Introducing: Waking The Sleeping Bear

French rapcore meets neo metal is a music genre we’re fairly sure you’ve not heard too much of. But if Waking The Sleeping Bear are anything to go by, it’s something we all need a little bit more of in our lives.

The quartet hail from Dole, between Besançon and Dijon in the metal scene of the east of France. But they offer something a little different with their intriguingly diverse fusion of modern neo metal with elements of electro, rapcore and French vocals.

On the sound they’ve honed, the band tell us: “It is clearly a mixture of Rap, we will say even Rapcore, of electro with a very big base neo metal see modern metal. We also find a side Indus on some titles. We clearly come from the French scene with bands such as Pleymo, Mass Hysteria and Psykup.”

The band came together as a group of friends that met around 10 years ago. But its current format came together in 2016, they released a couple of singles ahead of debut album Jungle Urbaine. That built up to the recent release of their brilliantly titled second album Porno Future. The 15-track album is packed with deliciously intense French rapped vocals, booming riffs and lively electronic elements.

A perfect example of this is Plus rien à perdre (Nothing to Lose), which opens up with a stabbing riff and screamed vocals before the riff continues alongside high-pitched synth. Rapped vocals take over as the fun guitars and synth continue through to a melodic chorus. The track ends with a chorus dropping into a cool little noodling guitar, then almost spoken vocals drop into heavy guitars over vicious screams. Check it out here:

Standout tracks on this superb album include the intriguing Soldat du someille (Sleeping Soldier), the intense Interférences and Métastases, and the delicious Des heures. But in truth it’s packed with delicious rap meets metal goodness.

For example, Nouvelle dissidence opens up with a cool combination of synth and guitar before rapped vocals feed into a chorus. A little giggle ushers in a key change and an increase in the intensity of the vocals over pounding drums, which drop into slower rapping and moody synth sounds. That’s soon followed by intense screamed vocals and huge low-tuned guitars to bring the track to a heavy conclusion.

Then there’s the excellent Delenda (Destroyed), which opens up with cries of “Woop woop, That’s the sound of the police” before a delicious riff feeds into a rapped verse. A heavier chorus follows with a cool spinning guitar riff and feeds into a vicious second verse. It ends with heavy vocals over stabbing guitars and synth alongside crushing cymbals that bring it to an intense conclusion. Check it out here:

Title track Porno Future, which opens up with stabbing synths that continue as fast-paced guitars and driving drums support rapped vocals. That develops into an upbeat chorus of vocals “P.O.R.N.O. F.U.T.U.R.E., Le temps gomme les héros, Autant que les erreurs, P.O.R.N.O. F.U.T.U.R.E., Plus besoin de héros, Quand on a des acteurs” supported by a driving riff.

Doomy cymbals jump in before a stabbing synth sound adds intensity to another vicious verse, which drops into a delicious low-tuned riff. Almost spoken vocals build in intensity and explode into huge chugging guitars and doomy cymbals then huge screams of “porno future” before a final chorus. Check it out in the video here:

On the album, the band told us: “The reception so far is pretty good! We have a lot of good feedback from fans and professionals alike. We hope to continue like this, and to have many more such feedback!

“For those who want to discover us, we advise them to take all the duration of the album, to sit and listen without stopping. We wanted to create a story with this album. Most people tell us that Porno Future is meant to be listened to in one sitting, so we advise them to do that! I think they can be touched by the atmosphere but especially the diversity of our tracks. We put a lot of work into this album.”

Waking The Sleeping Bear’s music has been heavily influenced by fellow French artists, from Team Nowhere – a community we mentioned in our Pathfinders article – to big bands like Mass Hysteria, Sidilarsen, Psykup and Gojira. They also take influence from the likes of Static-X, Whitechapel, Slipknot, French rap and a more tribal side they shine more light on in Porno Future.

And on the French music scene, they say: “The current French scene is rich in proposals. Many groups try to propose very original things, very current. We can quote bands like Landmvrks, Novelists FR, Perturbator etc… There is a form of freedom which has developed for several years, certainly thanks to the impulse of several important labels and major group like Gojira. Thanks to all this, several bands manage to export themselves internationally and that’s really great! Great years are coming for the French!”

When it comes to what inspires them to write music, the band tells us: “We think that what drives us to write is the desire to create something together. We’re friends and it’s really something that binds us. Then, thanks to this, we try to express ourselves in our own way by writing about themes that are important to our singer, Adrien. He has always had the luxury to decide almost alone on the themes, we trust him completely. He writes on many subjects as long as it is something necessary to him. The themes can be quite personal, like talking about life, the future in general, pollution… the universe is quite rich!”

With Porno Future, Waking The Sleeping Bear are a force to be reckoned with. We love the fusion of rapped French vocals with metal, electronic elements and melodic moments. Porno Future is a fantastic album that we firmly recommend giving a listen!

The band are focused on trying to get Porno Future on stage as soon as possible with concerts or tours through 2022. They also have another composition project planned and have several ideas in progression, which could be an EP, could be a single… they’re keeping us guessing!

And the band adds: “We want people to know that we are motivated to go even further than what we have already established with Porno Future. Sometimes we are considered as a ‘metal alien,’ we laugh at that but we decided to play it. And finally, what you have to know is that we thank a lot of people for the support we’ve been giving for all these years, and of course, we’ll try to follow our line as much as possible to preserve this thing that makes us maybe a little bit special in the eyes of some people.”

You can follow Waking The Sleeping Bear on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out their music on Spotify, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Deezer and YouTube.

Listen to Waking The Sleeping Bear on our GigRadar Metal and GigRadar Electro playlists

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