Sleep Token – ‘Two’ (EP Review)

Sleep Token split open not just one can of worms, but at least two.

The first concerns that most easily maligned approach to marketing music: The Gimmick. According to the press materials which landed in my download folder alongside Two, Sleep Token are “the mortal representatives of the ancient deity known only as ‘Sleep’, led by the masked and cloaked figure appointed ‘Vessel’. Encountering Sleep in a dream, Vessel was led by a promise of glory and magnificence and as a result endowed with a voice not of this Earth.”

Enigmatic and intriguing, to say the least. Still, it would all be easy to dismiss as pretentious obfuscation were Sleep Token’s music a load of the same old same old crap.

It isn’t.

Thank fuck.

Time to consider that second can of worms – the one concerning genre-bending, genre boundaries, and whether or not the concept of the music genre even has any relevance or validity in 2017. Personally, if I can easily pigeonhole a band into a given genre slot there’s a good chance I’m going to be bored shitless after a handful of songs.

Musically, Sleep Token are far from boring. At their best, they sound like London Grammar jamming with Diamond Eyes-era Deftones – and bearing in mind both are two of my favourite bands…hell yes. Sleep Token clearly don’t give a fraction of a fuck about genre labels – and they and I have that in common.

Gimmickry or no gimmickry, I couldn’t care less. Sleep Token’s music is straight up sick – and let’s be honest, that’s what really matters.

Two is made up of only three tracks. Calcutta doesn’t stray too far from the template established on original Sleep Token EP One, drawing equally from indietronica and djent – and neither does closer Jericho. They’re both forward-thinking, strong showings – but they don’t represent Sleep Token’s best work.

Middle offering Nazareth, on the other hand, is a whole other story. It’s undoubtedly Sleep Token’s most effective song so far, slickly produced and merging the aforementioned London Grammar and Deftones into a perfect storm located under disturbed yet masterfully constructed lyrics. It’s infinitely repeatable, and the clearest sign to date that Sleep Token are really on to something.

Sleep Token’s parting words are as follows: “Life is fleeting and will pass. Sleep is eternal, Sleep Token are not. For now, however: Praise Him.”

Expect Sleep Token’s congregation to swell significantly in the near future.

LTK RATING: 92% (Essential Listening!)

What do you think of Sleep Token and Two? Leave a comment, follow me on Twitter, and let me know!

Two drops July 21; pre-order it from iTunes here.

Posted on 12 July 2017

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