It’s easy to make the assumption, based on their name, that New Jersey’s Chasing Safety carries a sound very in debt to Underoath. While the sound on their sophomore release certainly features some familiar scream-sing-breakdown formulas, NOMAD is much more modern, with a sound more reminiscent of A Day To Remember and the type of post-hardcore/metalcore artists that Rise Records signs (aka “Risecore”). What’s particularly odd is that Chasing Safety doesn’t do really anything all that new if you’ve paid any attention to the modern core scene; yet, NOMAD somehow rises up above its standard parts. It’s a consistently interesting and engaging listen, and songs seem to have a sense of purpose other than rushing to a chorus or breakdown. Take “The Fall”, a song with a simple yet mightily effective hook, and a nice use of a mini-breakdown riff that repeats at just the right time. It’s a symptom of the album as a whole: an understanding of what makes the genre work and pushing the right buttons at the right times.
In a lot of ways I’m reminded of Our Last Night before they turned to covers. (Humorously, they actually took sonic inspiration from Underoath, but I digress.) Both Chasing Safety and Our Last Night took the elements that were popular at the time (and, really, never exactly died out of popularity with the kids) and knew how to make enjoyable modern metalcore. Comparing the two bands doesn’t do Chasing Safety any favors, but that’s more of an issue of Risecore being less musically interesting than Botch-style metalcore (an opinion).
The name of the game here is bouncy riffs and ridiculously melodic choruses, and it’s hard to fault the band in that regard. NOMAD is definitely a step up from the electronic metalcore of their debut, and time has seasoned the band’s style well. The record gets better as it goes along, which suggests that the band has more left in the tank, too. If you can forgive the fact that this album won’t change your opinion on metalcore, Chasing Safety definitely rise above the glut of mediocre metalcore on their second release.