Sheffield-based metalcore giants are back with their fifth studio album titled ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ which is due to be released via Sleeps Brothers / Spinefarm Records / Search & Destroy on April 16th. With this weird and uncertain time, While She Sleeps came up with an initiative to help fund and produce this album during lockdown, by asking fans to pay different membership tiers, and with each tiers gets you exclusive content and rewards from the Sleeps gang. Thanks, Patreon!
Jumping straight into this album is an almost speech from vocalist Loz Taylor titled ‘ENLIGHTENMENT(?)’, intimating how much our world is in disarray right now. The band also has features from Scottish legend Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley which for me, is a great addition, but also a weird choice in terms of Deryck Whibley. It works well enough, though.
These lads stand next to the likes of Architects and Bring Me The Horizon in terms of the English metalcore scene and with their massive headline show at Brixton Academy was somewhat a milestone in their careers, and that show highlights that they have earned their place in the scene, where they stand now.
‘SYSTEMATIC’ is certainly a top track on the album, just for its surprise factor and sheer variety. It starts out with a child repeating the words “this part is broken” before going into an almost electronic type riff, then Loz comes in with an almost rap style vocals, which fans should be all for it. If an artist can push themselves, and try out something different with every album, we’re all for it, and I love that they are showcasing versatility and variety in this track.
As discussed above, Biffy Clyro legend Simon Neil’s feature on the album comes in the form of ‘NERVOUS’ which was their latest single to be released, which really works well in the flow of the album. Neil seems to be featuring in all the British Metalcore bands albums recently, with him featuring in this one, and Architects’ For Those That Wish to Exist’s track ‘Goliath’.
With this record, While She Sleeps have really pushed themselves into not just doing the same old thing, and experimenting with different techniques of vocal styles and song writing, along with different sounds which fans will appreciate about an artist. Luckily, they do most of these successfully, while not straying terribly far from the sound which gained them fame.
‘DIVISION STREET’ is another standout track, as it is so different to a typical While She Sleeps song, as this one starts off as a ballad, with Taylor belting out his vocals, with just a piano behind him, showing his vulnerability and would love to see this live. Meanwhile, title track ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ starts off with the electronics they experimented with in ‘SO WHAT?’ before turning into a typical While She Sleeps song, which is just fine as it contrasts with the tracklisting.
As discussed at the start with the concept of the ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ membership tiers, with one of the tiers, you would be invited to feature in one of the tracks in the form of a choir which is the penultimate track ‘CALL OF THE VOID (feat. SLEEPS SOCIETY)’. Another softer start for Sleeps however, it absolutely goes once it kicks in!
The final track isn’t quite as good as the rest of the album, probably because it is not actually a song, but more of a speech from Loz in a distorted voice with a piano in the background titled ‘DN3 3HT’. So it definitely fits in with the ethos of Sleeps Society as a whole.
In conclusion, this album was a step up from ‘SO WHAT?’ and just what fans needed to restore faith in the band. Not that So What? was bad – far from it – but this time around, While She Sleeps have done a better job at integrating new influences into their core sound. The production is crisp and on point, the song writing is clever, and fans will find much to enjoy about the experimental elements to this album.
While She Sleeps – ‘SLEEPS SOCIETY’ [8.5/10]
Preorder here: SLEEPS SOCIETY