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Album Review

While She Sleeps – ‘Sleeps Society’ [Album Review]

Sheffield metalcore bruisers While She Sleeps take on the music industry with their game-changing fifth album, ‘Sleeps Society.’



From the ’80s hard rock of Def Leppard to the expansive modern rock of Bring Me The Horizon, the Yorkshire city of Sheffield has spawned some massive acts over the years. Bruising metalcore quintet While She Sleeps fly the flag for the heavier end of Steel City’s music scene with their #mosh-friendly anthems and, with the release of Sleeps Society, the band is hoping to become a game-changer for the music scene.

Sleeps Society is the Sheffield outfit’s fifth offering and, if you thought their 2017 disc, So What?, was a banger, strap yourself in for this one. Built around the Sleeps Society, a model the group hopes kickstarts a shifting landscape for bands, artists and fans in the music industry, Sleeps Society is a massive statement. In these challenging times, the membership-based model is a brave one but one the group confidently claims “ensures a solid future for WSS and creates a new model of survival for artists and bands alike. We will be delivering the highest level of fan involvement and fostering a symbiotic relationship as the Sleeps Society becomes an integral part of Sleeps’ existence.”

Of course, the band should be applauded for tackling the music industry head-on, but have they got the steel balls to back it up with material worthy of what they’re asking? Well, by the time opener “Enlightenment” has slammed you into the nearest wall, you’ll be pleased to know the answer is a resounding yes! Sure, So What? put a rocket up the arse of the British metal scene, however, it pales when held up against the material on Sleeps Society. Aggro-laced samples, thumping electronics, and slick melodies are all flung into the midst of that thunderous circle-pit inciting metal While She Sleeps do so fucking well. Metallic-laced anthems like “Systematic” and “Know Your Worth (Somebody)” may be terrifyingly ferocious but they are also arena level in terms of quality and that’s just picking out two of the highlights on this beast of an album.

The mental health-inspired “Nervous” featuring Biffy Clyro’s frontman Simon Neil is an emotion-shattering four minutes while “No Defeat For The Brave” featuring Sum 41 vocalist Deryck Whibley is a staple WSS punk-metal neck-wrecker wrapped up in some humungous melodies. Elsewhere, the dramatic “Division Street” is a complete tempo-changer for the record but one that shows a different side to the band while the title track is the kind of attention-grabbing manifesto for which any politician would give their firstborn.

At its heavier end, Sleeps Society sees WSS taking what they do and packing even more mosh into their rage whilst, at the other end, tracks like “Call Of The Void” show off a more expansive approach to their songwriting. Either way, as the album comes to a gentle but dramatic end with the powerful “DN3 3HT,” what started out as a brave move on paper, could quite possibly end up being the instigator for one of the biggest game-changing projects the music industry has seen in a long time.

If you want to find out more about Sleeps Society, click here.

Sleeps Society Track Listing:

1. Enlightenment
2. You Are All You Need
3. Systematic
4. Nervous (feat. Simon Neil)
5. Pyai
6. Know Your Worth (Somebody)
7. No Defeat For The Brave (feat. Deryck Whibley)
8. Division Street
9. Sleeps Society
10. Call Of The Void (feat. Sleeps Society)
11. Dn3 3ht

Run Time: 44:30
Release Date: April 16, 2021
Record Label: Search & Destroy / Spinefarm

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.