The Safety Fire

Album Title: 
Mouth Of Swords
Release Date: 
Monday, September 2, 2013
Review Type: 

This London based British band was founded by longtime friends Derya Nagle (guitar) and Lori Peri (bass), who picked up their respective instruments at the age of 14, and decided to start a band. Nagle took in his class friend Joaquin Ardiles (guitar), and Peri recruited Calvin Smith (whom he had known since the age of 4 to play first guitars and then drums), and the band eventually settled on Peri's friend Sean McWeeney for the role of vocalist (trivial detail : except for Smith, the guys all met at London Oratory School). During that time, the band played several venues in the London area under different monickers, and it wasn't until 2006 that the band took on its current musical direction and name!

Between 2006 and 2009, the individual members concentrated on their education, attending different universities, but along the way also wrote the material for TSF's debut recordings, the EP Sections, which was critically acclaimed by both printed and online were the band's powerfully energetic live shows. Touring wherever and whenever they could, the boys set forth to write and record new material, this time for a full-length, and announced having signed onto the InsideOut Music roster in August 2011 (6 months after the album was finished, actually), with their debut full-length Grind The Ocean to be released in February of 2012. Prior to the release, however, TSF toured the UK with Rise To Remain and Bleed From Within during September, and in December released the first official single “Huge Hammers”, which was given airplay by DJ's Zane Lowe, Huw Stevens, and Daniel P Carter on their respective BBC Radio1 programs...and the band also played a live session for the XFM Rock show. March and April 2012 saw TSF playing gigs on American soil as supports to Protest The Hero (other acts in the line-up being Perifery, Jeff Loomis, and Today I Caught The Plague), which the band followed up by a short run of gigs in the UK as support to French Prog Metal act Gojira, before entering the Summer festivals' season (including appearances of the band on UK's Download Festival and Hevy Music Festival, and at Brutal Assault in the Czech Republic). During October, the band toured Europe and the UK as supports to Between the Buried And Me and Periphery. A UK tour with The Faceless during Jan.-Feb. 2013 was eventually canceled (because the latter couldn't get work visas). Oh...almost forgot...somewhere in 2012 the band also witnessed the release of a second single, that time for the track ”Floods Of Coulour” (video clips for the track, as well as for the first single and an additional track, entitled “DMB (FDP)”, were also released that same year).

March 2013 saw the band back in the studio, to record their sophomore album with guitarist Derya Nagle engineering and producing the sessions (he'd already engineered the debut album's recordings, and worked with artists such as Frank Turner, Rise To Remain, The Haarp Machine, and Palehorse). That same month the band also traveled to BBC Scotland to take part in British quiz show Eggheads. The album's first single “Glass Crush”, was debuted on the Daniel P Carter hosted BBC Radio1 program The Rock Show, on August 7. By then, it was already revealed that Tommy Rogers of Between The Buried And Me guested on the track “Beware The Leopard (Jagwar)”.

And that brings me to the band's music, which so far has had no description on this site yet, since apparently we missed out on TSF's debut album. Justifiably described as Prog Metal, the band itself claims influences from the diverse likes of Karnivool, Sikth, Opeth, Bjork, Jaga Jazztist, Kaki King and Between The Buried And Me (P.S.: info thus far taken & re-written from the band's page at Wikipedia; my thanks go out to whomever wrote that article originally), but it's hard to deny that the five-some have managed to mix their influences into something quite their own. Calmer passages (occasionally almost Ambient/ soundscapish) alternate against more energetic ones, and vocals (both lead and backing) are normally quite clean and clear, of a medium-high pitch...except for some sparse screams, which are increased in number somewhat in the last 3 songs on the album. A further exception to that “clean rule” comes with Rogers' contribution (see above), giving that track a harshness not experienced in the other songs. At my first listening sessions, I was somewhat taken aback with a certain technique of running the scale bars on the guitar seemed to return in several songs (may be due to the fact that Nagle writes most of the material)...but once one gets deeper into the material, one comes to the conclusion that these similarities are only superficial, the individual lead parts quite different indeed.

If, like us, you've never heard music by this band before, I recommend you check out the “Videos” section on the band's own website (www.) which, besides some of the official videos (including the newest, for the track “Yelloism”), also contains  several studio footage clips from the new album's recordings.  It is also the place for links to the band's facebook (where you'll find audio for the album's track “Red Hatchet”, among others), twitter, YouTube and pages (didn't check the latter, so by all means...). Since the album's release, the band did its (short) debut UK headline tour in early September. They then boarded a plane to be part of Between the Buried And Me's North-American tour during September and October (other acts on the bill being The Faceless and The Contortionist). If you liked what you heard/ saw on the aforementioned pages, then you may wanna check the band's touring dates on a regular basis, because TSF is bound to come back to Europe any time soon!