Unsafe: Enter Dark Places

Gallic groove metallers show a touch of finesse

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A band that likens themselves to Pantera and Machine Head are clearly setting the bar so high they’d need to pole-vault the fucker.

Quite where Unsafe’s comparisons shine through on Enter Dark Places is a bit of a mystery, but the emphatic drill of breakneck riffs and Stéphanie Nolf’s gender-questioning roars make you want to bang your head and run for shelter – in a good way.

In fairness, the ball-heavy stomp and pack-leader mentality of metal’s aforementioned big guns are detectable influences, but there are other forces at play, which make this an attention-grabbing listen, recognisable in the full-throttle thrash of Watch Out and smashing of At The Gates against Kreator on Virtual Jail. A bombardment of jackhammers and dynamic solos keep up the tempo, which, although annoyingly invariable, gives this album a tumultuous, energetic presence. The thrash-death recipe isn’t new, but the production is sharp and the nimble fingers of their two guitarists lift this out of the catacombs of meathead music territory.

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.