Grind The Ocean review by The Safety Fire

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  • Released: Feb 27, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 9.5 (39 votes)
The Safety Fire: Grind The Ocean

Sound — 7
The Safety Fire is a five piece progressive metalcore band that hails from London. The production of the album itself, which was handle by the bands guitarist Derya Nagle, reminds me of both Periphery's and Animals As Leader's self titled albums which means a lot of electronics and effects are thrown through out the 47 minute long record. The best way to describe the sound of the instruments in this is "clean". Nothing feels too high or low when they shouldn't be, the guitars and the drums sound great, and the bass can be heard clearly (even though there aren't any truly memorable bass lines in this album). The overall sound of the band reminds me of a mix between Periphery and Protest The Hero, with some songs like "Sections" carrying a heavy groove feel with them and songs like "Animal King" bringing in melodic moments and having an excellent build up and release to them. I do think most of the weaker tracks on the album are at the beginning, with "Floods Of Colour" and "Dmb (Fdp)" sounding like typical songs for their genre. Things pick back up with "Animal King" continue on a nice streak till "Seagraves" and the title track which is such a disappointing track to end on.

Lyrics — 7
Vocalist Sean McWeeney has an unique scream/shout that sticks out from the sea of metal vocalist. His clean vocals sound fine, but they are covered with too many effects through out the album. In the first track, "Huge Hammers", you are about 2/3 done with the song when you finally hear his voice without any heavy effects on it. Tracks like "Anomolous Materials" do benefit from this since it's trying to create an ambient atmosphere for the listener, but it feels overdone when you finish listening to the album. Listening to the album multiple times, none of the lyrics really popped out at me besides in "Huge Hammers" and "Floods Of Colour" but that maybe more of the vocal delivery in those songs then the lyrics themselves. With me only having a digital copy of the album (I wish iTunes would include a pdf file of the booklet with every album) and not many people willing to sit there and type out the lyrics, its hard for me to judge the lyrics to the whole album. I didn't notice any stand out phrases through out the album that made me say "Wow, that was f--king epic! I wish I wrote that!" Then again, I didn't run into any awful phrases that made me say "Wait, what did he just say?"

Overall Impression — 6
At the end of the day, "Grind The Ocean" is a just a good/decent progressive metalcore album. There are a couple of tracks that will grab your attention like "Sections" & "Circassian Beauties" while songs like "Dmb (Fdp)" will make you think "Oh, I heard this before." Even though I only find myself liking 5/9 tracks on this album, the only real bad song on the album is the title track, which has the weakest vocal and instrument delivery on the whole album. The other songs on here just sound boring and bland to me. Combine that with my issues of the effect heavy vocals and none of the lyrics really standing out, a 6 out of 10 for the whole album feels right. For fans of: Animals As Leaders, Periphery, and Protest The Hero.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    One of my top albums this year, his harsh vocals are amazing, not cookie monster, not 'screamo'. The album itself is great, Animal King is my absolute favorite song. To those bringing up djent, it's history is so young. Yes it is onomatopoeic, as it refers to the metallic sound produced by the guitar. However, it's now being used more as a banner which a lot of new bands playing irregular time signatures, and incorporating polyrhythms into their style, to gather under. All in all, I loved this album, and can't wait for more.
    MT_Obsidian wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: [...]he uses bloody autotune FFS, you can hear it right there.. So does Cynic--and everyone thinks Focus is an absolutely classic, brilliant album (because it is). What matters is how it mixes in with the music, and it works pretty well here creating an opposing melody to the rather harsh vocals. I don't get why people are not enjoying this, especially "Huge Hammers". Yes, the vocals DO take some getting used to, but overall these guys are pretty darn good. I was put off by the vocals at first too, but now I really enjoy them and I believe that they work well with the music. As a whole, this band has a nice sound.
    Paul Masvidal uses a vocoder, not pitch correction, the vocoder is in tune and sounds robotic because it follows an electronically perfect wave, but its an octave higher than his singing voice and you can very clearly hear his natural, uncorrected voice if you listen. But this McWeeney bloke just cant be arsed, I'm sick of people saying pitch correction is an acceptable way to produce all the vocals, its admitting your vocalist is bad, and he is bad, anyone who's listened to their first EP knows hes a bad singer, who used pitch correction quite alot. I guess the only redeeming feature is that his voice sounds a lot like Burton C. Bell, but a really dodgy version of. As for the rest of the music, its got nothing going for it at all. It just sounds like every other djent band, maybe a few more interesting riffs, but they're piled heavy under polymeters, breakdowns, randomly interjected ambient cleans and other typically used tools in this so called genre. It gets very boring, very quickly. This band has made it come to a point where discussing so called progressive music is reducing the term progressive until it doesn't mean what it should mean, until it becomes just another genre, rather than a term to describe forward thinking ideas.
    So what you're saying is these guys suck because they're following a trend they like, and the music has nothing going for it because it's too complex? Well I'll keep that in mind if I ever write a song for your specific audience. No polymeters, clean vocals or "random clean guitars", or anything that's not in 4/4. Sounds kinda boring to me. TSF are pretty exciting compared to that. As for pitch correction, get over it. I guarantee you after looking at your favourite artists that you're listening to a few bands that use it and you can't even tell. Everyone uses it. I've used it on my shitty demos so my guide vocals don't sound like shit. You want to avoid pitch corrected vocals in modern music? Better start listening to nothing but instrumentals...
    Before you read, I love you guys. But this is going out of line, man. Why all this pickering? Only talent of ours must be commenting those bands. Or does it leads to creativity, have you read Mansoor or Hoskins/Millar in these reviews? I say: Stop caring about latest sounds, man. Work your butts off to get the technics and if you listen real good you might just get your own sound. As I haven't found it yet. Too much of BS and outsmarting the fools. Constructive cristism and taste, I understand. Metal fan