Safe Hands – Montenegro


Artist

Album

Montenegro

Label

Pee Records

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

Norma Jean - Poison The Well

Summary

Australian release of the year so far.

Rating

90 / 100

The culmination of the EPs, splits and relentless touring around the country for Safe Hands is this, their debut full length Montenegro.’ What better way to be sure your album is heard than having all of this hard work behind it? Couple that with the fact that record is extremely good and you will find that the platform is set for the band’s rise to power.

For those who have been playing from the start you will immediately recognise the evolution of the band’s sound on opening track Death In Leura (Alas)‘. They seem more comfortable working with the modern elements of post-metalcore/hardcore and as following track ‘The Man Who Was A Forest will show you, the off kilter structures and ideas which have always had a presence in their back catalogue are out in full force on the LP.

Many will more than likely be surprised in moments of this record, songs like ‘If The Accident Will channel structures and sounds akin to The Dillinger Escape Plan meaning the band can, and often do, go wherever they want with the songs. An album stand-out is the crushing ‘Sweet Pendulum‘, a moment where the guitars actually seem heavy as opposed to the rest of the album where the band manages to create a heaviness without an overkill of distortion.

There is little studio trickery, no electronic glitches before breakdowns or over-layered vocals, anything reminiscent, like the sounds in Tunnel Visionary‘, has been made organically. Safe Hands claim to release honest music, this record absolutely falls into that category, as the recording sounds like the band just got in a room and played, but really, really well.

Another highlight is one of the softer more atmospheric moments of the record, ‘History’s Afterthought‘, which changes at its half-way point into some thrashy punk rock. The closing and title track also starts off with some sullen and relaxed tones before exploding into chaos and ending with a few nice surprises which confirm Safe Hands are on a new level.

Conclusion

‘Montenegro’ will surprise both fans of Safe Hands and those who know nothing about them. It may be early in the year but it will be tricky for any other heavy Australian acts to top this release.

Tracklisting

1. Death In Leura (Alas)
2. The Man Who Was A Forest
3. Any Port In A Storm
4. If The Accident Will
5. Alma Matyr
6. Sweet Pendulum
7. Tunnel Visionary
8. All Of My Bones Are Broken
9. History’s Afterthought
10. Somnabulance
11. My Very Own Versuvius
12. Montenegro

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