Updated: May 24, 2021
Release Date: April 16, 2021 Genre: Metalcore Label: Sleeps Brother / Spinefarm Records
Sheffield, England’s metalcore giants While She Sleeps will release their fifth studio album, SLEEPS SOCIETY, on April 16th through their own label, Sleeps Brother in collaboration with multiple record labels worldwide to get the album in the hands of their fans. SLEEPS SOCIETY follows exactly where their previous album SO WHAT? left off, but still displays the band’s maturing sound. While She Sleeps recruited Simon Neil and Deryck Whibley to lend their talents to the album. SLEEPS SOCIETY was once again co-produced between the band’s five members and their long-time music producer Carl Brown. Brown has also worked with bands Bullet For My Valentine and Rise to Remain, to name a few.
On October 15, 2020, in addition to the initial announcement of their fifth album, the band unveiled a subscription service called Sleeps Society through the Patreon platform. The band’s goal with the service is to create a sustainable model for artists and creatives to break from the traditional industry norm by building and developing a true interdependence between the band and fans. With the platform, fans can show their support by joining one of the various membership tiers, all incentivized by gaining access to exclusive content directly from the band to the fans. These incentives range across the board, including access to the band’s Discord server, access to unheard demos, full-album guitar and drum playthroughs, tutorials for songwriting, studio production, vocal techniques, art, branding, self-management, videography, early access to tour tickets, exclusive merch, and a whole lot more. The first five hundred members to join had their names included in the album’s liner notes. If you want to join the Sleep Society, you can do so here.
SLEEPS SOCIETY opens with the massive five-minute opening number, “ENLIGHTENMENT(?).” The track begins with an organ-like rhythm, vocalist Lawrence Taylor valiantly speaking before the song explodes. Guitarists Sean Long and Mat Welsh go right to work with simultaneous guitar riffs and melodies, with drummer Adam Savage providing pounding drums right out of the gate. Over the song’s five minutes, the track grows with the band building on to it as it continues. First comes the anthemic chorus, second comes the impressive breakdown, and finally, the song culminates with a sizeable guitar solo that will leave listeners wanting more. The second song and the album’s second single, “YOU ARE ALL YOU NEED,” is anthemic as they come on this record. This banger is hard-hitting throughout, with a chantable chorus that will have anyone singing along.
One of the heaviest and angriest tracks on SLEEPS SOCIETY follows “YOU ARE ALL YOU NEED” titled “SYSTEMATIC.” An industrial-like electronic intro leads to plenty of chugging guitars, powerful vocals, and a massive bass line from bassist Aaran McKenzie that seeps through the cracks of the song. However, while the song is one of the heaviest and certainly one of the angriest lyrically, its chorus is more than likely going to hook the listener right in. Things take a turn to a softer side with the third single, “NERVOUS.” The track tackles mental health head-on by drawing upon guitarist Sean Long’s personal experiences with anxiety. “NERVOUS” has a sense of emotion felt throughout, and you can tell hundredfold it came from a personal place. Additionally, the song features Simon Neil, the frontman of the Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro.
“NO DEFEAT FOR THE BRAVE,” the album’s seventh track features Sum 41 frontman, Deryck Whibley. Right down to the core, “NO DEFEAT FOR THE BRAVE” is a typical While She Sleep song, and various instruments are immensely melodic, yet heavy. At times, the track sounds like a heavier sounding Sum 41 -something I didn’t realize I wanted until now. Which what sets it out among the rest of the songs on SLEEPS SOCIETY. The album hits its most sincere and emotional point on the following track, “DIVISION STREET.” The entirety of the number is performed solely on piano and hears many of the band’s members harmonizing their voices.
Following that sombre number is the album’s lead single and title track, “SLEEPS SOCIETY.” Another electronic intro rings out then the chaos begins with massive guitars, bass, drums, and vocals all on display for this ambitious track. “SLEEPS SOCIETY” takes a little bit of everything you have already heard on the album and wraps it all into one extremely well-weaved number. The song’s big stand-out is the unique dueling guitar and synth near the end of the track. The penultimate track, “CALL OF THE VOID,” is heavy while still being on the lighter side. “CALL OF THE VOID” features some members of the band’s astounding fan base -that is also named The Sleeps Society. Closing the album is the “transmission,” “DN3 3HT.” It’s not essentially a song, but all fans and new listeners of the band need to hear it to understand what I mean by transmission. What I will say is, it’s a sincere thank you and admiration from While She Sleep’s five members, directly to their fans, either past, present, and future.
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