When news broke earlier this year that Boysetsfire would make a homecoming to rock, fans couldn’t believe it. Whilst they teased us with a few reunion shows a few years ago, there seemed to be no sign of new material. Until now that is. After a seven year hiatus, the mighty post-hardcore American six-piece return with “While A Nation Sleeps...”; a slap bang in the face to its predecessor, 2007’s ‘The Misery Index: Notes From The Plague Years.’ to say “We’re back, and guess what, we’re better.”. It pays tribute to their classic melodic style, whilst infusing new experimental methods. Be ready, and get excited.
As the album subdues the listener into politically-fueled opener “Until Nothing Remains”, the band lend itself to a new, edgier and heavier tone, that is carried by an extract of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Dictator” speech. Nathan Grey’s entrance into the album leads the way for an entire barrage of ferocity throughout the record with his matured and ardent vocals. The opener eludes to the idea of this style playing host to the record, but its second offering sees the band return to its vintage roots. “Closure” allows for Grey’s tightened vocals to shine. Whilst it seems to fill the album, likewise to “Phone Call” to await the intrigue of their new direction, they do demonstrate lyrical craftsmanship.
Partner’s on the record, once again led by Chaplin, “Far From Over” and “Let It Bleed” showcase merciless riffs, alongside lyrics that showcase the band’s political observance of the world; “Lambs to the slaughter we live our own lies, disseminate weakness to further survive...”. The advanced riffs and chords used by guitarist’s Chad Istvan and Josh Latshaw are what launch this album in the stratosphere of awesome. “Altar Of God” is anchored by a melodic guitar solo, which at times uses an electronic-esque vibe that is unique, as it flows alongside tracks such as “Wolves Of Babylon” which exudes savagery.
They say that best is left till last. But in the case of “While A Nation Sleeps...”, the saying bares true. “Prey” is the most daring track, as it begins softly with an acoustic melody, that moors the track as it explores emotion with a gut-wrenching echo of “sorry”. It leaves the listener with a statement that Boysetsfire are true artists, not stereotypical emos. Their return is bold, brave and beautiful that exceeds expectations. Whilst Chaplin’s speech may make too many appearances, the political spin of their unique style suits it down to the ground. Its good to have you back boys.