Boysetsfire
While A Nation Sleeps...


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (73 Reviews)
June 11th, 2013 | 71 replies


Release Date: 06/11/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I’m sorry. We have lost our way.

Following a three year period in which they were officially broken up, BoySetsFire returned in 2010 which a string of reunion shows and not much more. Finally word came about earlier this year outlining the details of the veteran melodic-hardcore band’s plans to record a rightful successor to the 2007 critically acclaimed album The Misery Index: Notes From The Plague Years. Two things are made apparent through the 13 tracks present on BoySetsFire’s first record in over seven year, the first being that Nathan Gray and company still have plenty to be angry about, and that one of the true underappreciated bands of the early 00’s have returned without missing a single beat, bringing with them a newfound sense of purpose and vengeance.

The whole of While A Nation Sleeps… is tied together through samples of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Dictator, a tactic that at times may wear thin the patience of listeners, but I personally believe truly manages to add a sense of cohesion and togetherness that otherwise would not be present on an album as scattered as this. Lead vocalist Nathan Gray has returned in full force, as his desperate and fervent screams often overpower the rest of the band, in the best way possible. Songs such as “Heads Will Roll” or album opener “Until Nothing Remains” best showcase this revitalization. But Grey’s impassioned screams have a perfect foil, in the sense that Grey’s dramatically improved clean vocals manage to highlight the power and brutality present on While A Nation Sleeps. Lyrically, BoySetsFire still spit vehemently into the face of religions and politics in general as the had been doing for years prior to their dismemberment. The aforementioned “Heads Will Roll” best showcases this abhorrence, as Grey spews forth Fuck your prophets. Fuck your Holy Wars through proverbial gritted teeth, with nary a hint of reservation.

The rest of the band lives up to the precedent set forth by their impassioned lead vocalists, with riffs rearing their heads in plenty of songs, riffs that would put to shame nearly any band in BoySetsFire genre. The main riff in “Wolves of Babylon” is such a riff, bursting with speed and a technical prowess not often heard within the hardcore scene. Throughout the entirety of the record different ideas are liberally added to every track, making for a somewhat scattered, yet thoroughly chaotic listen. Album closer “Prey” is a beautiful, yet critical song. A song that slowly rises and falls to perfectly encapsulate BoySetsFire’s view towards religion, “Prey” is arguably one of the best songs on the entire record. A new sense of emotion is reached without any need of guttural, heart wrenching screams, something that is a true testament to the members of BoySetsFire’s songwriting abilities.

Seven years is a long absence in any profession, but nowhere more arduous than in music, where scenes are constantly rearranging and musical tastes are flipped around without a second thought. The fact that BoySetsFire have returned after such a long hiatus and still have crafted an album as spectacular as While A Nation Sleeps is astounding. Comeback albums are often greeted with lofty, unrealistic expectations, but it is safe to say that BoySetsFire have surpassed even the wildest of these expectations with While A Nation Sleeps.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel like I'm enjoying this a lot more than most people are, but i think this is a pretty great comback record.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


20077 Comments


sup atrink!

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol hey. It turns out i don't have as much time as i thought i would to review

jmh886
June 11th 2013


869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Chariot did a whole song with that Charlie Chaplin speech. It ruled. Cool idea but already done. Hope this album rocks regardless.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I honestly had that written down to mention that the chariot did it before, but this one is split up over the whole cd, not just in one song. (like Cheek.) It's still a great speech though lol

jmh886
June 11th 2013


869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea I think Cheek is one of the coolest songs I've ever heard. That speech rocks.

Amebix
June 11th 2013


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

CD is so fucking awesome, so glad that they are back

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think a lot of people are glad they're back. But a 5? lol

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


20077 Comments


i've never heard them : P

TooLateToGoBack
June 11th 2013


1780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoa, this came out today? wtf

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. It snuck up on me too. A lot of cd's are officially released today

jmh886
June 11th 2013


869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There aren't many bands like these guys still around. Good tunes.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm just hoping this isn't the only album they put out after getting back together

TenSecondsToThink
June 11th 2013


1245 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I was expecting a bit more. This isn't anywhere near bad but I really loved their previous albums. I
was hoping for more change and experimenting.

xist
June 11th 2013


171 Comments


I'm really looking forward to hearing this. Where does it fit into their discography sound wise? As a continuation from Misery Index or closer to TCT (i'm assuming it's nearer those two rather than the more angry earlier albums)

Hep Kat
June 11th 2013


15356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds most like the earliest stuff

IslamicPenguins
June 11th 2013


72 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review dude, I've been a fan of this band since I was in middle school a million years ago and am so glad they're back/didn't half ass their comeback album

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 11th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. I'd say its the closer to earlier stuff than their last album

Libertarian
June 12th 2013


84 Comments


This album is seriously great. Admittedly, I've loved everything this band has done, but While a
Nation Sleeps... is one hell of a comeback. I'm so glad they've returned.

I remember first hearing TCTSMVIBB and TDTSWO, then they blew my mind with In Chrysalis and ATE, and
they've continued to kick ass since.

Welcome back, Boysetsfire!

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2013


2845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you're excited they're back. I just thought more people would be too haha



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