Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Album Review: Sleep Token’s “Take Me Back To Eden”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

The mysterious masked English metal band “Sleep Token” released their newest album “Take Me Back To Eden” on May 19, 2023, according to the band’s Spotify profile. The album is part of a larger narrative told by their lead singer, who is under the alias “Vessel.” “Take Me Back To Eden” is an amalgamation of genres, styles, and Sleep Token’s past albums and EPs. Better said, “Take Me Back To Eden” is a work of musical genius, a true work of art that has left metalheads stunned (me included). Vessel’s sophisticated and poetic lyrics are haunting, leaving me with a sense of vague familiarity, and I never knew where a track would begin and end.


Photo Credit: Sleep Token profile picture/Spotify

Take Me Back To Eden

Screenshot 36

Photo Credit: Sleep Token – Take Me Back To Eden/ YouTube

“Take Me Back To Eden,” the album namesake and eleventh track, is every element in the album put into one 8-minute and 19-second song. Though lengthy in relation to the average song (which sits around a comfortable 3 minutes), the beauty of “Take Me Back To Eden” makes me wish the song never ended. The track begins slowly, at a hauntingly ethereal and echoing pace and tone, and then the first chorus picks up the heaviness. In the second chorus and bridge, Sleep Token throws in a trap-style beat, building the heaviness and then breaking down into a pace resembling the first half. Sleep Token finishes the track with a heavy breakdown including a callback to the album opener, “Chokehold.”

This track is exciting, auditorily euphoric, and lyrically entrancing. “Take Me Back To Eden” may be the best song, across any genre, I’ve ever heard.

Favorite lyric: My, my, those eyes like fire/ I’m a winged insect, you’re a funeral pyre


“Rain,” the tenth track on the album, got me through the last leg of a 10-hour drive (seriously). Sitting at 4 minutes and 12 seconds, “Rain” begins simply with Vessel and a piano in the first verse, then picks up into a deep bassy beat in the chorus. The second verse continues, growing with the introduction of the guitar and other elements. This pace continues until a sudden return to the piano, then a heavy breakdown. (This pattern of growing, slowing, and breaking down into heaviness is used in variation across the album). Then, Sleep Token sneaks in a twist at the last minute to close the song, leaving me, again, wanting more.

“Rain” was a near-perfect song for me, trumped only by the masterful “Take Me Back To Eden.” It shows, too, as I listened to this song for about 3 hours straight on repeat.

Favorite lyric: And just like the rain/ You cast the dust into nothing/ And wash out the salt from my hands

The Apparition

“The Apparition,” the eighth track began with a haunting guitar and vocals similar to “Take Me Back To Eden”. However, the track had a more synthetic sound and trap-style beat than the last two songs on this list but also had the same sophisticated lyricism. The second chorus, however, introduced a heaviness that balanced the synth well. Finally, Sleep Token closed the song with a twist that left me astonished (flabbergasted, honestly).

This track was a late find for me, but it easily became one of my favorites on the album.

Favorite lyric: So let’s make trouble in the dream world/ Hijack heaven with another memory now


“Ascensionism,” the sixth track, was also a late find for me as I was discovering this album. The track is a comparable pace to the three previous songs on this list, but even at 7 minutes and 8 seconds long, “Ascensionism” was a satisfying listen. This track had amazingly poetic lyrical verses and an interesting structure compared to some of the other songs. Overall, it was a solid fourth-place pick for me.

Favorite lyric: Who encrypted your dark gospel in body language?/ Synapses snap back in blissful anguish


“Euclid,” the twelfth and final track of “Take Me Back To Eden,” has a reminiscent and bittersweet tone compared to the deeply angered or discontented darkness of some of the other songs in the album. The instruments, lyrics, and vocals in “Euclid” convey looking backward at what once was, which is perfect for its position on the album following “Take Me Back To Eden,” which seems to convey the internal struggle of removing something (or someone) toxic from yourself. This track was the last I discovered (which is why it is lower on my list), and I’m honestly disappointed I didn’t find it earlier.

Favorite lyric: So if your wings won’t find you heaven/ I will bring it down like an ancient bygone

The Summoning

Screenshot 37

Photo Credit: Sleep Token – The Summoning/ YouTube

At this point in the ranking, it got difficult to place songs. I liked the songs in sixth through eighth place about equally across the board. However, they all had something different to offer. So, I’ll start with “Chokehold.”

“The Summoning,” the second track on the album, and the second heaviest track, gained attention on radio stations such as SXM Octane. “The Summoning” can only be described as a “big” track, with a loud and full sound throughout. The track starts heavier than most on the album (as Vessel seemed to start softer in most of the songs). However, the simple and funky breakdown to close the song was a daring and creative move by Sleep Token that left me pressing rewind. That ultimately pushed “The Summoning” to sixth place on my list.

Favorite lyric: Oh, and my love/ Did I mistake you for a sign from God?/ Or are you really here to cast me off?


Screenshot 41

Photo Credit: Sleep Token – Chokehold/ YouTube

“Chokehold” is the opening track on “Take Me Back To Eden.” The song starts slow and deep with only Vessel’s vocals accompanied by guitar. The first bridge and chorus pick up to a comfortably-heavy pace. Over the 5 minutes and 4 seconds this track stretches, the song continues to grow until the closing 30 seconds when Vessel holds the last note. Overall, “Chokehold” was a solid track and a satisfying listen. However, it was only that: satisfying. It didn’t leave me craving more as some of the other songs did.

Favorite lyric: When we were made/ It was no accident/ We were tangled up like branches in a flood


“Vore,” the fifth track on the album, is also arguably the most metal on the album. I loved the unique heaviness of this track compared to the rest of the album, but I also really enjoyed it when Vessel pulled back from his screaming to singing (and his angelic falsetto). “Vore” was an enjoyable and dynamic listen, but not as lyrically interesting as tracks like “Take Me Back To Eden” or “Ascensionism.”

Favorite lyric: Will we remain stuck in the throat of gods?/ Will the pain stop if we go deeper?

DYWTYLM (Do You Wish That You Loved Me?)

“DYWTYLM,” the ninth track, was a surprisingly synth-heavy pop addition to the album. However, once I got over the initial musical whiplash, I was able to really appreciate the lyrics and vocals of this track. Though not as lyrically sophisticated as tracks like “Take Me Back To Eden” or “Chokehold,” the simplicity of his lyrics made Vessel’s message deeply and directly relatable to me. The uniqueness of this track compared to the other heavier tracks on the album landed “DYWTYLM” top-ten in my book.

Favorite lyric: Do you pull at the chains?/ Or do you push into constant aching?/ Each and every day/ Do you wish that you loved me?


Screenshot 38

Photo Credit: Sleep Token – Granite/ YouTube

“Granite,” the third track, was another synth-heavy song with a heavy closing breakdown. “Granite” has a medium pace compared to the rest of the album and has poetic lyrics. Even though “Granite” had a different sound than the other tracks, the lyrics didn’t resonate with, relate to, or stun me like in “Take Me Back To Eden,” “Rain,” or “Ascensionism.” Overall, it was a solid track, but it didn’t amaze or interest me like the previous songs on this list.

Favorite lyric: Never mind the death threats/ Parting at the door/ We’d rather be six feet under than be lonely

Aqua Regia

Screenshot 39 1

Photo Credit: Sleep Token – Aqua Regia/ YouTube

“Aqua Regia,” the fourth track, gave me a similar dissatisfied feeling to “Granite,” but from a completely different sound. To me, “Aqua Regia” had some similar musical elements to the end of “The Summoning,” but wasn’t as dynamic. The track as a whole didn’t offer anything new to the album, which led to such a low placement on my list, even though it was one of the earlier songs I discovered on “Take Me Back To Eden.” However, Vessel’s lyrics and vocals were quite interesting on this track, which ultimately saved this song for me.

Favorite lyric: Well, my love is an animal call/ Cutting through the darkness, bouncing off the walls/ Between teeth on a broken jaw/ Following a bloodtrail, frothing at the maw

Are You Really Okay?

“Are You Really Okay?” is the seventh track on the album, and unfortunately, the most underwhelming to me. Vessel’s lyrics were relatable and emotional, yet I wasn’t stunned by his vocal performance on this track. Like “Aqua Regia,” this track didn’t offer many new elements to the album, either. Personally, I also think the track wasn’t in the best place relative to the structure of the album. The song sat between “Ascensionism” and “The Apparition,” both of which carried very different sounds compared to “Are You Really Okay?” Even though this track is last on my list, it is by no means a bad song. “Are You Really Okay?” just did not resonate with me and my music tastes.

Favorite lyric: I raised you in the dark/ Caught you reading by the sunrise/ You wandered from the path/ Through the silence of the hillside

“Take Me Back To Eden” was an album that got me excited about music in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. The album was sonically cohesive and exciting for the most part, and Vessel’s lyricism and vocality were simply astounding. Even the songs that didn’t make top-ten were solid tracks. Finally, almost every song shared a similar structure but each introduced new elements that made it unique, exciting, or haunting. Now, if only I could see Sleep Token perform “Take Me Back To Eden” in concert.

For more information on Sleep Token, tour dates, and more, visit this link.

Hi! I'm a second-year Honors Tutorial College journalism student and writer at Ohio University! I enjoy exercising, studying, local coffee, and collecting stickers from local businesses! I can't wait to take you on my college journey!