Album Review: While She Sleeps – Brainwashed (Sony Music)

The Divide is a 52 second opener with the increasing volume of people shouting before New World Torture knocks the door down. Brutally heavy but with bags of melody (as well as clean vocals at times) this is a different While She Sleeps. Incredibly listenable with some top riffs & great sing-along gang vocals.

Your Evolution has a stormy opening but a beat that kicks things up a gear is incredible. This is an evolved Sleeps song with so much going on. They’ve taken their hard-core styling & mixed it with riffs that wouldn’t seem out of place on any mainstream metal record. The vocals that kick in after the slow section are brilliant & this is going to sound amazing live.

The album title song, Brainwashed is aggressive to the ears & the paciest number so far. The change in direction shortly after the first minute is extremely welcome with some great guitar work. The scream of ‘we’re being brainwashed’ mixed with insane head-banging riffs is a killer closer.

The slow melodic tones of We Are Alive At Night serve as a break from frantic pace so far.

Your fist will rise in the air as soon as Our Legacy kicks in. The guitar solo just after the opening minute is a great surprise & it fits so well with the overall tone of the song. This is something special & showcases a band really comfortable with what they are creating.

Four Walls slow opening beat & gang vocals is just a precursor to the chaos that follows shortly afterwards. The drum picks up speed leading into the explosive vocals perfectly. This is way more like early While She Sleeps at times with roars & screams of pure fury. The drum beat & riff that backs up the chorus is epic & there are so many subtle things going on.

The more hardcore edge returns for Torment but with amazing pacing & some really well placed flurries of guitar that makes this the best song on the album. Incredibly heavy throughout this might even be the best song While She Sleeps have ever created.

Kangaezu Ni is another break from the heavy & is surprisingly beautiful for its short length.

The opening riff of Life in Tension will be playing over in your head for plenty of time afterwards. Another strong showing even if it isn’t as inspired vocally as other songs on the album.

Trophies of Violence’s eerie electronic sounds that open the song lead into a nice drum beat backed up by guitars. It’s a song that builds & builds…when it reaches boiling point it is insane. Heavy & with vocals that are so far removed from hardcore, this is another surprise of a song.

The final song on the album No Sides, No Enemies will have you head-banging along from the start. Everything that has come before is in this song & it feels like the culmination of a journey for both the band & the listener. It’s a strong finish that makes you want to go back to the start & listen to it all over again.

The Deluxe Edition comes with an additional 3 songs the first of which is The Woods & is a mixture of chatter & some guitar melodies playing out. It’s a short number & Method of Madness follows it with pure brutality & aggression sounding like it could have belonged on the first album. The final bonus track is Modern Minds & opens with some gang vocals that lead into an absolutely amazing guitar riff. You don’t want it to end & there is a slight disappointment when it turns into a more ‘traditional’ Sleeps song. Not that means it is a bad song, no way…it fact it’s so good that those who don’t have the deluxe edition will be kicking themselves.

While She Sleeps - Brainwashed (Sony Music)
  • 9.5/10
    The Final Score - 9.5/10
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