While A Nation Sleeps...

Written by: PP on 24/08/2013 14:18:47

"The Misery Index: Notes From The Plague Years" was released seven years ago, which saw Boysetsfire adjust their soundscape significantly away from the classic early Funeral For A Friend style anthemic post-hardcore to a grittier, more aggression-laden sound. It was a necessary change the revitalized their sound in a genre that was already then feeling saturated and bland, and pushed the band into even more success than their landmark album "After The Eulogy" did back in 2000. They've been on hiatus for a long period since then, but 2013 sees the return of one of the most beloved bands in the genre with a new album called "While A Nation Sleeps...", a politically charged post-hardcore album that takes you straight back to a memory lane circa change-of-the-millennium.

If you were expecting more of the uncontrollable hardcore moments from "Misery Index.." and a sound firmly rooted in emotional hardcore, then you're going to be a tad disappointed with this album. Basically, it's a direct throwback to the "After The Eulogy" sound, a return to a more anthemic post-hardcore style that follows the classic sing/scream, quiet/loud dynamic like the last decade in music never happened. It sounds incredibly dated and, in many cases, outright uninspiring, this despite carrying a handful of songs that recall the classic moments like "Handful Of Redemption", "Rookie" or "Eviction Article".

Singer Nathan Gray still sounds like someone is tearing his heart off his chest with bare hands, delivering an emotionally torn, impassioned scream throughout the record that's difficult to become friends with at first. This is because of his raw, unfiltered style that's a far cry from the polished and autotune-corrected pitches of other artists in the genre, so even though it takes a few extra listens to get used to, it's worth it for its brutal honesty. In fact, it's not just Gray that sounds raw on "While A Nation Sleeps...", it's also the instruments and the whole soundscape in general. It has a sense of urgency that many post-hardcore records simply don't possess because of modern production values.

So what I'm saying is that "While A Nation Sleeps..." is a solid post-hardcore record, but it suffers from a dated sound and a lack of aggression that made "Misery Index" so good. While you can appreciate the song structures, the anthemic melodies, and all that, the fact of the matter is that you feel like you're listening to a 10-year-old release 10 years too late.


Download: Heads Will Roll, Phone Call, Until Nothing Remains, Let It Bleed
For the fans of: Funeral For A Friend, Parties Break Hearts, The Blackout Argument
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.06.2013
Bridge 9 Records

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