive metal.

Their sound is an equal stripping and caressing of the ear, like a glorious perpetual itch that is part pain and part bliss. Imagine a startling mix of At The Drive In and Karnivool, melded to the fluid harmonics of The Mars Volta, the distracting glories of Between The Buried And Me and the sonic flows of Circles. Saying that though, The Safety Fire deliver music that is distinctive and completely theirs, leaving clear heights for others to try to ascend to.

The Safety Fire signed to InsideOut Music in August of 2011 with the release of Grind The Ocean coming on February 27th. The album is a tempestuous maelstrom of consuming emotions and atmospheres layered upon polyrhythmic disinterested structures and expansive and attention grabbing melodies and vocal harmonies. The album’s lead track ‘Huge Hammers’, with merciless protrusive riffs and grooves commanding the ear and beyond to expand the senses for the majestic engaging harmonies to sweep over and upon, is a brilliant start to the release. The guitars of Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles mesmerise and demand at the same time and where the track almost drifts into subdued emotive moments they are as masterly in invoking deep responses as they are when twisting and turning over the listener with their forceful intent. Vocalist Sean McWeeney is also immense, his coarse attack perfectly harsh but never losing control or its defined intensity to aggression. Alongside his caustic approach he also expands into stunning clean harmonious directions to lead the song to plateaus that induce nothing but enthused joy for it.

The album never looks back from its impressive start either matching or once or twice rising to even greater heights. ‘DMP (FDP)’ grabs hold of the senses to torment and tease, manipulating them with disgruntled rhythms and scorched riffs and razor like chords. The track executes its direct objectives like an assassin but once more despite being the most formidable track on the album it refuses to neglect the band’s skilled ability with melodies and intrinsic innovativeness.

Closing track Grind The Ocean is the albums biggest triumph, bringing jazz elements and intriguing unpredictability, though nothing is predictable anywhere on the release to be fair. The song is a wealth of ingenuity and imagination, treating one to every element the band does so well but at a heightened level.  Bassist Lori Peri and drummer Calvin Smith bringing an eclectic array of rhythms to confirm as shown throughout the album, their skills are equal to the their comrades.

Every song is a triumph, tracks like ‘Floods Of Colour’, ‘Circassian Beauties’, and ‘Sections’ just as stirring and impacting as those mentioned. Grind The Ocean is simply an enormous delicious joy that has to be consumed to fully understand its full glory. The Safety Fire has fully announced their arrival and they will be staying around for a long and successful time.

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