SLEEP TOKEN are one of the most intriguing and mysterious bands to hit the metal scene in a rather long time. With their first material being released in 2016, they are relatively new, however their background suggests something much more ancient may be hidden within them.
The term ‘they’ is being used loosely here – ‘it’ would be more suitable. The only identifiable member of SLEEP TOKEN is the being they describe as “the heavenly mouthpiece, Vessel”. Their music is disorienting and genre bending, with songs like Nazareth from their new EP, Two (read our review here), mixing beautiful clean vocals layered over strings and finishing in a crushing, downtuned breakdown reminiscent of bands like MESHUGGAH. SLEEP TOKEN themselves have cited inspirations as being LEPROUS, AGENT FRESCO, BON IVER and MESHUGGAH certainly very big boots to fill in terms of bands that really define their sounds through originality.
As well as Vessel, it has been stated at there are other members of the band who may have been involved in other musical projects in the past. Some may compare this sort of setup with GHOST, as many bands may seek to gain popularity from their ideas. However, what SLEEP TOKEN put across is a very different vibe – something much more subtle, beautiful and artistic. They are far from the theatrics of SLIPKNOT and GHOST, as the band’s aim is to spread the word of their ancient deity, Sleep, through their music.
Having not even performed a live show yet, and published only a few songs online, this band evidently has a lot more to give. What that could be, however, could be very exciting. As the band say, “Life is fleeting and will pass. Sleep is eternal, SLEEP TOKEN are not. For now, however: Praise Him.”