While She Sleeps are undoubtedly one of those bands that keep their relationships with their fans close. Their third studio album You Are We was paid for in full by their fans via a pledgemusic page, with the Sheffield metalcore sluggers ditching the help of labels and record companies. This project was by the fans and for the fans, and following the excellent album Brainwashed, While She Sleeps had a lot to pull out of the bag. The question being spoken around the country is simply “is it any good?” YEAH, it’s fucking good.
Opening track and title track You Are We serves as an introduction that is both brutal and polished- the perfect opening, hinting at the contents of the album to be alike the violent track, filled with political lashings served via an undoubtedly belligerent breakdown. Leading into political powerhouse Steal the Sun, following the title-track’s violent approach, this time in a seemingly more controlled manner, delivering a perfectly beltable chorus and mean guitars.
The album develops into a politically charged riot with the monstrously riffy and uniting track Feel, and continues with the powerful “we’re building walls where there should’ve been bridges” line found in follow-up Empire of Silence, showing While She Sleeps’ impressive political chops, clearly demonstrating that You Are We isn’t simply an album to be taken in its audience’s stride, but stands as a statement, a beckoning, an outcry. The band are so clearly calling for a chance in the modern age’s seemingly cataclysmic political climate, and this album is absolutely the kick up the arse to the public that Sleeps wanted to deliver.
Familiar anthem Silence Speaks rings out, with the impressive return-to-form guest vocal spot from Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon fame, adding an exciting edge to an already powerful song with a message beckoned throughout the album. Following this, the album follows the familiar monstrous riffs and crushing breakdowns While She Sleeps are expected to deliver following their previous well-received albums This is the Six and Brainwashed, carrying their political voices through both aggressive accusation and shaming, but also in a way to incite uprising amongst listeners, easily forcing them to take the side of the Sheffield mob.
The tracks across You Are We are instant anthems, with each track giving way for intense singalongs, hostile pits and an uprising, led by the bold and trusted While She Sleeps bearing torches and the spirit to tear down any corporate force. The band have developed into the best version of themselves that they could have- their sound has been stapled into the British Metalcore scene, and one of those bands that will never really go away- even if the band move on, their message and heart will burn on to influence more and more, which absolutely proves While She Sleeps to have accomplished what they set out to do have accomplished what they set out to do with You Are We.