Currents – The Place I Feel Safest

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/Label: Sharptone Records
Distributor/Label URL: http://sharptonerecords.co/
Released: 2017
Buy Album: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-place-i-feel-safest/id1229203006
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/CurrentsCT

Band line-up:

Brian Wille – Vocals,
Chris Wiseman – Guitar,
Ryan Castaldi – Guitar,
Dee Cronkite – Bass,
Jeff Brown – Drums.

Tracklistings:

1. Apnea
2. Tremor
3. Night Terrors
4. Delusion
5. Withered
6. Dreamer
7. Forget Me
8. The Place I Feel Safest
9. Silence
10. Best Memory
11. Another Life
12. I’m Not Waiting
13. Shattered

Review:

Ask any metal fan wherever you go and they will have one of two opinions on metalcore. It’s now become something of a Marmite genre: some love it and some hate it. Without going into the virtues of each side’s argument, it certainly divides opinion like little else (aside from nü-metal, but those days have long since sailed). There’s never any shortage of metalcore acts all pedalling those hallmarks from the heyday back in the early 2000s, but what do CURRENTS have to offer a genre that’s approaching two decades since it’s prominence?

In short, their sound is, at its core, quintessential metalcore. Riffs for days, big choruses and breakdowns galore, though their take does incorporate a rather more modern approach. Naturally, coming up with the advent of djent will inevitably lead to a degree of crossover and it’s patently obvious in the splicing of lead lines into riffs and the off-kilter, down-tuned riffs. Tracks like “Night Terrors” and “Dreamer” demonstrate this in spades, with “Dreamer” being particularly noodly in the guitar department. Yet, fundamentally, it is still the same old metalcore we’ve grown used to, with song structures feeling really rather familiar.

Maybe there’s something in the title: “The Place I Feel Safest”? It feels very safe and homey; the sort of record that you could come back to after exploring other avenues. The sort that feels almost a little like home. The emotional weight of the title track ably demonstrates this, feeling thunderously aggressive yet cathartic and comforting at the same time. In saying that, this is what sets CURRENTS’ debut aside from the rest of their counterparts: emotion. So much of metalcore just feels cold and heartless; made without true investment in what’s being written and almost “by-the-numbers” with aggression. Yet the gentlemen of CURRENTS seem to take a leaf from ARCHITECTS’ book in focusing their efforts towards making the songs heavy in terms of feel, rather than punishing weight.

It’s a highlight that’s made all the more resplendent when coupled with the deft use of clean passages and lead parts. They combine ably à la “Silence”, and make for a far more invested listen than your average metalcore release. It demonstrates a band’s care and consideration towards their craft that they took the time to attempt at setting themselves aside from their peers. It can be tough going when listening to the same old thing, but when there’s a hook or something to grab you, it makes it all the better.

“The Place I Feel Safest” is both your average metalcore release, but not in the same breath. The riffs and structures pedalled by CURRENTS don’t feel particularly exceptional or stand-out, but they just seem to be performed with that bit more investment than those heard elsewhere. The heart that’s put into every track and vocal line brims with verve and life, whilst the melodicism shines through and drives the album’s way into the memory. Yes, it is still metalcore and there’s not much invention beyond the 2000s, but “The Place I Feel Safest” does offer far more heart than most.

Review by Lee Carter
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