The metalcore band from Uppsala made a splash stateside with the Gold Digger EP a few years ago. “Gold Digger: Sam” sold this writer on the quality of this band. Now, they are back with Colorblind. Let me tell you – it is about time this band released a full length record to capitalize on their new expanded fan base.
Synth from With Roots Above and Branches Below era The Devil Wears Prada is absolutely a big influence on how this band approaches their songwriting. However, the band is not merely content to maintain the status quo of screamed verses and high pitched choruses – every scene metalcore band ever has done that, and it’s an outdated trope anyway. From the opening notes of “Awake and Free”, it is clear that the band is ditching formulas, but not at the expense of accessibility. In fact, that is one of Safemode’s strong points – just about every song is accessible.
“Hold On” has been making waves in the US for the reason of being accessible – and radio friendly (perhaps that was a redundant statement). The most immediately haunting song apart from “Hold On” (I can’t comment on that song without bias since I heard that song long before the rest of the album) is “Last Man Out.” As the chorus in the aforementioned is haunted, the same degree emotional response can applied to “One Love,” albeit in triumph. The drums thunder in a similarly triumphant way as “Waiting for Tomorrow” brings its in-your-face optimism to the table. The band succeeds in it’s softer moments as well, although as is the case with most bands of this genre, I prefer the moments that get my adrenaline pumping.
Safemode manages to be appealing to the average metalcore fan while standing out from the crowd. Music snobs might not be thrilled with this, but this is one heckuva fun record.
I’ll be waiting over here for the band to make an appearance in the US.