Sleep Waker – Alias (Review)

Sleep Waker - AliasThis is the second album from US metal band Sleep Waker.

Alias contains 31 as of modern metalcore spliced with elements of electronica and ambience.

The songs are short and energetic, throwing out thick burly guitars and angry shouts with adrenaline-soaked metalcore enthusiasm. The band use a variety moods and paces that they’re comfortable with. Although the majority of Alias is mid-paced, as you would expect, the band aren’t afraid to either slow down or speed up, when the occasion demands it.

The central, heavy side of the band is that of a classic hardcore act injected with a metallic djent booster; it occasionally reminds me of some of the metalcore/hardcore bands of the 2000s mixed with a bit of Meshuggah. You can hear some earlier nu-metal too, (Spineshank, for example). I can also sometimes hear a bit of modern In Flames in Sleep Waker’s music as well. This is all then enhanced with layers of sound that bring Sleep Waker’s style firmly into the contemporary era. Amidst the standard heaviness that you would want to hear on a record like this, I like that Sleep Waker layer their album with atmospheric ambience and pepper it with lighter, introspective moments, usually to good effect, (these parts remind me of some of Fear Factory‘s atmospheric non-heavy aspects on occasion).

I very much like the singer’s voice. His shouting and roaring has character and range, and avoids many of the standard metalcore pitfalls, while also exemplifying the style’s aggressive delivery. As for the clean singing, this is wisely not overused, so is all the more effective when it does make an appearance.

Yes, make no mistake, Alias is the sound of a modern band, but they’ve learned a few lessons from the past too, which is no bad thing at all. The overall result is of a fun, heavy, textured album that has much to recommend itself, and is an easy, enjoyable listen. So, if a band playing a combination of Spineshank, Meshuggah, and Alpha Wolf sounds good to you, then make sure you give Alias a listen or ten.

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