With their second record, Sleep Token have created a piece of art that transcends this existence whilst also staying firmly rooted in what it means to feel so strongly. This is why it is so vital.
For as long as history will allow us to look back, music has been a means of exercising and exorcizing emotion. A vessel for the most beautiful, brutal and boundless feelings that our minds and bodies can conjure, it’s a means of connection that transcends language, creed and culture. A universal escape from the trials and tribulations of the world that will outlast and outlive its creator by the millennia.
Music is humanity at its most vulnerable and visceral, and that is why it is so vital.
It’s within this space that Sleep Token has always existed. Since their introduction to the world back in 2016, beginning as a means to present their love and appreciation for the ancient deity Sleep but becoming something much more significant in the process, they have built up a rabid and relentless following via their musical output and nothing more. By hiding away their identity and giving away no additional information, the focus is solely on sound and that sound has always attempted to breach the very essence of what makes us who we are. Tales of devotion and devastation, hope and heartache, are presented by Vessel and his associates in ways that enrich the soul and ensnare the senses, with only our own experiences there to compare the adoration and anguish with.
And it is with ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’, their brand new offering, that unique delivery comes to a head, and where Sleep Token show just how special they really are.
Following on from the ambitious variety of 2019’s ‘Sundowning’, there is a new sense of otherworldly cohesion to this new album. A dense atmosphere, clinging to you like tar but with the texture of newly woven silk, the record feels like a deep glimpse into the magical universe that Sleep Token exists in. A place where time and space collide like lovers kept separate for too long and reality and fantasy blend like petrol seeping into water. A place where Vessel, as this sentient being, delivering these songs feels powerful and mysterious, someone to be feared as much as they are revered. From the towering dominance of ‘Alkaline’ to the haunting seduction of ‘Like That’, you are transfixed and taken to the other side by the intoxicating sounds filtering through you.
But on the other side of that comes the humanity of it all. With every heartbeat comes the threat of heartbreak, and to live passionately comes with the risk of feeling the worst that life has to offer as much as the best. Every moment that feels like it exists in a completely different dimension on ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’, another is firmly rooted on Earth, where desolation is always just around the corner from delight. You have the blossoming ‘Mine’ standing toe to toe with the tear-stained ‘Distraction’. The deep need of ‘The Love You Want’ is only a short distance away from the bellowed despair of ‘High Water’. The spiralling longing of ‘Hypnosis’ and tender infatuation of ‘Telomores’ stare directly at the stark admissions of ‘Fall For Me’ and broken spirit of ‘Missing Limbs’. The highs and lows of leaving ourselves open to others and committing our everything to them are presented in the most touching and terrifying ways, and it takes something rather remarkable to bottle that part of existence. But Sleep Token make it feel like second nature.
‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’ is the sort of album that cannot be simply plucked out of the ether. It is a record from deep inside the soul, where layer upon layer has been chipped away to reveal the very essence of existence. Where life has been lived so viscerally, to the point where feelings you didn’t even know were possible, have been felt, that every single movement made feels like either heaven or hell. It exists on a plane of its own crafting as much as it does here on in our own reality, and that is what makes it so extraordinary. It is a perfect summation of what it means to be human, whilst also trying to explain what it feels like when the things we experience make us feel like we have transcended this flesh altogether. The most intense love, intoxicating lust, and crushing loss are documented here in the most striking, seductive and sensational ways possible. And it is an absolute pleasure to behold it all.
‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’ can be ordered from right HERE