Beware of Safety

Leaves/Scars

Written by: DR on 12/07/2011 00:12:31

The third album in a band's career often represents an important one. Usually, it's about the time when a band's creativity is put to the test. A great third album can propel a career, but a weak one can just as easily condemn. How do they move on from their first two albums, particularly if they were well-received as Beware of Safety's were? If at all? This quintet's third full-length, "Leaves/Scars", is one of clear intent: they want to make a crater-sized impact in the instrumental scene, and if there's any justice left in the music world, it should go some-way to achieving that.

Beware of Safety have quite obvious decided that, if they should fail, they will fail spectacularly, holding nothing back and operating at no half-measures. It's pile-driving instrumental music that will attract fans of Russian Circles and And So I Watch You From Afar, but it's also sufficiently pretty enough for fans of Explosions in the Sky; therein lies what makes "Leaves/Scars" one of the instrumental releases of 2011 so far: it's proof that post-rock and post-metal can be successfully and authentically married, because by combining the brutal and the beautiful, Beware of Safety have stumbled upon genuine innovation in the process.

Tad Piecka on bass is a recent addition into the band, and his contribution throughout the record is nothing short of outstanding. From the devastating opener, "Meridian", you hear his immediate contribution as he is given freedom to write a 'groovy' bass solo, but after that, when the rest of the instruments (and tortured screams) come raging in, he isn't drowned out in the production and gives the song a more powerfully executed wall-of-sound than would be without him. This offers something unique, because usually the bass is an instrument considered to add a bit of backbone to the guitars, but here it's used to add a different thought-process, a bit of extra 'oomph'.

"Kevin Spacey" and "Lowercase West" calm things down considerably, drawing more towards the ambient and ringing qualities of the likes of God Is An Astronaut, and successfully so, whereas "Crooked Nails For Catching Skin" leans towards experimental, improvisational qualities of jazz in sections whilst maintaining a steady footing in their metal roots. Closing the album is a one-two of lush acoustics with "Small Victories" running into slow-burner-turned-post-rock-scorcher-turned-post-metal-powerslam "Memorial Day"; the combined effect of both of them is the musical equivalent of being wooed by Alison Brie, only for her to take a sledgehammer to your head.

If there really is any justice then "Leaves/Scars" will propel Beware of Safety to the fore of the instrumental music scene, and it should, because the cream always rises to the top, as they say. On a more personal level, I hope it does because it's a record of ferocious aggression and sweeping radiance; proof that you can match power and beauty in equal measure without conforming to just one or sacrificing on either, as long as you're talented. And my, are Beware of Safety talented.

8

Download: Meridian, Small Victories, Memorial Day
For The Fans of: Russian Circles, And So I Watch You From Afar, Explosions in the Sky, God Is An Astronaut
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 12.07.2011
The Mylene Sheath

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