“Dead Behind The Eyes”
August 13, 2012 - Search And Destroy
Opening with the Motörhead-meets-At The Gates blast of “Dead Behind The Eyes”, While She Sleeps do not waste time in making an impression. Loud, fast and designed to instigate bar brawls, it’s a monster of a track—and perhaps the best here—but this does not mean that This Is The Six is lacking in intensity elsewhere. Having first garnered attention with 2010’s The North Stands For Nothing mini-album, the quintet—who hail from Bring Me The Horizon’s hometown of Sheffield, U.K.—up the ante across the board, churning out armor-plated anthems by the fistful, for the most part avoiding the one-dimensionality that plagues far too many of those born of the metalcore gene pool.
Among the best are the frantic “Seven Hills” (its deranged energy contrasting with a mournful tone that undercuts the music), the piano-tinged, desperate “Our Courage, Our Cancer” and “Love At War” (which borders on heartbreaking in between passages dripping with contempt). At the same time, the belligerence of the hardcore-flavored “Be(lie)ve” and juddering violence of “Until The Death” do an effective job of wrecking everything before them. The band’s greatest weapon lies in the vocals of Lawrence “Loz” Taylor, whose approach seems born of a desire to be coughing up blood the rest of his life (in a good way, of course). Every scream sounds torn from his body, his intensity never wavering as he delivers a commanding performance rife with emotion.
A couple of forgettable tracks let the album down a little, though you never have to wait long before another arrives to seize you by the throat. There is also no denying the band’s confident, in-your-face swagger, and this makes for a compelling album that places an exciting young band firmly on the map.