Review || Sleep Waker - "Alias"

Sleep Waker released their latest work, titled  "Alias", on July 23rd 2021 via UNFD and let me tell you, it was the album we didn't know we need. It comes three years after the band's debut, "Don't Look At The Moon", and in a little over 30' takes the listener on a dystopian voyage. 

The album is heavy through and through, as the Grand Rapids act unfolds a crushing reality, founded on modern metalcore with compelling layered melodies and a ton of groove through their experimentation. And while you would expect nothing less than a bruising encounter, the quintet cleverly turns the compositions on their head and constantly introduce new structural elements; unbridled technical riffage, ambient intros and outros, layers of synth magic complimenting the outcome, you name it. I am amazed how well Sleep Waker is able to fuse such diverse influences and sounds, from djent to nu metal to industrial, in a messy creative salad and still employ each and every element in their disposal at its full potential, to the extent that it all blends together seamlessly and actually makes sense. 

On a similar note, the vocals explore a great range of emotions, showcasing vocalist Hunter Courtright's stunning capabilities. His tone transforms into the playground that the rest of the instruments create; whether the narrative be harrowing or fearful, the result is always soulful and intriguing. Take "Distance", the final track (and a very personal favorite) for example. While the guitars shape a sound fitting into the melodic -core spectrum, the vocals don't follow along. Instead, we are met with a balanced combination of shout-like technique and low screams in the verses, almost contrasting the sentiment. The ferocity doubles down in the chorus, contrary to what one would expect, while a certain melody is always present regardless of the screaming style, which I find very interesting. I'm not sure if he's the one delving into the hauntingly beautiful cleans too, but the combination of the two in some of the songs hits very hard. 

Overall, "Alias" is a phenomenal album. It's dark, groovy, but not mentally taxing and allows Sleep Waker to shine bright in their own unique way through a sea of uninspired metalcore. The resurgence of metalcore in the recent years has seen a lot of bands trying to pull off what the quintet did almost effortlessly and failing miserably, but these guys manage to push their boundaries hammering out an almost nightmarish landscape. It's my second favorite release in the genre so far in 2021 (the second on UNFD too) and has rightfully earned a spot high in my yearlist.

Share on Google Plus

0 σχόλια :

Post a Comment