Review 1752 : Sleep Token – Take Me Back to Eden – English

It’s time to discover Sleep Token.

Formed in London in 2016, the masked collective made up of the musicians known by the pseudonyms Vessel1 and Vessel2, who compose the tracks, as well as Vessel3 and Vessel4, released their first EP that same year, followed by a second the following year as well as a signing to Spinefarm Records for the release of their first and second albums, in 2019 and 2021 respectively. In 2023, the band announced the release of Take Me Back to Eden, their third opus.

Generally associated with a modern approach to Metalcore, something I also believed when I started listening to this album, I realized that the band could do anything, but definitely not Metalcore. Chokehold, the first track, is a kind of Progressive Post-Metal meets Electro sounds and the heaviness of violent saturation, but also those vocals bordering on plaintive Blues/Jazz. And strange as it may seem at first, it works! The elements easily link up and carry us through to The Summoning, which develops an even more striking contrast between Pop patterns, impressive riffs, airy leads, screams, clean vocals… The track also features a surprising break before a heady final, then the soothing sounds resurface with Granite, which finally reveals a majestic sound before the massive guitars take over. Aqua Regia sincerely reminded me of some Gospel approach, as much in lead vocals as choruses and piano, then Vore returns to darkness and raw aggression. The visceral screams are as powerful as impressive, and they are just as skilfully replaced by gentleness while occasionally resurfacing before Ascensionism introduces Trap tones which… somehow strangely fit well into the universe. There’s a saturated break, then melancholy sets in on Are You Really Okay? some soothing ballad where the band keeps it simple to create their melodies. The Apparition marks the return of Hip-Hop beats, but also of heavy riffs which ignite the sound before letting it gradually fade away, then the band returns to its overtly popish sounds on DYWTYLM, a composition which doesn’t hesitate to place the most cliché samples of the genre. The melodious moody piano returns on Rain, a track which plays on the contrast of the band’s influences until the last moment, then Take Me Back To Eden, the eponymous track, bewitches us with hypnotic sonorities while playing on this alternation of moods, before trampling us with its apocalyptic final borrowed to Djent, followed by Euclid, which gently closes the album, but also with a few more energetic, driving passages.

I still don’t know what to think about Sleep Token. The band’s universe is incredibly rich, that’s a fact, but it makes Take Me Back To Eden an as varied and surprising as unexpected and jerky album, bringing together styles that aren’t usually destined to mix.


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