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Sleep Token - Take Me Back To Eden (Album Review)

Thursday, 25 May 2023 Written by Will Marshall

Photo: Andy Ford

Sleep Token are an enigma. Totally anonymous, with zero interviews out there, they have risen through metal’s ranks faster than you can say “worship”, becoming one of the hottest things in the alternative space right now. 

Their third album ‘Take Me Back To Eden’ closes out a thematic trilogy they began with their arresting debut ‘Sundowning’, and does so in show-stopping fashion. Having released a clutch of singles, the opening run of Chokehold through to Vore is likely to be familiar already, with R&B diversions and acerbic blackgaze linking arms in typically idiosyncratic fashion.

Elsewhere, it’s high point after point. The Apparition, Rain and the title tracks sprawl across multiple genres as Sleep Token are wont to do, seamlessly melding ambient, prog, djent and metalcore with ambiguous, hazy lyrics.

Euclid closes the album in outrageously strong fashion, leading with a piano refrain before a rapturously heavy guitar drop lands in thrilling fashion.

It’s only during Ascensionism that Sleep Token briefly stumble. Its trap-inspired beats might earn them credit for the experimentation, but it is the only moment here where they don’t quite stick the landing, even if its emotional purge of a crescendo is arresting.

At this point in their career, Sleep Token have ascended from anonymous prog upstarts to an enigma that fills mid-sized venues and commands a rabid fanbase that dissects their lyrics with the finest instruments they can. ‘Take Me Back To Eden’ builds once more on vocalist Vessel’s eclectic foundations to create a sprawling, hour-plus undertaking that’s entrancing from its first moment until the final note rings out. 

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