Since the release of debut record “The North Stands For Nothing” in 2010, Sheffield’s While She Sleeps have been on the radar of metalheads across the UK. Fast-forward to today and the metalcore mob have been crowned Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards and received airplay on primetime Radio One – no mean feat for a ‘heavy’ band. To solidify their status as Britain’s hottest property WSS have released their debut album “This Is The Six” on Search and Destroy Records.
Having friends in the likes of Cancer Bats and Comeback Kid, as well as citing influences including Alexisonfire and Refused, While She Sleeps‘ sound is a beautifully chaotic amalgamation of metal and hardcore – debut single and opening track ‘Dead Behind The Eyes’ is a wrecking ball of chuggy, bile-filled destruction. Frontman Lawrence Taylor‘s blood-spitting vocals complement the metallic onslaught in true adrenaline-fuelled fashion with a handful of anthemic choruses and throat-stretching screamalong lyrics designed to make any venue bounce and crumble.
Out of the 12 tracks on the record, at least eight have the potential to be singles; the hooky riffs and catchy lyrics reel you into the angsty world While She Sleeps have created. The production is so remarkably high for a debut record you can lose yourself in the labyrinth of layers. ‘False Freedom’ is a clash of rolling drums, widdly guitars and the fan-friendly chanting of “Fuck belief, this is reason” while ‘Be(lie)ve’ is the perfect example of modern British metal with its relentless pummelling of pounding drums, sludgy shredding and huge anti-establishment chorus of “fuck the law we wrote the order, fuck the bridge ’cause we built the borders”.
Although it’s not just the vocals that make this album, the four other musicians that make up the Yorkshire mosh fiends are unashamedly technical and tighter than the lid on that jar at the back of your cupboard. Whether it’s the wailing guitar of ‘Seven Hills’ or the eardrum-popping drums of ‘Love At War’, or even the emotive piano sections that crop up throughout, While She Sleeps are masters of their craft.
The dozen tracks on offer create one of the best British albums this year and joins the ranks of the North’s gifts to the music world this year along with Hawk Eyes and Black Moth. But While She Sleeps haven’t forgotten their roots in this sudden surge of popularity. ‘Our Courage, Our Cancer’ harks back to ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ by inserting the chorus during one of the few calmer sections of the album and the record’s outro is a gang vocal led adaptation of the same words.
There’s no doubt that While She Sleeps will continue to grow and find fame throughout the world but for this moment they’re ours and we are one of The Six. This record is as much for us as it is for them. Turn it on and turn it up.