While She Sleeps have had a great year. From sticking two fingers to the record label and crowdfunding their album, to getting a top ten release, the lads have really outdone themselves this in 2017. It just goes to show that hard work really does pay off, and it paid off big time. With a record as impressive as You Are We it’s no wonder the larger metal community is finally taking notice of the best young band in Britain.
It’s apparent how much maturer the songwriting is on this release right from the self-titled opening track, You are We. Every second feels meticulously crafted from the thunderous riffs to the acoustic intro, its the perfect opener. While every band member is performing on 10’s here, the second track Steal the Sun demonstrates how much guitarist Matt Welsh has improved his backing vocals. Calling them backing vocals almost feels like a disservice in fact, as the interplay between him and Loz feels so effortless and fits perfectly, much like Darren and Serj from System of a Down. The way he spits some of his lines has a Rage Against the Machine feel to them, almost rap-like. Uniquely While She Sleeps.
Huge arena size choruses are here and in a big way. Nearly every track has a fist-pumping, sing-along moments that are desperate to be screamed back by thousands of fans. Empire of Silence is the standout for this, but pick any track and you won’t be disappointed. Every track is single worthy.
It goes without saying really, but the album is full of huge, heavy, While She Sleeps certified riffs. There is no compromise in heaviness here, despite their mainstream success. It was surprising how many of the riffs sound like they could have been on their first EP North Stands for Nothing, especially on the heaviest track on the album, Revolt. The album is a perfect mix of the heaviness of North, the speed of This is the Six and the hardcore of Brainwashed, added with their new maturity in songwriting. The perfect evolution.
You are We is one of this year’s standout records and without a doubt the best metalcore album of the year. It’s been fascinating to watch the album grow from the start of the pledge campaign, to the revealing of the artwork and first singles, and to finally the album release show in Sheffield. Its made a real connection between fan and artist and makes the album that bit more special. With a support slot with Architects at Alexandria Palace and their biggest UK headline tour to date, things are looking even more exciting for While She Sleeps in 2018.