Album review: While She Sleeps – Sleeps Society
Has ever a band had a more symbiotic relationship with their fans than While She Sleeps? Debut album This Is The Six referred to the Sleeps Army as the band’s crucial sixth member and now, nearly 15 years after their inception, they’ve developed that relationship into a fully-fledged, co-dependent Patreon-powered community. Sleeps Society is not just the band’s fifth full-length album; at this point it’s a philosophy and a way of life. As they declare on the storming title-track, ‘It started as a vision, now we live it.’
There are points on Sleeps Society where the love letter sounds a little mawkish, however. Final track DN3 3HT (the title of which will be familiar to Doncaster postmen) is essentially seven minutes of the band talking about how grateful they are, which is wholly admirable but hardly a storming closer. Much better is when they enlist members of the Sleeps Society as guest vocalists on Call Of The Void – and the fans aren’t the only ones lending their voices. Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley appears on the driving No Defeat For The Brave, while Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil continues his tour of the UK’s top metalcore acts to star on Nervous, fresh from an appearance on Architects’ Number One album For Those That Wish To Exist.
Musically While She Sleeps keep the familiar riff-fuelled energy and anthemic gang-chant hooks, but season their sonic stew with a few new ingredients. Nervous is a piano-led mood piece, while Systematic rides a tightly-wound groove peppered with swoops of noise and a rap-metal bounce. The synths and electronic elements in particular have been expanded since last album So What?, and even if this new album doesn’t sound quite as focused as its outstanding predecessor, it’s still an excellent addition. Wake up, and give Sleeps Society your attention.
Sleeps Society is released on April 16 via Search & Destroy / Spinefarm.
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