The Safety Fire: Mouth Of Swords

Progressive metallers still plotting a learning curve

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The ever-increasing popularity of progressive metal sees no signs of letting up, which can only be a good thing for The Safety Fire. Last year’s full-length debut, Grind The Ocean, was definitely promising and Mouth Of Swords is another step in the right direction, despite never fully hitting the lofty heights they’re aiming for.

It’s an album that wears its influences in bright colours on its sleeve, pitched somewhere between the dreamy, space rock of Coheed And Cambria and the complex rhythmic battery of – who else – Meshuggah. Though the former is executed far more successfully than the latter, Glass Crush and Wise Hands are shimmering, crystalline beauties that seduce you almost instantly.

Yet The Ghosts That Wait For Spring makes no real impact, despite all the bluster. That’s not to say they can’t do heavy: I Am Time, The Destroyer is a stand-out track and when Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me adds his vocals to Beware The Leopard (Jagwar) it’s weighty. If they continue to progress, The Safety Fire’s promise will produce something special.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.