"He's not well...you guys gotta be loud." Watch Vessel take a step back from singing at last night's historic Sleep Token show at Wembley Arena, as band reveal startling new, nu metal-style masks

Vessel on stage in Wembley
(Image credit: Adamross Williams @adamrosssi)

2023 has undoubtedly been the year of Sleep Token. Over the past twelve months, the mysterious masked collective, who have inspired a cult-like following through their irresistibly catchy blend of pop and metal and their enigmatic, carefully crafted lore, have released a critically acclaimed album in Take Me Back To Eden, gone viral on TikTok and been praised by everyone from Corey Taylor to Amy Lee.

Last night (Saturday December 16) saw the band's amazing year reach new heights as they headlined a sold-out Wembley Arena in London, having sold all tickets for the gig in less than ten minutes. Around halfway through the gig, however, disaster seemed to strike: one of Sleep Token's personnel arrived on stage to inform the crowd that frontman Vessel was sick, and had seemingly lost his voice.

"He'll stay on stage," the stagehand can be seen saying in video since uploaded to social media. "But he's not well, so, we're doing the set - you guys gotta be loud, OK?" Luckily, Wembley was more than up to the task, with around 10,000 people singing their hearts out for the following few songs, before Vessel was able to rally and join back in again.

Watch footage of the potentially disastrous but ultimately triumphant moment below.


♬ original sound - MetalHammer

Vessel's vocal issues were by no means the only newsworthy things to come from the show. Band members II, III and IV debuted startling new looks, including new masks that look closer to the styles favoured by nu metal heavyweights like Slipknot and Mushroomhead than the occult-tinged designs from before. It marks a drastic departure for the band, with a special video showing off the incredible-looking masks - which were designed by Lani Hernandez-David - posted on Sleep Token's socials alongside the caption: "a new era." See the video and a closer look at II, III and IV's masks below, and scroll a little further down below to see the full setlist from Sleep Token's amazing Wembley show.

Sleep Token Wembley Arena setlist December 16

1. Chokehold
2. Hypnosis
3. Vore
4. Dark Signs
5. Like That
6. Aqua Regia
7. Rain
8. The Summoning
9. Granite
10. The Love You Want
11. Atlantic
12. Nazareth
13. Alkaline
14. Ascensionism
15. Higher
16. Take Me Back To Eden


17. The Offering
18. Blood Sport

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.