Review Summary: This is the TITS
The metallic hardcore group While She Sleeps have gone almost full metalcore for their full album debut, "This Is The Six", and unlike most bands who saturate the genre, While She Sleeps pull it of fantastically on this effort.
The opener, "Dead Behind The Eyes", featuring Comeback Kid's Andrew Neufeld, was released as a freebie by the group earlier this year and it's easy to see why they only made it a freebie. It's one of the weaker songs on the album and while it carries a lot of rhythm and is catchy enough it doesn't really match up to the rest of the album. Next up is "False Freedom", a more melodic affair which utilises group vocals nicely in the chorus (an approach which is often used in this album to great effect) and a well executed beatdown, although the track overall is rather predictable and follows a commonly used formula it is a strong track, with the quieter group singing in the middle of the track proving a nice addition to the track.
"Satisfied In Suffering" is next up and has bouncing riffs in abundance and shows flashes of Gallows-esque (Grey Britain era) influence. "Seven Hills" is (at the time of writing) the most recent single from the album and is probably one of the more emotional sounding songs on the album, although the aggressive screaming of Lawrence Taylor is pretty inflexible so it is harder to tell from his vocals, and you have to rely on the way the music is played and the way that the group vocals are utilised to judge whether it is or not.
Next up is "Our Courage, Our Cancer", which has a very soft start, using pianos throughout the beginning the song which provide a very melodic touch to the song and is a much more emotionally driven song than "Seven Hills"; in this track you can actually hear the passion in Taylor's voice. Next up is the title track, "This Is The Six". Bringing the energy and pace of hardcore with the chugging of metalcore, and probably the best single from the album. "The Six" apparently refers to the members + the fans (who are considered like a sixth member) and this track is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
After the burst of raw energy of TITS, While She Sleeps slow things down a bit again with "The Chapel", a 2 minute long instrumental track halfway through the album which then leads into "Be(lie)ve", a re-recording of the track released by the group in between mini-album "The North Stands For Nothing" and "This Is The Six". The re-recording is a massive improvement on the original and really packs a punch.
"Until the Death" has a very interesting opening riff and is another nice and fact song with more Gallows-esque flashes. "Love At War" makes more great use of pianos although the group vocals can begin to get a little bit grating at this point in the album.
Finally we have "The Plague of a New Age". Good old aggression. Riffs galore. Fast tempo. Everything you want from a band like this. But the ever present group vocals rear their head again. The album closes with "Reunite" which makes ample references to their mini-album and again uses group vocals but by this stage I'd learned to accept them.
Overall WSS have made massive strides since "The North Stands For Nothing" and it would be interesting to see how far they can progress. The group vocals are used very well throughout the album but can grow tiresome after a few tracks with their repeated presence, and the breakdowns are well executed if a little repetitive at times. Of course, while this is near the top of a dying genre, they'll really have to pull something out of the bag on their next album to maintain their rise.