Dropping a record label and opting to release an album independently through Pledge Music is a risky move in anyone’s eyes. But almost a week after the release after While She Sleep’s third album You Are We the risk certainly appears to have paid off for the Sheffield based five piece. The album is set to chart strongly, in the top ten in fact, which just about does justice to the quality of this album.
For the last half a decade or so, While She Sleeps have been one of the most interesting and hardworking British based metal bands around, the previous two releases This is the Six and Brainwashed were both great in their own right and although both were jam packed with well-crafted, riff heavy, metal bangers, they didn’t appear to gain the plaudits that they deserved. You are We then, is the best release of the bands short career to date. As an audio experience, the record is crammed with challenging twists and turns, whilst also being equal parts catchy and heavy.
One of the stand out factors of the album is the vocal interplay between Loz Taylor and Mat Welsh, with the latter being more prevalent than he has on previous releases, offering a constant opposition to the screamed vocal delivered by Loz. This is apparent from the get go, You are We and Steal the Sun being clear examples of this, however by track three we are given an example of this at its best, and everything else that makes this album great, in the confines of the four and a half minute Feel. Led by punishing riffs and intricate guitar lines, intertwined amongst this dual vocal attack, the track is topped off by a massive chorus feel has all the makings of a rock club classic. It’s strange that this should be the case because the songs are far from simple in terms of structure or delivery for the duration the album. But there are more than enough commercially friendly nuances at play to ensure that You Are We It would appeal to a mass audience.
Silence Speaks features a brief appearance from Bring me the Horizon’s Oli Sykes, a fellow Sheffield’er and friend of the band, he lends his vocal to an aggressive middle section. Its great to hear him belt it out again and having a foot planted within the world of heavy music. The appearance acts as a metaphorical ‘passing of the baton’ of heavy British bands, with BMTH opting for a much more radio driven sound moving forward it would seem.
Off the back of an album as good as this, it’s not an unreasonable proposition to place WSS on a pedastal this high, they sound fresh, vibrant and full of ideas, and have every right to be deemed the next face of British heavy music… no pressure eyy lads.