Formed in 2010, it’s essentially taken seven years for Currents to find their feet. The Connecticut band produced a handful of self-releases before the arrival of current vocalist Brian Wille in 2015, which proved to be the catalyst behind the genesis of a long-overdue full-length debut, ‘The Place I Feel Safest’. Finding stability in signing to SharpTone Records, the band hope the album will allow them to finally make headway in the heavy scene.
A brand of metal incorporating the vocal style, structures and subtle electronic elements of contemporary metalcore, Currents regularly juxtapose this with the technical shredding of Chris Wiseman and Ryan Castaldi. It’s often not a particularly happy marriage, with ‘Delusion’’s mathcore middle section feeling out of place.
The studio instead steals the show, with deftly tight production allowing for riffs to be sliced and diced effectively. It compliments Jeff Brown’s blistering blast beats on the great ‘Apnea’ and exemplifies the sonic tone of a record that has the undeniable whiff of big label slickness about it.
Even so, Wille is frustratingly colourless in his delivery, underlying growls often inserted at random to add meat. His lyrics, however, are unfailingly bleak and do on occasion garner some degree of brief impact, such as when ‘Best Memory’ pleads, ‘you were the man I could never be, why’d you leave so suddenly?’. On ‘Night Terrors’ he evokes horror-movie haunted houses that reveal the album’s title to be an uneasy irony.
The biggest issue with ‘The Place I Feel Safest’ is a glaring lack of obvious access points. Recent single, ‘Withered’ begins with promising purpose before losing direction, while the cumbersome chorus of ‘Silence’ is a particular low point.
‘Why does this darkness feel so familiar?’ questions Wille on the title track. Well, the answer to that is probably because this album is highly derivative and seldom manages to excite or intrigue. Currents show flashes of what they may yet produce, but this band’s drawn-out development continues.
‘The Place I Feel Safest’ by Currents is released on 16th June on SharpTone Records
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)