Rock Hits
Are Sleep Token a Metal Band?

Are Sleep Token a Metal Band?

Are Sleep Token metal?

The masked and mysterious British band certainly has a flair for the theatrics of heavy metal. And they undoubtedly have songs that are alt-metal or progressive metal, if not nearly djent in their sonics. Then again, Sleep Token also have piano-led indie pop songs.

So are Sleep Token a metal band or not?

It’s that disparate mix — there are also doses of ambient and alternative — that find many labeling Sleep Token a “mystery” or “cult” act rather than a metal band, with listeners often leaning on the visual aspects of Sleep Token’s faceless form to try and capture their essence.

But surely there must be a better way to describe their overeall sound, wouldn’t you think?

READ MORE: Who Are Sleep Token?

Over the last year, Sleep Token have shook the rock and metal world with heavy, scream-laden, post-metal singles such as “Vore” and “The Summoning.” Yet they followed those with “DYWTYLM,” a modern pop love song bordering on R&B with smooth vocals and no guitars or live drums.

The dichotomy is par for the course for Sleep Token. Even their first EP, 2016’s One, threads the needle between alt-metal, rock and ambient pop. So Sleep Token have played this game of metal-or-not since their inception. Hell, they did a piano cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” in 2018.

Sleep Token, “DYWTYLM”

Are Sleep Token a Metal Band?

There’s more to the question regarding if Sleep Token are metal. In a 2017 interview with Metal Hammer that probed the band’s context, the secretive Sleep Token bandleader known as Vessel gave an equally mysterious answer when asked about the group’s influences.

“As musicians we are inspired by the human condition and a plethora of artists, but we are deeply moved by His words and continue to do our utmost to bring them to life,” Vessel said. “As followers we are bound by a duty to combine our crafts to create music that conveys some of our most primal, and powerful emotions.”

READ MORE: Is Metallica Rock or Metal?

If anything, the closest answer is probably that Sleep Token are a rock band with as much of their expansive style indebted to metal as it is to alternative, ambient or pop. When Sleep Token rock, they rock hard. But they could just as well serenade you with a sweet melody.

Sleep Token, “The Summoning”

After all, when one song sounds something like Deftones, but the next conjures up Coldplay, it’s hard to categorize Sleep Token as just metal. Still, accounting for their music and visuals, Sleep Token may lean more metal than anything else.

In the end, it seems best to surmise that Sleep Token’s music is atmospheric and emotionally charged while incorporating heavy elements and contrasting them with softer, melodic passages, not limiting themselves to a single genre.

Sign up for Loudwire’s newsletter and get the Loudwire app to stay up to date with the latest rock and metal news.

Watch: The War on Heavy Metal in the ’80s

Rock and Metal Band Fanbase Names + Where They Came From

The names of some of the biggest rock and metal fanbases, and their origins.