WHILE SHE SLEEPS have grown to become one of the flagship names in modern British metal. The Sheffield outfit’s explosive rise through the ranks has largely been down to the band’s relentlessness and uncompromising approach to metalcore whilst remaining true to their roots. 2017 sees the arrival of album number three, You Are We, arguably the band’s most ambitious record to date. Backed through a very successful crowdfunding campaign after they departed from their record label to become a DIY and independent band, you get the feeling that You Are We will either be make or break for the band. But does the end product showcase enough quality for WHILE SHE SLEEPS to continue flying the flag for British metal?
Casting back to the band’s previous efforts, Brainwashed and This Is The Six, WHILE SHE SLEEPS showcased their arsenal of riffs, soaring choruses, hard-hitting melodies and infectious gang choruses but on You Are We, the band have honed their craft to present a record that is truly remarkable. Opening with the title track, the record sets the tone in grand fashion through subtle guitar melodies before Loz Taylor takes the forefront with his iconic bellowing vocals. Here, the pace is frantic in the verses with solid riffing from Sean Long and Mat Welsh but the track really comes to life in the chorus. Soaring clean vocals are the key ingredient here and the band’s fusion of aggressive melody sets the record off to the best possible start.
WHILE SHE SLEEPS have long been refining the balance between sheer aggression and melodic harmonies and there are so many moments across You Are We that display this inter-changing musical trait in superb fashion. Steal The Sun unleashes a rapid-fire lead vocal barrage from Loz Taylor before unfolding into one of the most memorable and infectious choruses the band have ever written; with Sean Long‘s cutting clean vocals, and subtle percussion from Adam Savage‘s drumming, this song really hits home. Similarly, Empire of Silence showcases the excellence of the band’s formula through a pace that ebbs and flows with the intensity of the band’s massive sound exploding through the chorus that is reinforced by a poignant subject matter.
For all where WHILE SHE SLEEPS shine through their dynamic and hair-raising melodies there is still enough aggression contained on You Are We to metaphorically level a city. From the exhilarating aggression showcased on Silence Speaks, aided by a guest appearance from BRING ME THE HORIZON‘s Oli Sykes, to the groove-laden rhythms on Wide Awake, the sheer force showcased across You Are We is, at times, unbelievable. What reinforces this is the subject matter the band address across the record: this only helps the record connect with the listener even more. Hurricane boasts emotionally charged lyrics, slick lead guitar play from Sean Long and iconic gang vocals in the chorus whereas Civil Isolation‘s grim reflection on society serves as an excellent subject matter to hammer home the hard-hitting barrage of shredding guitars and explosive drumming.
By the conclusion of final track In Another Now, WHILE SHE SLEEPS have more than demonstrated their superiority with You Are We. This is a record that will hold your attention from the first note of the title track right through to the record’s conclusion. You Are We is jam-packed full of memorable riffs, earth-shattering breakdowns, enormous choruses and melodic subtlety that will keep you coming back for more. This is an absolute triumph from WHILE SHE SLEEPS, a record that showcases a band at their absolute best and surely will continue the band’s dominance of British metal.
You Are We is set for release on April 21st via self-release.
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