Sleep Waker
Alias


3.0
good

Review

by theblacklodge USER (14 Reviews)
August 9th, 2021 | 19 replies


Release Date: 07/23/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cut veggies to this...

Have you memorized every word to Johnny Booth’s, “Firsthand Accounts”? Did you listen to it everyday for a month when you got it? Has it’s luster and energy lessened with time? Have you been restlessly searching for the metalcore fix that will calm the mosh-monster lurking under your skin? Well, Sleep Waker could be the antidote. The quintet hail from Grand Rapids, MI and have released a polished and thoughtfully-crafted second full length on UNFD.

While Johnny Booth’s classic from 2019 was full of uncompromising energy and groove, Sleep Waker lose Booth’s unhinged rambunctiousness and instead showcase a more electronic and atmospheric sound. The convergence of these two musical aspects has certainly been tried before. Northlane attempted this with 2019’s “Alien” and left much to be desired. Loathe released “I Let It In and it Took Everything” in 2020 and was a bit more successful. To be completely honest, if you have picked up any of these aforementioned releases already, you will harvest nothing new. It is just another big pile of riffs and breakdowns, but with a bit of depth most modern metalcore tends to skip over.

The lyrical content is actually compelling at moments. Topics like simulation hypothesis, dreams, insomnia and loss are woven throughout the track listing. The topics explored by our narrator create an air of confusion, frustration and anxiety that conceptually heighten the feel of the record. There is a futuristic, almost cyberpunk vibe found within the music, also mirrored by the album’s artwork. The electronic elements also help reinforce the concept at hand. These focused efforts help to make this record interesting, or at least interesting enough.

With all the cool things going on here, there are issues. The song structures are unoriginal and fall too nicely into the metalcore mold so prevalent these days. Riff like crazy right into a clean sung chorus, back to riffs for a bit, then to an atmospheric bridge and then the breakdown. And unfortunately, our narrator barks like a dog to welcome riffs, and screams “GO!” at another point, which pulls me immediately out of the futuristic dream world they spent so much time making believable. One of the more intriguing tracks on the record is an interlude entitled “Cold Moon” that embraces the atmosphere, and doesn’t particularly try to do anything. It’s a shame, because it would have been easy enough to flesh out the idea and give the record a song that isn’t typical. “Melatonin” has a killer riff that bookends the track, but it’s just kind of boring otherwise. And the lyrical content during the breakdown, "Melatonin dreams haunting me, ***!" I mean, c'mon guys...

Strange then that I still enjoy this release. Aside from the vocal phrasing in the beginning of "Distance" the song is absolutely killer. The production, vibe and overall tone is murky and a bit scary. There is a haunting quality that gives this album a leg up over the rest of the pack. On a side note, I rarely find metalcore that I can play in the house and enjoy. It tends to find more of a home in the truck, where it’s simple energy and speaker pushing rhythms keep me awake as I commute. But this release is interesting, and sounds good, and I think it's head-nodding energy shaved 5 minutes off of my prep time making last night’s dinner. This one has a “get up and go” as well as a “sit down and think” which is hard to find these days in this genre. Solid second record for a young band struggling to be heard in a sea of similar bands.



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user ratings (25)
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
SitarHero
August 10th 2021


13581 Comments


Wait, what does this have to do with Johnny Booth?

[edit] Nvm I get it now. This isn't too bad.

Purpl3Spartan
August 10th 2021


1219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review’s pretty good. Nice write up!

I def like this more than you, but with the song “Alias”, I feel like you nailed that song with the points in this review. It’s by far the worst song on here

Digging: Invent Animate - The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was

veninblazer
August 10th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

two songs in and the two albums you namedropped already shit on this

edit: yeah this is pretty boring outside the interlude and the closer

butt.
August 11th 2021


9051 Comments


Band kinda sucks poop tbh

Lord(e)Po)))ts
August 11th 2021


67115 Comments


Sometimes you really can judge an album by it's cover

SteakByrnes
August 11th 2021


24787 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whole thing went in one ear and out the other, nothing of substance here

Digging: Invent Animate - The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was

veninblazer
August 11th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i remember this one asshole recommended them to me when their debut came out and got mad when i didn't like the over-reliance on low-tuned bullshit without much substance. then later he got outed for being a predator. good times.

@steak: somehow the debut is even worse about it

KenboSlice
August 11th 2021


3661 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dig it

veninblazer
August 11th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Alien is so much better than this that it's ridiculous.

KenboSlice
August 12th 2021


3661 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No

Purpl3Spartan
August 12th 2021


1219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lolol

veninblazer
August 12th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wow look how cool you are for preferring the poor man's edition of one of 2019's best albums

SitarHero
August 12th 2021


13581 Comments


Lol take a deep breath. Some people like this album. It's okay.

KenboSlice
August 12th 2021


3661 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Veninblazer is just mad because Marcuslane sucks

Purpl3Spartan
August 12th 2021


1219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shots fired

veninblazer
August 12th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Marcuslane is like 15 steps above this effectively ripoff with worse production and vocals

butt.
August 13th 2021


9051 Comments


Band farts hard

veninblazer
August 13th 2021


12397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Band farts hard [2]

KenboSlice
August 13th 2021


3661 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"this effectively ripoff"



I see you're about 15 years behind on the English language



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