Precise lyrical callbacks to previous tracks reveal themselves over numerous listens, and riffs create soundscapes that you just might recognise from early songs. Some people might find these references a little self-indulgent, but I feel it is a perfect final chapter for a band that has built such a cult-like following in just a few short years.
That’s perhaps the saddest part of Take Me Back To Eden: It feels like an ending. The last precious pages of an ancient tome; the final hallowed glimpse of someone as they board a plane. Vessel knows it, as well (“I guess it goes to show, does it not? That we’ve no idea what we’ve got until we lose it”). Vessel is saying goodbye. I don’t know if this is the end for the band – god, I really hope it’s not – but I could see Sleep Token dropping this almost-perfect album and disappearing into the ether once more.
Euclid gives me hope, though. The Elton John-esque closer is drenched in vocal trills, vocoder features and piano explorations that bring the record to a wonderful, wondrous conclusion. Vessel begs for another chance at redemption (“Run it back, give me five whole minutes”), at moving forward to a better place while acknowledging the formative parts of the journey thus far (“These ancient canopies we used to lay beneath”).
Take Me Back To Eden is an absolute triumph for Sleep Token fans. The music, lyrics, styles and themes featured within are exceptional, visceral and well thought-out. Some people may not like the band’s sway into techno music (The Summoning, DYWTYLM), but, like it or not, this is growth for the band. Vessel is no longer hiding behind riffs to stay within preset genre parameters. And, by the sounds of this, this might be the last thing we hear from the mysterious creatures for a while (or maybe ever?). Savour TMBTE, it’s one to slowly unfold over weeks.
Sleep Token – Take Me Back To Eden is out Friday, May 19, 2023.