While She Sleeps
So What?


2.0
poor

Review

by Chamberbelain CONTRIBUTOR (209 Reviews)
March 1st, 2019 | 80 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Think of what you hate worst about metalcore combined with what excites you about While She Sleeps.

While She Sleeps have an extraordinarily loyal fanbase. The fact that they are still a hugely popular modern metal band after their third album, “You Are We”, was directly funded by the fans and is named after the strong bond between artist and audience, speaks volumes to what can be achieved when you have the power of the people supporting you and what happens when a band gives what they receive. That being said, it seems like even their devoted army is becoming a little too lenient with the band, convincing themselves that although the music might be subpar, at least they are way more caring to their fans than other bands.

That’s not to say While She Sleeps don’t deserve the universal praise that they have received. When the aforementioned album was released in 2017, the band had spent only five years breathing fresh air into the desperate, deteriorating lungs of metalcore. Resurrecting an entire genre on their debut album, and then accentuating their success on the following albums is commendable. However, despite their deserved success, it still seems like there is an awkward ‘but…’ with this band. For example, Loz is a great singer BUT he sounds exactly the same on every album. Fans funded their last album and they’re still huge BUT it sounded incredibly harmless. They’re one of the leaders of the metalcore scene BUT they exhibit barely any signs of progression. Et cetera.

Coincidentally, While She Sleeps decides to shift towards the mainstream on their fourth album, “So What"”, following in the steps of the modern metal titans Parkway Drive and Architects. Its glossy production job acts as a double-edged sword, accentuating the driven riffs on “Elephant” and short jazzy aerobic melodies on the title track as equally as the sickeningly cheesy zippo lighter/mobile torch-raised-in-the-air clean vocals on tracks such as “Inspire”, “I’ve Seen It All” and the nasally “Gates of Paradise”. Consequently, there are trace amounts of grit on this album; barely any part of “So What"” offers and sense of spite or danger which, ultimately, badly contradicts the serious charisma of the band. Think of everything you hate about metalcore and combine that with whatever excites you about this band and that is exactly what their new album sounds like.

Every piece of While She Sleeps’ music gravitates around discovering inner courage and/or uniting against a common enemy. Ironically, this splits an audience into finding that approach either spiritedly uplifting or nauseatingly dull. Songs like “The Guilty Party” and “Back of my Mind” have chest-thumping riffs and anthemic choruses that somewhat make you want to take a stand. Yet, the same songs project such uninspired copy & paste metalcore characteristics- isolated singing against glimmering melodies, predictable mosh calls, replacing lyrics with ‘woah’, harsh verses and soft choruses etc. Plus, the amount of times this album fades in and out to expose some recluse sense of fragility is downright irritating. Not only do these techniques make the band’s sincerely delivered messages sound weak, but you even find yourself disagreeing with them because of how monotonous it all sounds. If you want the world to be a better place then stop reminding everyone how bloody awful it is.

Despite containing some great melodic hooks, “So What"” is easily While She Sleeps’ softest, angstiest and unoriginal album to date, and the lurking ‘but…’ has never been so apparent here. To quote Korg from ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, it’s like While She Sleeps tried to start a revolution but didn’t print enough pamphlets. Those that enjoy the tried and tested metalcore aspects that concluded the genre’s downfall will find plenty you love about “So What"”, those that hate those aspects will find plenty to love in literally anything else.



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user ratings (100)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
ButtBoy (2.5)
The Sleeps Brothers are putting me to sleep...

MrToothbrush (3)
So Far, So Good... So Rated T For Teen...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Chamberbelain
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2019


135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Excuse the lack of question marks in this review, the website still doesn't recognise them. Anyway, this is pretty naff.

Scheumke
March 1st 2019


390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listening now. Yeah this lacks teeth. Pretty harmless easy listening metalcore but it gets boring when thinking how often it's done better before.

Digging: Saor - Forgotten Paths

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2019


14170 Comments


band has always been overrated as fuck tbh

Digging: Brian Eno and David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Krvst
March 1st 2019


456 Comments


"pretty naff" sums this up perfectly. Good review.

Asura14
March 1st 2019


193 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ah man, the singles got me a little scared... I loved their first 2 LPs and YAW was slightly worse but still enjoyable, still have some hope tho, time to go listen to this.



Also good review, one thing you said that really stuck with me was " barely any part of “So What"” offers and sense of spite or danger which, ultimately, badly contradicts the serious charisma of the band", if I find this to be true as well I'll be incredibly disappointed

Digging: While She Sleeps - So What?

Dedicated1
March 1st 2019


109 Comments


Album is better than the singles initially suggested. Need to listen again before deciding on a rating.

Sinternet
March 1st 2019


18780 Comments


'combined with what excites you about While She Sleeps.'

ahh so nothing then

Digging: Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2019


9381 Comments


Idk

Chamberbelain
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2019


135 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

@sinternet. That's exactly what I wanted to get across. It's a simple formula: how much you enjoy this album is the outcome how much you a) like the band and b) how much you can tolerate cliche metalcore.

Toondude10
March 1st 2019


13735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought this was okay, but man they really need someone to help them with their vocal mixing, it's always been terrible



actually thought this was better than You Are We tbh

MuhNamesTyler
March 1st 2019


6498 Comments


That album title.

I don’t like it

ItsTheSquirrel
March 1st 2019


199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the last paragraph is supposed to say most unoriginal, otherwise good review



The album on the other hand, not so much

Digging: Children of Bodom - Hexed

Gyromania
March 1st 2019


26585 Comments


so what?

ProjectFreak
March 1st 2019


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

these lyrics sound like they were stolen from the last three Rise Against albums

ATallColdGlassOfHops
March 1st 2019


8 Comments


Loved two tracks off the last album, the rest was boring.

ATallColdGlassOfHops
March 1st 2019


8 Comments


Oops wrong account.

DatsNotDaMetulz
March 1st 2019


3806 Comments


I must be in the minority that thinks Loz's voice changed after he ruined his voice a few years back, it became more clear he'd adapted his technique to do less damage. Probably had some coaching and that made him sound a bit different. I'm not as big a fan of the new vocal style, but understand it if it is preserving his voice a bit more.

CugnoBrasso
March 1st 2019


521 Comments


I wanted to say something but Sint already said it. Guess I'm here just to say hi then.

ProjectFreak
March 1st 2019


3438 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

every time there's a moderately interesting musical idea they go and do something stupid with it like that awful pseudo-rapping in Back of My Mind. production's actually kinda nice -- overpolished sure but it's clear. unfortunately the lyrics are so, so bad and it's all painfully generic

geezers1989
March 1st 2019


223 Comments


never understood the hype for this band tbh, they sound like an early-2000s core holdover



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