That Which Destroys Us

Sleeping in Traffic

Canadian Progressive Metal band SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC is back, now with a double EP release, […]
By Santiago Puyol
October 22, 2019
Sleeping in Traffic - That Which Destroys Us album cover

Canadian Progressive Metal band SLEEPING IN TRAFFIC is back, now with a double EP release, "That Which Saves Us, That Which Destroys Us." This release follows on 2017's concept record "Feminism." Sleeping in Traffic draws influences from several genres, some closer to more traditional Prog, some closer to Punk in its various forms and some closer to Extreme Metal variants.

For the sake of following format, you are getting half the review; the other half is here.

With a strong Thrash Metal and Deathcore sound, "That Which Destroys Us" makes the most of the band's aggressive side, showing their Extreme Metal and Hardcore inspirations. In contrast to the harmonic vocal layering of "That Which Saves Us," a lot of this EP opts for harsh vocals and growling.

Nasty synths and metallic, effected drums open the EP, on the weirdly titled "(√-π) ÷ 0=1," also known as "The Equation." "The Equation" features complex riffing, shifting tempos and time signatures and some thrashy drum work by Andrew Bateman. At its most progressive, it is quite reminiscent of BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. The concept of mathematical irrationality being a parallel to irrational human behavior is quite interesting.

A funky bassline acts as the backbone of "Audaciousness of Him." Phased drums and sci-fi synths build an atmosphere that allows the listener to breathe in between outbursts of pure rage. It manages to be a catchy yet complex track, with a dense arrangement. Drumming gets into blast beat territory while Cory Bosse's vocal delivery takes on a James Hetfield style.

"Narcicystic Pustule" follows, providing thrashy, Deathcore action. Despite being a minute and a half long, it feels fully formed. It's more than an interlude and not a filler song at all. The synth sound here provides an almost twisted circus vibe.

Classic Metal influences bleed into "Masculine Toxin," and if it is not a play on the "cock rock" trope, it certainly feels like so. It is a groovy track, with prominent bass and a more direct melodic approach. "Masculine Toxin" is deeply dramatic, being the most theatrical track between both EPs. A fun song will keep your head banging.

"Gaia Shrugged" returns to the brutal sound of the EP. The female vocals here add an interesting counterpoint to the growls, but still carry an edge. The electronic elements feel harsher here, adding to the fierce intensity, accompanying the heavy riffs and pounding bass. There are a couple of 3/4 sections that feel quite melodramatic and Bateman shines with his fills on the instrumental breakdown.

The Post-Metal instrumental "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" functions as a mirror to the final song of "That Which Saves Us." Still, on its own, it is a lovely closer, feeling like a breather at the very end of an intense album. It also is a perfect example of the usage of repetition as a tool to build and release tension. Chromaticism on the synth melodies is another nice songwriting touch that helps the twisted nature of the track.

With the exception of "Narcicystic Pustule" and "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" most tracks here somewhat follow a formula. The limited sound palette the band chooses here makes it a bit more noticeable. Its dark and angular nature makes it a little less memorable, but it has its moments, especially when it sets into a nice groove as it does on "Audaciousness of Him" or "Masculine Toxin." Production-wise, it feels a bit cagey at times.

"That Which Destroys Us" is an amazing EP by Sleeping in Traffic, even if a little less successful than its counterpart when taken alone. Overall, this double release project makes the most of the band's talents, delivering on the contrast it promises even with a limited sound palette. "That Which Saves Us, That Which Destroys Us" is a perfect example of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.Overall rating for both EPs as one release: 9

8 / 10









When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"That Which Destroys Us" Track-listing:

1. (√-π) ÷ 0=1
2. Audaciousness of Him
3. Narcicystic Pustule
4. Masculine Toxic
5. Gaia Shrugged
6. The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe

Sleeping in Traffic Lineup:

Andrew Bateman - Drums
Ryan Berehulke - Bass
Cory Bosse - Vocals & Synthesizers
Greg Turner - Guitars
Elle T. - Guest vocals on "Gaia Shrugged"

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram