While She Sleeps – Sleep Society (Spinefarm)

Sunday, 11th April 2021
Rating: 8/10

One piece that modern metal has going for it, is that there’s a lot of wiggle room. Bands are free to incorporate a number of ‘non-metal’ influences and give their sound a fresh twist, usually to minimal blowback. So there’s a ripe amount of experimentation and potential to be found. While She Sleeps has been gaining a lot of ground in the last few years, and Sleep Society feels like their most ambitious release to date.

Merging metallic, rock, and ‘core elements together into a catchy yet satisfyingly heavy mix is what Sleep Society is all about. There’s additive hooks from both the instrumental and vocal side of things, but there’s also no shortage of driving riffs that are soaked in just enough crunch to give it some weight. A perfect example of this would be “Know Your Worth (Somebody),” where metallic and slightly proggy-sounding riffing and shouts break open into a uplifting and catchy chorus that avoids becoming too melodic that it breaks the momentum. That said, there’s a variety of tracks on Sleep Society, and they do run the gamut from heavier numbers to some more rock-oriented and melodic. Heavier songs like the title track and “You Are All You Need” feed off of pulsating energy as they provide strong grooves and upbeat tempos. But other songs like the softer “Division Street” and interlude “Pyai” give more introspective moments for the listener to catch up. The one weak point is closer “DN3 3HT,” which has gentle spoken word over more ambient feelings and it means well but drags after the first listen as it sits at 7-minutes in length.

Sleep Society has just the right formula for While She Sleeps to break into a much larger market. The metallic backing hasn’t lost any energy, and the forays into more diverse territories are sure to draw in a larger crowd from the rock spectrum. This band is ready to spread their wings.

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