The Safety Fire
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The Safety Fire

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"The Safety Fire Mini Documentary, Part One!"

The Safety Fire tell the story of how their band was born in the first of three films on the Rock Sound site this week. Part two arrives Wednesday at midday! - RockSound


"The Safety Fire – Mouth Of Swords"

Five years back when The Safety Fire first popped up with their debut EP, Sections, their take on progressive metal involved swathes of broken, discordant shouting and harsh instrumentation powered by a rumbling war machine of bass-loaded guitars and drums. As they have developed their style they have wound back the distortion and begun showing off a surprising lightness of touch and wicked sense of melody that is characterized by their evocative arpeggiated stringwork. Now with their new album, Mouth Of Swords, continuing this upward trend they have easily their most accessible work to date.

These gentle footsteps away from the heavier end have allowed vocalist Sean McWeeney to really shine. Once viewed as the weakest member of the group, frequently tested by the songwriting to deliver a range that was quite clearly beyond his ability, there is now a solid case to be made for him being their greatest asset. No longer is he to be found wanting by requests to scream without self-destructing; no more is he overstretched when asked to deliver a pin-point high note. Part of this may be down to the higher recording values which now bring a multi-layered, polished finish to all areas, but there can be no doubt that he is now simply just a much improved singer. His tone these days beguiles, fusing eloquently with the pulsing underscore to create an ultra-smooth finish.

One thing that hasn’t changed is his lyrics which are still mad, rambling pastiches of sentences. ‘Glass Crush’, for instance, offers up “We´re here to help you / To protect you from yourselves / Like a rambling priest / Fill the gaps with the myths”. It’s not all bonkers though – here, McWeeney does find time to write recognisable verses and choruses that demand repetition. Realistically, there’s not much to grab onto up top (though its hardly filler) but when you reach into the belly of the album there are songs that are mind-blowingly good. ‘Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)’ is a total beast of a track. Comparison with Between The Buried And Me‘s work had already been worthy of mentioning, but with Tommy Rodgers guesting here, the link is nailed down. By turns, soothing and vicious, the music glows with a fluorescent vitality and the interwoven dual vocal attack is the pounding heartbeat of the album.

Elsewhere, ‘Wise Hands’, being soft, dreamy and sensuously poppy, is hugely reminiscent of Twin Atlantic and Athlete. It is easily McWeeny’s finest hour. What’s most satisfying is that even though it slows the pace to a sway, at no point though does it threaten to weaken the momentum. If you‘re in any doubt, you’ll find the Gojira-esque bass-heavy powerplay, string slides and adjacent, atonal delivery of ‘The Ghosts That Wait For Spring’ a welcome bedfellow. With the apoplectic roar of ‘I Am Time, The Destroyer’ and the mesmeric bassline and falsetto hook of ‘Old Souls’ finishing things off, this UK quintet have produced a near faultless sequence of tracks.

Considering all these pros, what is Mouth Of Swords greatest achievement? Perhaps it is, in fact, that within seconds of spinning it, you’ll know the artist. The constantly burbling, rise-and-fall guitarwork, the crisp tone and accurate switch-up from ripped invective to soft melody can only be one band. That’s a desirable quality to have and, consequently, makes them pretty darn formidable. Although you’d never describe them as a finished article, they must be getting pretty close now. They have become a unique, inspirational force and the verve of Mouth Of Swords has rightly set the benchmark, not just for them, but for much of their competition. - Heavy Blog Is Heavy


"Album Review: THE SAFETY FIRE Mouth of Swords"

2013 has been a pretty amazing year for progressive metal of all sorts. Last Chance To Reason put out the great almost aquatic sounding album Level 3, The Ocean dropped the entirely aquatic Pelagial, and Gorguts returned to show all you young'ins how an OG technical death metal band does the genre right with Colored Sands. There are so many more I could name but, I'm here to take us forward and touch on another great one.

London's The Safety Fire are a hard one to put my finger on. While progressive metal is the easy way to describe them, I would almost call them extreme math rock because they have elements of bands like This Town Needs Guns, Tera Melos and Minus The Bear. If you were to toss those tap happy math bands in a blender with Cynic, The Mars Volta, and the aformentioned Ocean you'd get this very unique band. They do have djent qualities, but thankfully are aware that they have more than the lowest two strings of their guitars. So, if you are generally turned off by the chug-chuchug thing in djent tunes, I saw give it a few seconds and you'll get hit by some guitar acrobatics that should get you going.

Mouth of Swords is the follow-up to last years Grind the Ocean, and the band was able to do what you hope a band does with each new album. They grew in a way that isn't alienating to returning listeners. Much like Last Chance To Reason, The Safety Fire have implemented more melody and clean vocals into their sound as they expanded it. This may serve as a detriment to them for the listeners that look down on all that, but I see this as a vast improvement. Grind The Ocean was one of those albums that required a few listens to get into. Sean McWeeny's screaming vocals were more prevalent then, and they do work, but not as the prominent vocal choice. They are more effective in much more modest doses like they are presented on Mouth of Swords. Also, there are so many memorable melodies vocally and musically on this record, where there just weren't so much last year. There's more of a reason to keep coming back since it gets stuck in your head much easier.

I am finding it difficult to single out a few tracks to point out as ones that work, not because none of them do, but rather because this album serves warrants a start-to-finish album listening experience rather than single songs you'd have on random in some playlist. I suppose in a nutshell "Wise Hands" and "Glass Crush" are the most math rock oriented songs on the album, "Yellowism" seems very inspired by Georgia prog sludge like Baroness or Mastodon, and "Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)" sounds like an awesome hybrid of Cynic, Last Chance To Reason and Between The Buried and Me. Fittingly enough, that last track mentioned features the voice of BtBaM Tommy Rogers in a very well done and mistakable cameo.

I really think this will be the record that sends them to the level of BtBaM, Periphery and other modern prog greats. It really has elements from every corner of the sub-genre, and they are combined in a very successful way.

Also, it is pretty astounding that there was such a quick follow-up put out by the band, and the result doesn't sound forced or rushed in the slightest.

9/10 - Metal Injection


"Gig Of The Week: The Safety Fire"

One of the defining bands of the djent movement and, more importantly, a fucking great tech metal band in their own right, The Safety Fire continue to earn as deserved status as one of the most promising young British bands around right now.

They’ve just kicked off their UK tour in support of new album Mouth Of Swords, continuing for four more dates around the UK, so if you’re local this weekend and beyond, go and check them out. Well? GO ON. - Metal Hammer


"Album Review: THE SAFETY FIRE Mouth of Swords"

2013 has been a pretty amazing year for progressive metal of all sorts. Last Chance To Reason put out the great almost aquatic sounding album Level 3, The Ocean dropped the entirely aquatic Pelagial, and Gorguts returned to show all you young'ins how an OG technical death metal band does the genre right with Colored Sands. There are so many more I could name but, I'm here to take us forward and touch on another great one.

London's The Safety Fire are a hard one to put my finger on. While progressive metal is the easy way to describe them, I would almost call them extreme math rock because they have elements of bands like This Town Needs Guns, Tera Melos and Minus The Bear. If you were to toss those tap happy math bands in a blender with Cynic, The Mars Volta, and the aformentioned Ocean you'd get this very unique band. They do have djent qualities, but thankfully are aware that they have more than the lowest two strings of their guitars. So, if you are generally turned off by the chug-chuchug thing in djent tunes, I saw give it a few seconds and you'll get hit by some guitar acrobatics that should get you going.

Mouth of Swords is the follow-up to last years Grind the Ocean, and the band was able to do what you hope a band does with each new album. They grew in a way that isn't alienating to returning listeners. Much like Last Chance To Reason, The Safety Fire have implemented more melody and clean vocals into their sound as they expanded it. This may serve as a detriment to them for the listeners that look down on all that, but I see this as a vast improvement. Grind The Ocean was one of those albums that required a few listens to get into. Sean McWeeny's screaming vocals were more prevalent then, and they do work, but not as the prominent vocal choice. They are more effective in much more modest doses like they are presented on Mouth of Swords. Also, there are so many memorable melodies vocally and musically on this record, where there just weren't so much last year. There's more of a reason to keep coming back since it gets stuck in your head much easier.

I am finding it difficult to single out a few tracks to point out as ones that work, not because none of them do, but rather because this album serves warrants a start-to-finish album listening experience rather than single songs you'd have on random in some playlist. I suppose in a nutshell "Wise Hands" and "Glass Crush" are the most math rock oriented songs on the album, "Yellowism" seems very inspired by Georgia prog sludge like Baroness or Mastodon, and "Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)" sounds like an awesome hybrid of Cynic, Last Chance To Reason and Between The Buried and Me. Fittingly enough, that last track mentioned features the voice of BtBaM Tommy Rogers in a very well done and mistakable cameo.

I really think this will be the record that sends them to the level of BtBaM, Periphery and other modern prog greats. It really has elements from every corner of the sub-genre, and they are combined in a very successful way.

Also, it is pretty astounding that there was such a quick follow-up put out by the band, and the result doesn't sound forced or rushed in the slightest.

9/10 - Metal Injection


Discography

2009 - Sections EP
2012 - Grind The Ocean
2013 - Mouth of Swords

Photos

Bio

Formed in London, The Safety Fire has always pushed the boundaries of technical, progressive metal since their inception. With their expansive atmospheres and soaring melodies, it’s easy to see why vocalist Sean McWeeney, bassist Lori Peri, drummer Calvin Smith, and guitarists Derya Nagle and Joaquin Ardiles are now at the forefront of their ever-growing genre.

The Safety Fire have made a name for themselves with the releases of their critically acclaimed EP "Sections" in 2009, their 2012 debut album “Grind The Ocean” and the 2013 follow up “Mouth of Swords”.

Their reputation as a powerfully energetic live band has been seen throughout the world having toured the US and Europe with bands such as Between The Buried and Me, Periphery, Protest The Hero, and Gojira to name a few. The Safety Fire also appeared at the renowned Sonisphere Festival in 2011 alongside Metallica, Slipknot, Mastodon, and The Mars Volta, proving to the metal community that they can hold their own amongst the likes of such music legends.

Their efforts have been recognised not only by their musical peers, but also by members of the press, who have hailed The Safety Fire as a fresh sound in their scene. When searching for a record label, it seemed only natural for these progressive newcomers to find their home with InsideOut Music. With a roster of artists that includes Devin Townsend, James Labrie, and King’s X, The Safety Fire will gain recognition and exposure far beyond the dreams they had as childhood friends.

"We all grew up together and would head over to Calvin's place and jam in his living-room after school, practically learning our instruments along the way. It took a few years and few different bands before The Safety Fire became what it is today. To be able to release our music worldwide with a label like InsideOut Music is a dream come true. We are all massively excited and can't wait to get our music out there across the whole world!"