Sometimes a band just rockets itself up to the top of the mountain… and in 2023… that band was Sleep Token. With the release of Take Me Back to Eden, it became clear that metal found its next torch-bearing act — a ferociously beautiful and djenty group draped in Lovecraftian mystery.
Like Slipknot or Ghost, Sleep Token will likely become a gateway band for countless metalheads-to-be, so if you're currently passing through that gate (or you just want some recommendations) here are 10 acts that Sleep Token fans need to check out.
If you wanna scratch that heavy grooves / blissful vocals itch, VOLA is your band. The Danish band's off-beat riffs, spacey soundscapes and heavenly vocal leads should be a gravitational force for Sleep Token fans. "Straight Lines" is a great place to start with VOLA, but anything off their 2021 album, Witness, is absolute gold.
Norway's Leprous proved to be quite ahead of their time, getting especially lush with their prog-heavy style on 2015's The Congregation. The vocals on tracks like "Slave" are decadent, the production is stellar and the atmosphere is right up the alley of any Sleep Token fanatic.
Deathgaze daddies Kardashev may not be a band you immediately associate with Sleep Token, but there are some stylistic parallel lines here you may enjoy. Vocalist Mark Garrett is practically operatic with his clean vocals, and "Snow-Sleep" will conjure tough-guy tears with each listen. Give the Liminal Rite album a spin, too.
Many Sleep Token fans have already gotten their Holy Fawn fix, but there's still time for the rest of you! "Dark Stone" is a must-listen for metalheads who love an emotionally devastating opus, so zone out to this beauty for the next six glorious minutes.
Is clear to see why metalheads dig The Anix. The synth-driven grooves are easy on the ear, while remaining just abrasive enough to give off heavy vibes. If you're more into Sleep Token's atmosphere than their riffs, The Anix may be up your alley.
But if you're fiending for some big, atmospheric riffs, get Cloudkicker's early material into your ears. Hot damn, these instrumental tracks never get old. "Seriosity"… "Subsume"… "We're Going In. We're Going Down"… it's a flippin' post-metal buffet.
Is it a hot take to say Sleep Token sound more like Crosses than Deftones? No hate mail, please. Either way, both Sleep Token and Crosses make music richer than chocolate mousse, so if you want more music that'll shoot jolts into the back of your jaw, give "Sensation" a spin.
If you forgot how great this band is… here's your reminder. The Contortionist have been making haunting and heavy jams for 15 damn years, with their latest album, Clairvoyant, really delving into their prog side. Highly recommended if you're looking to add some subtle beauty into your metal rotation.
Some have called this band the "female Sleep Token." The instrumentals are definitely Sleep Token-esque, but you're not gonna hear Vessel in this song. "I'll See You When the Night Comes" is really more like if you mashed modern pop vocals and modern metal soundscapes together. Give it a chance and see if you agree.
And of course, we can't make this list without Dayseeker. The multilayered act has gotten immensely popular in the last year or so, thanks to some of the poppiest sections you'll ever hear in a brutally heavy song. The balance of Dayseeker's music is pretty masterful… and it has the power to intrigue just about anyone.