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.