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Currents – The Place I Feel Safest | Album Review

If you’re a fan of music that feels like it has been made a thousand times before, then Currents’ latest album The Place I Feel Safest is the album for you.

Source: official album artwork

With the amount of bands making downtuned metalcore music these days you’d be forgiven for thinking someone had published a book on How To Assemble A Middle-Of-The-Road Metalcore Album. Yes, with CurrentsThe Place I Feel Safest all of the typical building blocks are there; there’s the “creepy” electronic intro that gives way to the downtuned riffing and cookie cutter screaming vocals; there’s the breakdowns interspersed with panic-chords that seemed so cool in the early 00s, but now feel very much like a staple of breakdowns; the melodic vocals come in on the chorus of the second song to show how this music is “more aggressive but also more melodic” than whatever else came before it.

The problem with music of this kind is that it feels like it has nothing behind it. Particularly when it comes to the vocals, there isn’t any defining theme or characteristic that lends any gravitas to either the vocal tone or the lyrics. With bands like Thy Art Is Murder or Architects there is aggression there, but you can sense it is being channeled somewhere – even if you can’t quite discern what the lyrics are about, you can at least discern that they are about something – whereas Currents’ lyrics seem to be directionless. Even if there is a meaning, the delivery is so witheringly average that they come across as more of an indirect ramble usually perpetrated by teenagers on their Facebook status’ than a statement of intent.

The lead guitar lines go some way at least to lending the music a little individuality, but when you’ve scraped that particular compliment off the bottom of the barrel you know it’s slim pickings indeed. Even that tiny morsel of joy comes with a massive side helping of Qualifying Counterpoint with it, because though the lead guitar lines do lend some semblance of character to The Place I Feel Safest, it is a character that we have seen many times before.

The Place I Feel Safest is not a terrible album, although it is made distinctly worse by it’s total lack of originality or flair. Those who are still stuck wearing big camo shorts, a wallet chain and a Meshuggah t-shirt may experience a crushing sense of deja vu shortly into the album as the downtuned riffs wake something deep in their neurons only to realise that the thing is was waking up was a memory of what Heart Of A Coward were doing a few years ago and that this is a pale imitation of that past glory.

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