Almost after a decade of existence, the Swedish Melodic Metalcore majors, Safemode, are out with their much awaited and anticipated sophomore album, Colorblind. The album was crowdfunded and released worldwide in May 2016, under the label of Safemode and JONO, with the sole distribution rights with JONO. Safemode offered somewhat unique differentiation to its supporters, by writing a personal song for them (based on their life) for a small price and put the supporters name in the credits!! Isn’t that a wonderful way to connect with their fan base.?
The band made headway in the past with their numerous accolades, be it winning a major Swedish band contest, playing it for Sweden Rock or on being one of the few Swedish bands to make an impact on the America radio, being listed as the most wanted band. The band lists Underoath, Blindside, and The Devil Wears Prada as some of its influences. With 12 songs in their arsenal and 47 minutes of runtime, I got straight listening to the album.
The album opens up with “Awake and Free”, blasts right in with muffled drum beats, clean vocals and heavy guitar work. The song duels between clean melodic vocals supplemented with melodic guitar riffs and a heavy dark growls accentuated with spine chilling guitar chugs. “Empty Mirror” talks of heartbreak and a confused state of mind, with Tjet delivering a powerful chorus speaking to us in the interlude just before unleashing his raw energy, surprisingly in clean vocals. It is marvellous to hear such a profound mix of vocals on this track, on deeper listening you get to hear subdued screams harmonizing perfectly.
There aren’t many standalone guitar solos, but the intro for “Waiting for Tomorrow” has a melodic staccato guitar riff which is carried off well throughout the song. “Hold on” also has a promising premise, pretty nu metallish guitar-drum intro, moments of staccato guitar chops go pleasantly with the electronic elements in the song. With “My Silence” they’ve delivered a beautiful piece of ballad and as the outro verse takes a shift on the vocal pitch and culminates, the band proves their capability of writing mature and beautiful songs.
Plenty of odd time signatures and breaks are present throughout the length of the album. A common observation that I had across all songs, be it “One love”, “Last Man Out” or” Broken” was that at all times the melody came from the vocals and that’s become the definition of their signature style (which doesn’t rely only guitars to fill in the melody). They also invest their melodies heavily on the chorus segments of their songs. The chorus for “Time Will tell”, will definitely get stuck in your mind, as it was in mine. (Here, let me help you. “Time will tell if I see you once again, with all my heart I want it to be true. Time will stop when I see your face again…” )
“Cry for Yesterday” plunges right on with the Metalcore riff but as I approach to the end of this song it feels like it has been done before, I won’t name by whom, but it does sound familiar. “Pain in Happiness” has more of a punk meets alternate meets Metalcore feel to it.
“This is not the End”, brings us to the end of this album, with the children humming alongside the marching drums, the song talks about lost love, and the yearning to be one again.
Production : The sound on this album is mature and has plenty of ambient elements to give it a powerful and complete sound. The juggling of clean vocals and screams on this Metalcore album gives its unique edge, the genre though is heavily Metalcore.
Conclusion : The band uses all the arsenal they have to produce a heavy yet melodic sound, and trust me they can’t go wrong with this eclectic style. I recommend you buy it!
Written by: Ankit Sood
1 Awake and Free
2 Empty Mirror
3 One Love
4 Waiting For Tomorrow
5 Last Man Out
6 My Silence
7 Time Will Tell
8 Cry For Yesterday
10 Pain In Happiness
11 Hold On
12 This Is Not The End
Record Label: JONOmedia, May 2016
Tjet Gustafsson: lead vocals, guitar
Robin Ahnlund: lead guitar, vocals
Johannes Karlsson: drums
Video below: ‘Hold On’