The mysterious UK-based band Sleep Token is still new to the alternative metal scene – only releasing their first full-length album back in 2019. With three studio albums now under their belt, they've covered a sizable amount of ground when playing live… except for these eight songs that should most definitely be added to the set soon.
"Gods" from Sundowning (2019)
Hands down one of Sleep Token's heaviest releases, "Gods" is a track begging to be played live. It showcases Vessel's vocal range as the song shifts back and forth from a brutal anthem absolutely pummeling the listener to a melodic, atmospheric track featuring a stunning piano section. It remains the one track from 2019's Sundowning that hasn't been taken to the stage; I'm hoping this changes soon.
"Distraction" from This Place Will Become Your Tomb (2021)
Before ever listening to Sleep Token, I had definitely made a preconceived assumption of their sound based simply on their image. I never expected a song like "Distraction," from the band's second album, to be anywhere close to what they would sound like. After diving deep into the band's discography thus far, it's clear that this melancholic style is what Sleep Token does best. "Distraction" is a mesmerizing soundscape that shows this band's undoubted ability to compose haunting and memorable melodies.
"Descending" from This Place Will Become Your Tomb (2021)
Being a slower moment on the record, "Descending" is completely electronically influenced. Although this track is moody, and definitely varies from the Sleep Token "formula" – it's rather slow and doesn't really have a destination. I can see how playing this one live might cause a loss of momentum during a live performance.
"Telomeres" from This Place Will Become Your Tomb (2021)
This piano driven track is best saved to be listened to on rainy days and is easily one of my favorite Sleep Token compositions. The enchanting, yet simple, piano lines create a soul-stirring ambiance that drifts into something much larger. It features undeniably creative drum fills – something that Sleep Token has become known for – and a soulful, bluesy guitar lead that is nothing short of pleasant to the ears. I'm sure it won't be long until this one makes its way to the stage.
"High Water" from This Place Will Become Your Tomb (2021)
Sleep Token saved one of the best, and most lengthy tracks, for last on This Place Will Become Your Tomb. With its great popularity amongst fans, it's unusual that "High Water" hasn't been brought to their live show yet. It's one of the most progressive moments on the album and hits an apex at the 4-minute mark that, mixed with the bands already mystifying image, would certainly add another level of theatricality to any performance. Hopefully the continued love of this track by fans will convince them that it's time to break it out in 2024.
"Are You Really Okay?" from Take Me Back To Eden (2023)
This track starts with a lone acoustic guitar emitting a beautiful riff that's strikingly similar to something you'd hear from Led Zeppelin (a la the intro to "Thank You"). "Are You Really Okay?" is Sleep Token's take on a power ballad; the drums not making their appearance until around two minutes into the song. The lyrics are poignant, and dare I say in some spots Led Zeppelin-esque too. ("You wandered from the path / Through the silence of the hillside") I could see this being a great song to add in place of one of their many piano led tracks.
"The Apparition" from Take Me Back To Eden (2023)
As you can tell from this list so far, a lot of the songs that Sleep Token have yet to play live are definitely on the tamer side of the band's catalog. "The Apparition" is another one that includes heavily reverbed synths and an R&B style beat. Sleep Token's strongest trait is their ability to include so many different musical styles into a a four or five minute composition. Upon first listen, this track is about as far from metal as you could possibly get until it explodes into an alternative dreamscape.
"Euclid" from Take Me Back To Eden (2023)
As the last song on Take Me Back To Eden, "Euclid" closes the album strongly. If there's one thing Sleep Token is masterful in, it's dynamics; starting soft, crescendoing, and then finishing off at the song's roots. It's been hailed as one of the best tracks off of the band's latest release, although some find it fairly similar to some of the softer Sleep Token tracks mentioned previously on this list. Still, it would be impressive seeing this ethereal track translated to a live setting.