I can’t with Sleep Token.
And by can’t, I mean I can’t keep up.
In the month of January, the collective group of artists released 4 singles. FOUR!
“Aqua Regia” on January 20
“Granite” on January 19
“The Summoning” on January 6
“Chokehold” on January 5
Sleep Token first popped onto my radar through an Instagram ad for their song “The Summoning”. The visuals in the ad caught my attention, then artist after artist I liked were flooding their social media accounts with Sleep Token, and then the media were publishing articles about them.
This piqued my interest even more and simultaneously made me a skeptic of the band.
Was their “sudden” popularity a well planned marketing ploy or was this a genuine interest in the group?
I like the similarities that Sleep Token has to the band Ghost. Both are masked and while Ghost’s identities were forced to be unmasked and then voluntarily unmasked, Sleep Token still remains a mystery. Ghost worships Satan and Sleep Token worships Sleep. Papa Emeritus, currently the IV, leads the Swedish rockers and Vessel leads the British rockers and both bands seem to go through cycles of visual appearances.
The group has been around since at least 2016 when they self-released their first EP, One. Their second EP, Two, was released on Basick Records in 2017. In 2018, they released three singles, one is a wonderful piano version of Outkast’s smash “Hey Ya”.
In 2019, the group released Sundowning on Spinefarm Records and followed that with 2021’s This Place Will Become Your Tomb.
Vessel’s vocal range is quite expansive. He is able to bellow, belt out, and even howl lyrics with precision and clarity. They have moments of visceral and raw vocal power like that in “The Summoning” and moments of ethereal godhead seductiveness like that in “Aqua Regia”.
Vessel’s talent is matched by the musical talent of the group. There are pounding drums, slick bass lines, beautiful wailing guitars, and haunting keys.
While I don’t have an answer on the marketing ploy versus interest, I can say Sleep Token is well deserving of their hype.
They’re fucking good. Great even, blending the sounds of alternative, metal, ambient, and more into a sound that is unique yet oddly familiar.
Watch “Aqua Regia”
Watch “The Summoning”