In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, While She Sleeps have thrown caution to the wind on ‘SO WHAT?’, their fourth studio album in 13 years.
Still heavy with the weight of crushing riffs and pummelling percussions (Adam Savage’s drumming is gloriously ruthless), the Sheffield quintet have taken the most brutal aspects of 2017’s ‘You Are We’ and bulked them up with surprise synths and electronic complexities.
Those technical touches creep in on ‘INSPIRE’, paired with an equally-unexpected, albeit brief, rap section, before the usual bought of soaring metal ensues. The rap vocals return on ‘BACK OF MY MIND’, layered over quick beats and a double bass pedal that will blow your socks off.
While it’s not quite the genre-shift adopted by fellow Sheffield metallers Bring Me The Horizon, ‘SO WHAT?’ is While She Sleeps playing to their strengths, and then throwing them in the kind of giant blender only accomplished musicians have access to.
The album’s title track is the sound of the six-piece crafting an irresistible chorus, built on a mountain of adrenaline and confidence, with lead single ‘ANTI-SOCIAL’ following suit, equipped with atomic hooks and piercing guitar parts. The kind of riffs you can’t help but sing aloud.
Lyrically, While She Sleeps are confronting the growing demons among society. Unsettled, untrustworthy and unstable; the focus is fixed on the fragmented landscape they found themselves in while writing, utilising their self-built Sleeps Audio studio complex in Sheffield as an escape to record.
“Stop the world I want to get off,” sneers Loz Taylor on ‘ELEPHANT’, a track which stares down the barrel at the unspoken issues in society.
While ‘SO WHAT?’ does much more than arm While She Sleeps with another solid release to tour the world with (namely creating anthems to address societal fears and equipping likeminded fans with an empowering soundtrack), the strength of these songs should enable them to conquer even bigger stages on their own terms.
While She Sleeps also released the following documentary to coincide with the album release.
So What? The Documentary is out now. We wanted to capture the parts of making a record that are never promoted or talked about. It’s hard to see through the eyes of social media that life happens before music. You get to see the absolute end product of an artists work in one scroll or less these days. We wanted a fly on the wall to capture the inside workings of our band and life as to give you an insight into what really goes into making an album. This is very personal to us so we hope you enjoy it and respect our trust in you by showing you this.Director: Roscoe NeilDirector of Photography: Jess JamesAdditional Camera: Roscoe Neil & Dave Galloway Editor and Colourist: Roscoe NeilSound Mix: Mathew BirchOriginal Music: Joe Cowiewww.roscoeneil.comwww.jessjames.co.ukwww.davegalloway.co.uk