Oct 092013

(DGR took in the live performances of Between the Buried and Me, The Faceless, The Contortionist, and The Safety Fire in Sacramento on Oct. 1, 2013, and here’s his review of the show.)

I consider myself somewhat lucky in that I’ve gotten to see Between The Buried And Me three times, and each time has been during an era of the band that I enjoyed. I first saw them as part of the Ozzfest 2006 tour package, and then would later see them again after Parallax I came out, and they were playing that as a chunk of their set. I have an up and down history with the band and will fully own up to getting a bit tired of them during The Great Misdirect. However, I think the Parallax Hypersleep works have been some of the best material they’ve created by far, so hearing that they were doing the second one all the way through pretty much sold me on the show no matter who would be opening for them. Throwing The Contortionist and The Faceless into the mix made the deal ever so much sweeter, with the added bonus of of exposure to some new music through The Safety Fire – whom I had never heard prior to the show.

So it came to be that I returned to one of my favorite venues in Sacramento, Ace Of Spades, and stood out front on Tuesday, October 1st. The line grew pretty rapidly, and honestly, it was one of the most impressively attended shows I had seen in Sacramento, especially given that it was on a Tuesday. Even a quarter of the way through The Safety Fire’s set the place was starting to get packed. It would prove to be an exciting show too, as every band absolutely smashed their set and the crowd would feed right into it – and that was even prior to Between The Buried And Me’s massive light show and prog explorations, which would turn the whole place into a massive sweatbox.

I was excited when I spotted the folks from Rock Hard Live setting up because that meant that I would get the opportunity to link out to some of their live footage as soon as it was posted, which is something I haven’t gotten to do in a while. So be sure to check them out, as they do some great work for this city and really do show off that we actually have some good venues out here. Continue reading »

May 092012

(TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by The Safety Fire.)

So it’s time for my first true Exception to the Rule in quite a while. I decided at some point I would try to avoid breaking our site’s moniker as much as I could, but I feel this album deserves the occasion.

The Safety Fire have been picking up quite a bit of steam lately, introducing an interesting sound that has me slightly baffled, yet plenty fascinated. They mix in the low-tuned brutality and odd time signatures of bands we’ve come to know and love such as Textures, CiLiCe, and yes, Meshuggah, with technical, highly interwoven counterpoint dual-guitar mind-fuckery and add a heavy-handed dose of post-rock to taste.

To say that their sound is jarring would be a bit of an understatement, but also considering that I saw them live at The Masquerade in Atlanta last month and experienced this material full force (which convinced me to buy the album on the spot), I’d say this is a band to watch in the future. However, the future is currently irrelevant. What’s relevant is now, and Grind the Ocean is an impressive, technically adept, and progressive morsel of delightfully unorthodox taste.

The album’s opener “Huge Hammers” is immediately indicative of this. A subdued riff plays in the background, only to crash forth into the song’s gravitas-inducing, disorienting verse riff. It’s full of low-tuned rumble, high-end micro-shredding, and lots AND LOTS of pinch harmonic squeals and badass moments of harmony and interplay on the guitar front. Continue reading »