While She Sleeps
This Is The Six


4.0
excellent

Review

by Michael B. USER (18 Reviews)
August 20th, 2012 | 16 replies | 5,142 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You'll have to settle for a 4, I'm afraid.

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

“Surrounding me is a picture of a world gone wrong
Paved with sickness and the broken young
Count the saved, count the graves
Count the cuts and taste the blood of the rain”

The United Kingdom hasn’t half come under fire from its heavy music scene in recent years. Gallows described it in their ‘Grey Britain’ opus as “***ing dead”, Enter Shikari sing of a land where “killing is part of every day”, and now metalcore crew While She Sleeps have opened their debut full-length, ‘This is the Six’, with the rather unsavoury words above. This is a supremely heavy record steeped in anger and pain, but it’s much deeper than it seems on first glance.

While She Sleeps have gathered substantial momentum going into this album, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the live arena and earning such platitudes as Kerrang!’s Best Newcomer award. 2010’s more hardcore oriented mini album ‘The North Stands for Nothing’ was full of energy but lacked something in songcraft, and the first sign that Sleeps (as they will henceforth be referred to) could be world-beaters was in last year’s excellent single Be(lie)ve, a hook-packed call to arms anthem that has been re-recorded with superior production for ‘This is the Six’. The band has clearly learnt the lessons it needed to and songs come first and foremost on this formidable collection.

Dead Behind the Eyes kicks off the album with a relentless barrage of riffs and double-kick drumming, vocalist Lawrence Taylor stepping up with the aforementioned description of “a world gone wrong”. Avoiding the over-saturation of breakdowns that plagues so many modern metalcore albums (though when they do crop up they’re heavier than a sack of spanners), Sleeps instead land their hardest blows with killer choruses. Taylor eschews clean vocals in favour of a melodic scream style that stands out well and adds a unique edge to choruses.

Throughout False Freedom, Satisfied in Suffering, Until the Death and The Plague of a New Age, Sleeps rattle through relentless metalcore that nonetheless avoids being either repetitive or homogenous in its delivery. Lyrically the band mostly avoid typical clichés- Love at War, for instance is about the band’s enmity towards younger generations for not having enough respect for their elders who fought in wars to protect their freedom. It’s a refreshing view for a band to take, and with lyrics such as ‘the mindless freedom puts our nation to shame, are you grateful of the graves?’ they make their point with barbed effectiveness.

It’s not all blood and thunder though, as the band also explore calmer waters. Album highlights Seven Hills and the title track balance soothing gang vocals and melodic lead guitar parts with crunching riffs and screams to form more accessible songs that nonetheless don’t sound out of place. The title track in particular is essential listening, with both the best riff and chorus of the album, the haunting “we can sleep in our own graves” refrain elevating the song to anthem status.

Meanwhile, Our Courage, Our Cancer, Love at War and short closing piece Reunite all make extensive use of piano to augment the album’s melodic side. Though not quite as exhausting as on latest Architects record ‘Daybreaker’, the piano passages do sadly become somewhat grating by the end. And though references to ‘The North Stands for Nothing’ do add a thread of consistency, they perhaps could have written a better conclusion than lyrical throwback Reunite, by which time the gang vocals, piano and references to their past have become stale.

Imperfect though it is, While She Sleeps have recorded an excellent debut full-length in ‘This is the Six’. Effectively establishing a distinctive sound and containing within it a handful of excellent songs, it’s an exciting and consistent album that stands out as being quintessentially British in its venom and spite. Heavy enough to appease hardcore metalheads but with just enough accessibility for those with lighter tastes, Sleeps could be a major force to be reckoned with in the coming years. All uphill from here and the band should join fellow Sheffield residents Bring Me the Horizon at the top of the metalcore mountain. Just lay off the piano a bit next time guys, eh?



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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
charlie15
August 20th 2012



132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this. Hope it's as good as what I've heard. Bmth suck so if it's anything like them then I won't enjoy it. Good review.

thumbcrusher
August 20th 2012



3582 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is so much better than their other release, the title track is so good

controlled
August 20th 2012



467 Comments


really, when i posted their EP they never struck me as a band worth caring about

Nikkolae
August 21st 2012



4769 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this band is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than BMTH

Digging: We Came Out Like Tigers - Ever-Crushed at Pecket's Well

FearOfTheDuck
August 21st 2012



206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They don't really sound at all like Bring Me the Horizon, they're just both from Sheffield.
And yeah, this is way beyond the mini album, they've come a long way.

charlie15
August 22nd 2012



132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really good. Never listened to their ep so i can't compare but this is up there with the best releases of '12.

Bengweeen
February 15th 2013



81 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I partly disagree with the reviewer - I believe that Our Courage, Our Cancer was easily the best song on the record. I got teary-eyed watching the music video for that song, and I had never even heard of this band prior to watching that video. The song is very emotional, well-arranged, and the lyrics are incredible.

BigPleb
February 25th 2013



34124 Comments


This Is the Six is real cool.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

SabertoothMonocle
February 25th 2013



493 Comments


Greg?

MarkTheDead
March 13th 2013



644 Comments


This album deserves much more credit and attention.

thumbcrusher
April 12th 2013



3582 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still like the title track quite a lot

DurzoBlint
April 19th 2013



1171 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album deserves more attention.

MuhNamesTyler
April 24th 2013



3700 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to the new bonus tracks now, man there's only one real new track

Drummerboy123
May 7th 2013



2312 Comments


Hear about these guys ALLLLLLLLLLL the time.





They're pretty good...

Digging: Sleepmakeswaves - Love of Cartography

nononsense
May 7th 2013



3325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This shit rules.

MarkTheDead
May 7th 2013



644 Comments


Rules hard.



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