The Safety Fire

Mouth of Swords

Written by: LF on 03/09/2013 20:39:02

The Safety Fire released their debut album "Grind the Ocean" little over one and a half years ago and with the unique sound presented on that record the band secured a place among the best in the genre of progressive metal. What makes the talented musicians in The Safety Fire stand out (other than their goofy humor and identical mustaches) is their ability to make songs that have ridiculously catchy melodies as the vocals soar over the music but never at the expense of heaviness or complexity.

"Mouth of Swords" continues where the great record "Grind the Ocean" left off and has the band developing an even richer sound. Both albums have been produced by one of the guitarists in the band, Derya 'Dez' Nagle, and both times the outcome has been stunning. Especially the production of Sean McWeeney's vocals are spot on this time and the absolutely haunting sound of his incredible vocal range is a joy to listen to on every track of the record as he has more nuance to both his high screaming and his cleans than before. "Yellowism", title track "Mouth of Swords", "Red Hatchet" and "Glass Crush", all excellently put together, are prime examples of this. "Beware the Leopard (Jagwar)", already a fan favorite, features the growling of Tommy Giles Rogers (Between the Buried and Me) which adds an interesting extra dimension to the already complex vocal work. In general it seems that the band has left some of their more djenty influences from the first album out of the mix which is a good decision as it resulted in some of the songs from that album not really standing out from each other. Overall "Mouth of Swords" sounds like an upgrade of everything good from the band's debut album as there's more depth to every aspect of the music. Every song easily stands out from the rest and is memorable in its own right.

"Wise Hands", an atmospheric sort of ballad, is the softest song on the album but is well integrated with the rest of the songs as the atmospheric weaving of guitars is an important part of the bands' overall sound. "The Ghosts That Wait For Spring" is probably the heaviest song on the record (in close competition with "Beware the Leopard (Jagwar)"). It has thundering drums, chugging guitars, loud screams and is positioned just after the very different "Wise Hands" which gives it even more power. "I Am Time, The Destroyer" is the song that spans the widest in the shortest time, from a soft beginning into a mastodon middle part with McWeeney screaming the historic lyrics: "I am becoming death / The destroyer of worlds". After this the album closes with the incredible "Old Souls" which has a great guitar solo that will leave you all pumped up and ready to play the album all over from the beginning again.

"Mouth of Swords" is an incredible record that can and should be listened to with intense concentration for its quality song structures and talented musicians but it isn't just a show-off album and thus also works as sing-along background music because of the catchy melodic parts. I have never heard a progressive metal band achieve this combination so well while still retaining the heavy and complex sound that characterizes the genre and this record could just end up being one of my favorites of the year.

9

Download: Yellowism; Red Hatchet; Old Souls; Wise Hands; Beware the Leopard (Jagwar)
For the fans of: TesseracT, Devil Sold His Soul, Periphery, Between the Buried and Me
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 02.09.2013
InsideOut Music/Century Media Records

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