Beneath the Sleep Token banner, lies the unique, broad-based vision of one individual – anonymous, silent, masked, armed with a staggering vocal range, a deft touch on the keyboards, plus a live approach that is never less than fully engaged.
The UK underground entity only known as Sleep Token, fronted by Vessel, began the Sundowning ritual June 20th 2019 with ‘The Night Does Not Belong To God’. Sleep Token began to release their ‘offerings’ bi-weekly, released Thursdays at Sundown BST with accompanying visualizers. Each offering had its own emblem, establishing the Sleep Token universe on the debut album Sundowning. This June 18th, 2021, the cycle began again but born anew.
Now, Sleep Token will release their second studio album, This Place Will Become Your Tomb on the 24th September 2021.
You’d have to have been living under rock, deep under the sea, to have not noticed the hype surrounding Sleep Token. So strong has it been, it has sent seismic ripples through the world of alternative rock music. Maybe even enough to dislodge that rock you’ve been hiding under, deep below the waves of the Atlantic.
This mournful opener is a combination of pained keyboard melody and Vessel’s captivating vocals that fades into haunting effects before rising upwards with power and passion in a rockier and heavier way.
That makes the cacophony of eerie effects, powerful drum beats and serrated riffs of Hypnosis instantly more palatable. Before Mine puts Vessel’s wonderful vocals front and centre again. A melodramatic opening portion transforms into something truly beautiful. The bursts of drumming, the mellow guitar melody, the subtly of the effects and the emotive singing makes this one of the album’s best offerings.
The eccentric prettiness and danceable blend of swaying melodrama, energetic electronica beats and rockier purists keeps the album sounding passionate and intense. Like That, The Love You Want, Fall For Me and Alkaline continue to prove just how varied, eclectic and unique Sleep Token can be. Even if it’s not always to your taste, you can at least acknowledge there isn’t anything quite as captivatingly unusual as this entity.
It’s also worth saying that if you’re not sold at this stage of the album, you probably won’t have your mind changed. As we get another super-mellow and heartfelt keyboard/vocal effort in the form of Distraction and a moody electronica/dance number with Descending. These are two tracks that are a little harder to sell to those with a taste for the heavier sound.
After an initial warm hit of melody, Telomeres showcases Sleep Token’s heavier side with bursts of post-like heaviness. Something that is just as prevalent on High Water. A track that has guitar tones that echo throughout the senses and a wild finish. Before Sleep Token close out their latest offering with Missing Limbs. A short piece of earnest, genuine and soft melody that is all about the incredible vocals of Vessel.
Sleep Token are an anomaly, that much is clear. If you’ve been on the train since day 1, you’re going to be jumping up and down in your seat with joy. Everyone else? Some may get aboard but many others will let this one pass.
Sleep Token – This Place Will Become Your Tomb Full Track Listing:
4. Like That
5. The Love You Want
6. Fall For Me
11. High Water
12. Missing Limbs
Sleep Token - This Place Will Become Your Tomb (Spinefarm Records)
The Final Score - 7.5/10