While She Sleeps : This Is The Six

The album

This Is the Six is British band While She Sleep’s second album, released in May 2012.

Firstable, I have to say that the kind of music this Sheffield band makes is not the kind of music I usually listen to at all, and I’m afraid it plays a lot in the mark I would award it though it’s quite endowed with remarkable qualities.

The first of them, as ridiculous at it may appear it that it’s listenable. There is countless of metal bands we could easily list which works are just not bearable, only by their sound.

The strength of this album is a meticulously controlled conveyance of violence diluted with something softer to create unique pieces. Indeed, in some of the tracks like False Freedom, a certain balance with violent bits and softer ones is set which by joining towards the end of the song appear like a perfect association.

Moreover, the intro of many songs are strikingly powerful and remarkable, which can leave a really good impression for what is an important sequence to get the listener very quickly into the atmosphere of the song and in particular for “Seven Hills”, which I personally recognize as one of the best pieces in this album; not only with its great intro but the impressive guitar pieces which are extremely well associated with the drums leading to a very good finish.

The rhythm is also very lively for many of the tracks notably in “Our Courage, Our Cancer”, “This Is the Six” and “Be(lie)ve”  .

About halfway through the album, “The Chapel” is, appearing like a break by its position, and the work on it really offers an outstanding track; while taking us miles away or even worlds away from the rest of the album, it sounds sinister enough with a threatening calm, like when being caught in the eye of a hurricane. We thus fully understand its position there and this is a perfect reflection of how this album has been completely thought in the composition throughout. To this specific point we could add track titles like “This is The Six” which couldn’t have been another track but #6 and “Be(lie)ve” where (lie)s and interesting game of words with the punctuation.

Towards the end of the album, we can find “Love at war” which round circle construction finally opening with the message “Carry on” personally makes it one of the greatest pieces of this album together with “Seven Hills”.  After the disappointing track that is “The Plague of a New Age”, the album closes with “Reunite” which by echoing their first album, The North Stands For Nothing, widely not referred as the first because of being a mini-album (which still contains no less than 8 tracks….), lets appear through what sounds as a meaningless and purposeless political message, that is to say not that much of a great finish for this album that is in overall, I however have to say, as a conclusion, a good one to me for these great qualities I managed to spot, although not being a faithful listener of this kind of music, the main one being the attention that this album has the impressive ability to draw, and therefore will make you want to listen the whole way through, no matter what.

4.5 / 10

The video :

Welcome to a black and white world (how original for a metal band), made of hats covering long-haired heads, sometimes with tattoos starting to appears at the back of the neck and going down the body. A world where everyone looks and acts like they don’t have an age and where there are quite a few smoked cigarettes in a short period of time.
This Is The Six Full Studio Diary is quite an interesting video showing how the While She Sleeps worked on their last album emphasizing on some details of the production as well and others about the band members’ personal lives. It is thus something not to miss AT ALL if you are a fan. And even if you’re not, I believe that it is quite advisable if you want to learn about modern musical production itself ; the producer of the band at one point showing and sharing the material they had available to produce the album, which we learn they did a year ago. The only negative aspect would be the filming, which we really have to say is bad, at some points. There is just no stabilisation at all ! I understand that it is really good to want to use the camera freely as making feel the viewer as part of the adventure almost as a member of the band, but it comes across so bad on the screen that in the end we believe that the person filming was much more into what they were saying than what he was doing himself! This is a shame really, especially considering the remarkable editing work done on it with the use of very efficient effects at key points in the video and the nice use of focus at some others. Thankfully, this negative aspect doesn’t go on the whole video through and in the end we keep a good impression from the choices made for this video in terms of content and a very good structure to make us understand step by step how the process took place and how the different members of the group got involved in the production of their album.

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