Dream Theater have been at the top of the game for such a long time …
Sleep Token has felt like the underground’s best-kept secret for the better part of 18-months.
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While fellow contemporaries Spiritbox, Architects and While She Sleeps have sustained hype with slickly produced and marketed for the masses (yet still brilliant) metalcore, this masked British collective, who have inspired many a Reddit debate regarding their tightly-veiled identities, have melded gothic pop hooks and ambient soundscapes with terrifying bursts of aggression to the thrill of those in the know.
On this, their sophomore LP This Place Will Become Your Tomb, the mysterious Brits once again deliver a fascinating exhibition of experimental songcraft, albeit with slightly moderated dramatics when compared with their 2019 debut Sundowning.
With 12 tracks making up what feel like 3 distinct ‘acts’, things begin on a reflective note with Atlantic, reacquainting listeners with the pained, yet entrancing melodies from lead crooner ‘Vessel’, a singer with a stirring ability to transmit a plethora of emotions, be it the troubled pleas of the tumbling Hypnotise to the snarling sarcastic menace of early highlight Like That.
A word of caution; those hoping for more of the djety fireworks showcased on previous fan-favourites The Offering and Higher may feel somewhat led on by this LP, with cuts Alkaline and High Water constantly threatening to erupt, yet merely causing a few tremors, opting (like most tracks here) to zero in on out-and-out hooks.
This Place Will Become Your Tomb adds a splash of colour to the ever-evolving Sleep Token canvas.
However, it’s this painstakingly produced and craftily composed side of the Sleep Token coin that makes words like ‘innovative’ and ‘forward-thinking’ feel truly appropriate for this collective—a rarity for a band of their scene.
Indeed, the more brilliant moments of this album include the acapella and vocoder heavy Fall For Me which shines into musty darkness, serving as a hymnal for the damned, while closing acoustic number Missing Limbs best embodies the ‘beautifully devastating’ melodic sensibilities of this group.
This Place Will Become Your Tomb might not pack quite the same punch as its predecessor, and a trim on the back end of Side B wouldn’t go astray.
However, on their second outing Sleep Token have continued to create music that for the better part captivates audiences, offering up infectious earworms that are sure to remain with those exposed to them.
This Place Will Become Your Tomb adds a splash of colour to the ever-evolving Sleep Token canvas. The result is a mixture that won’t be appreciated by everyone, but for those who spend time with this work, it’s hard to look away.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Like That, Fall For Me, Missing Limbs
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Spiritbox, Chelsea Wolfe, The Contortionist