Sleep Token “Take Me Back To Eden”

The mysterious enigma that is Sleep Token release their third and final piece of the epic soundscape trilogy of albums with Take Me Back To Eden this week and it’s a stunning climax to the story.

A lot has been written about what we don’t know about the band but not enough is written about what we know. Such as how this band can make a song that doesn’t sound out of place in a hotel lobby become a musical and dramatic masterpiece worth its place in metal?

How a voice that never strays too far from a mumble and groan can move you so emotionally or how despite the massive drought of guitars, the songs can sound so epic that there as heavy as any other metal bands out there.

The influences are here quite clear whether it’s 80’s horror soundtracks, Type O Negative sexual connotations or how the lyrics move with the rhythm of the song like old school RnB.

But what the band does is dabble in these, modernise it and then paint a big black brush of darkness across the top making it almost unrecognisable on the canvas of their music.

What of the music though? The album is heavy than previous outings however if you’re expecting a barrage of guitars it’s not that album. Although they do appear in the intensely angry Vore which contrasts from the preceding song Aqua Regia hotel-lobby-piano-in-a- 80’s-horror-movie ambiance which is more the albums norm.

The Summoning does have a deep and heavy riff that switches between a hammer pounding and machine gun going off all over the lyrics taken from Marvin Gaye’s scrapbook of sexual healing.

It’s an album though that very much needs to be played with the lights down, a bottle of red wine and possibly another stimulant – be it sexual or otherwise – to full ingest it’s power deep down inside you.

The atmospherics and timing of the beats – the dynamics of the hard and gentle – lends itself to being pleasured aurally – and in other ways – while the album plays.

The laconic vocal style of Chokehold is mesmerising, the groove and beat behind Granite is transfixing. Ascensionism starts like a boat drifting along a river in spring before landing in some choppy waters while The Apparition is fuelled by keyboards and a haze of bliss that sweeps you away in a dreamlike trance.

It’s not all sex, drugs and rock n roll and Are You Really Okay is a beautiful and simple song that describes supporting someone through a dark time in their life while DYWTYLM, that show stopping finale on tour is just as emotionally charged through headphones.

The title track, an epic eight minute journey that builds and builds, showcases the bands talent for dramatic music and vocal nuances as you are taken through a journey of Vessel’s mind as he unloads all his thoughts into one song of beauty.

Finishing with Euclid is such a great album and trilogy closer. I stopped taking notes and listened to it for a couple of times. Just listened. The piano, the 80’s warmth, his lyrics. Beautiful doesn’t do it justice.

With that Sleep Token’s third album is done. This album has left me with a feeling of bliss, relaxed, validated, fulfilled musically and emotionally. It is almost feels like I’ve been taken to Eden itself.

Album Review By Iain McCallum

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