Between their debut ‘This Is the Six’ and its follow up ‘Brainwashed’ While She Sleeps have established themselves as one of the best metalcore bands that the UK has to offer. With their third album You Are We, they take their first steps as a band independent from record labels, releasing the album through fan funding.
Opening with title track You Are We, the album ignites with an exclamation of those three words, highlighting the connection between the band themselves and their fans. Somewhat evident through the singles from this album (Civil Isolation, Hurricane, You Are We and Silence Speaks) is that the melodic aspect, and particularly Mat Welsh’s vocals, have been bought to the forefront a lot more than While She Sleeps’ previous releases. Whilst this may leave fans, such as myself, of Sleeps’s heavier stuff (E.g. Brainwashed, Be(lie)ve) somewhat wanting, that by no means marks a lack of quality on this record. If anything this record sees the band expand themselves and really experiment with overlapping vocals, and can easily be argued to be the best vocal performance from both Loz’s heavy vocals and Mat’s melodic vocals of any previous release. Furthermore the group vocals on tracks such as Feel, Empire of Silence and Settle Down Society and the guest vocals of Oli Sykes on Silence Speaks add significance weight to this record.
Whilst the vocal evolution of While She Sleeps may take forefront in this record, this record also confirms that Sean Long and Mat Welsh are some of the best riff writers in their scene. It’s hard to believe that after two riff laden records they will continue to write such brilliantly heavy but accessible riffs. There should also be special mention to both Adam Savage on drums and Aaran Mckenzie on Bass, who both do a brilliant job at maintaining the still aggressive pulse of the record. It should also be noted that this is the best drumming performance of any Sleeps record.
On You Are We, While She Sleeps take their signature sound and further enhance this with a brilliant playoff between Loz and Mat’s vocals. Coupling this with the ever consistent guitar work of Mat and Sean, and the best drum performance on any Sleeps record and you get an album which can easily hold its own against any of its outstanding predecessors. You Are We unsurprisingly is a phenomenal record from While She Sleeps which further cements them as one of the best metal bands the this country has to offer.