We like a good enigma. In musical spheres, it adds a little extra edge to proceedings, while hopefully making it less about who they are and more about what they are doing with their instruments.
Bands whose members are unknown are nothing new of course – screamo supergroup United Nations are largely an unknown quantity, while more recently Satanic occult rock outfit Ghost have spent a few years blaspheming their way across stages worldwide under heavy makeup and costumers – but brand new British group Sleep Token are the latest to take up the mantle of mystery in 2016, and the unknown quantity of who is behind the band only adds to the atmosphere of their very recent rise.
Of course, secrecy is all smoke and mirrors without the goods to back it up – but Sleep Token’s goods are all neatly wrapped, properly packaged for transport, and hell, delivered right into your waiting hands.
The group’s first single “Thread The Needle” has just dropped via Heavy Blog Is Heavy, and it is very, very good – take a listen, and a look at the accompanying video:
From a deceptive, sparse opening which matches moody atmospherics with a raw, emotional vocal, the song builds over a few minutes before smacking face with some beautifully simple riffing, sounding like Deftones‘ Stephen Carpenter got together with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. It drips with barely-restrained emotion, packaging elements of post-metal, post-rock, djeny, pop and folk into something larger than the sum of its parts.
The video itself is creepy as fuck – shifting focus shots of candles, moonlit skies, inkblots and a cloaked figure in a mask. It’s thematically very strong, in keeping with the quality of the music.
Sleep Token have shown an opening hand in rude health – no doubt there will be much more to come as the project advances and gains momentum.