While She Sleeps have returned with a stunning sophomore album, showcasing an incredible drive forward from their début studio album This Is The Six that had topped charts in 2012. Any evidence of Brainwashed having been halted in production, for lead vocalist Lawrence Taylor to receive surgery to save his vocal chords last year, is completely destroyed throughout the album, making it very difficult to even consider pressing pause.
A short introduction of voices starts the record, as though you’re in a crowd within an intimate venue waiting for the band to take the stage- as a matter of fact, this album feels catered for the band’s legions of screaming fans to scream right back to them on stage. The energy and elements of background vocals within most tracks gives you that feeling of a live performance as you listen from your laptop or phone, with “New World Torture” being the perfect kickoff to the illusion.
Another item worthy of respect is how confident While She Sleeps are in lacing their vicious sound with their equally impressive soft aspects, “We Are Alive At Night” providing a brief intermission of gentle strumming, before allowing listeners to be thrown back into the music with “Our Legacy.” Towards the end of the album, “The Woods” once again paints a softer picture with the sounds of a flickering fire, the gentle guitar building up into the wild “Method In Madness.”
A band like While She Sleeps knowing exactly when to step back their intense presence, and doing so confidently in such a an intense region of the music industry, indeed builds up their legacy.
Track number five “Four Walls” begins with soft, group vocals before diving headfirst into the album’s energetic character and is one of the songs off Brainwashed to stand out strong, one fans would surely strive to witness live, with the guitars and vocals providing a pairing to reckon with- much like “Method In Madness.” The album is then brought to a close with an excellent execution of their intensity with just enough of a lighter undertow to bring you down from the album’s soaring energy.
Brainwashed is not an album to leave out of your collection.