"Sleep Token fully delivered on their promises": metal fans review new album Take Me Back To Eden

We asked metal fans to weigh in on Sleep Token's new album Take Me Back To Eden - and here's what they thought

Sleep Token
(Image: © Andy Ford)

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The hype around mysterious masked collective Sleep Token has been building for some time now, but the band's third album Take Me Back To Eden marks the point where they truly boil over from cult phenomenon into a full-blown global metal sensation.

Since January, the band's monthly streaming stats on Spotify have ballooned from around 250,000 to over 2 million, while mid-week chart forecasts are suggesting the band are about to enjoy their greatest chart success in the UK. Add to that sold out shows for their upcoming tour of the US in September and October and it becomes apparent: Sleep Token are big business in 2023. 

That said, there's always two sides to every argument and while we've shared our views on Take Me Back To Eden, we couldn't resist asking; how does the wider metal community feel? Thankfully, you haven't been shy about sharing your feelings on the record, answering in your hundreds on Facebook and Twitter. Here's what you had to say... 

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What we thought

"Combining feeling and sound in a potent, masterful statement, ...Eden is Sleep Token’s strongest effort to date. And, while they’ll always be Marmite, there’s no question it will delight those already onboard. This is a record that not only expands the band’s universe and continues to prod metal’s boundaries, but considers what it means to be human. Otherworldly they may be, but there’s the deepest empathy within." Dannii Leivers

What you thought - the good:

"I wish more bands had this much vision, this is simply masterful! Eschewing traditional genre borders to make something so cinematic and with so much imagination is pure inspiration! Amazing! Sleep Token have fully delivered on their promises." George Miller, Facebook

"So weird and 'outside the box' that it's refreshing. They span many different genres on one album. That means they are given a freedom to not keep making the same sounding stuff throughout thier career and explore different sounds." Micah Caldwell, Facebook

"I didn't think it was gonna very good cause of that DYWTYLM song. I was scared to listen to the rest of the album so I waited an extra day. *idk why I thought that would make it better*. Anyway, I listened to the rest of it and fell in love all over again. It's been on repeat ever since." Nikki Sullivan, Facebook

"Absolutely loving it. Diverse, emotional, heavy, soulful, epic. The funk breakdown in The Summoning is still so pleasing but that title track is something else. Incredible." Richard Game, Facebook

"Take Me Back to Eden definitely has moments where it veers just a bit too far left in terms of pushing the boundaries genre wise. One too any uses of trap beats and one song with an almost Weeknd style rap flow, but even those moments are fun and fresh and are performed confidently with powerful lyrics and masterful musicianship." Alex Vuich, Facebook

What you thought - the bad:

"I feel like I'm the only person who was underwhelmed by this release. I really enjoyed the previous albums. I think front loading the album with the singles they'd already released was a bad idea because I didn't feel encouraged to listen to it from the start. The rest of the non-single songs were just kinda ballad-type things and I didn't think they were super memorable. I didn't really feel like the songs flowed together. I appreciate their vision, I think all the individual parts were really good, I think just as a whole I wish it had more meat." The Effigy, Facebook

"Not my bag tbh, struggle to understand why they're being labelled metal, sound like 1980s synth pop. Which is fine, I'm all for an eclectic taste, but I'll be bollocksed if I can see why the metal press is hyping them. Sounds like a band Pitchfork or NME would rave about  But whatever floats your boat I suppose." Ian Salsbury, Facebook

"I'll stick with the new Frozen Soul over this Imagine Dragons cover band." Justina Woods, Facebook

"Their last album is better. They stepped away a bit too much for me." Jose Torres, Facebook

"Cool tunes but I’m not a fan of the whole hidden identity and costumes thing. Seems lame and gimmicky." Gregory Christopher, Facebook

Your verdict

As with most metal bands who explode in popularity, Sleep Token have plenty of detractors ready to insist the band aren't 'metal enough' to warrant further discussion. But, as their burgeoning popularity proves, these voices are far outweighed by those who are actively interested in what the band have to offer. 

While not a faultless record - fans seem decidedly against some tracks, DYWTYLM in particular - Take Me Back To Eden has facillitated enormous growth in the band, and develops their unique fusion of styles in a more realised sense than what they achieved on previous records Sundowning and This Place Will Be Your Tomb

Some might bemoan the lack of extremity in Sleep Token's sound, but the fact remains they have built an impressive path that has turned them into one of metal's hottest new bands, the mask 'gimmick' never overshadowing their capability for writing emotionally charged, hook-laden tunes that can bewitch the masses.

Average Reader Score: 8.8/10

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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.