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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

This will be the fourth debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
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Modern metal is back

Take+Me+Back+To+Eden+album+cover.+Photo+from+spinefarmrecords.com+
“Take Me Back To Eden” album cover. Photo from spinefarmrecords.com

Metal music has always been a confusing and rather misrepresented genre, viewed as nothing more than an unstructured mesh of endless violent, unmelodic screaming and incomprehensibly distorted guitars. But in reality, metal is so much more than these stereotypes. especially in its modern era, which has a much broader range of vocal and guitar styles. It experiments with complex song structures, implements more electronic elements, and is often influenced by other genres, challenging the notion of one-dimensional aggressive sound. 

A great album for those new to metal, is Sleep Token’s “Take Me Back to Eden.” This album fuses modern metal with a plethora of sounds and is sure to bring many people into the genre, as it did with me.

Sleep Token is an anonymous British progressive/alternative metal band that formed in 2016. Although slightly popular during the period of their first and previous two albums, they have become notably popular after the release of their latest 12-track album, amassing over two million monthly listeners and over 330 million streams on the album itself. The band’s surge in popularity can be attributed to the album’s diverse musical landscape, blending elements of R&B, pop, jazz and even some elements of funk and trap. 

The song that highlights the band’s versatility the most is “The Summoning.” The song begins with an alternating pattern of heavy guitar riffs and clean ethereal choruses, transitions into a jazzy guitar solo and ultimately ends with a funk bridge and refrain. I listened to this song before I became interested in metal, yet couldn’t hold back a grin throughout its three different yet incredibly well-executed sections.

Lyrically, the album is very intricate with an abundance of metaphors and references to the band’s enduring cult-themed lore. However, I still found it very enjoyable as someone who hadn’t initially listened to their discography. On the surface, it touches on themes of troubling relationships, suicide, depression and self-exploration.

I found the electro-pop track, “DYWTYLM” (Do You Wish That You Loved Me?) to be particularly moving. Although a bit unpolished, I appreciate how well it synergizes with its lyrics, with its upbeat and “pop-y” sound eerily contrasting with its rather depressing lyrics. Vessel, the pseudonym of Sleep Token’s vocalist, initially appears to be speaking to his partner in a problematic relationship, though later reveals that he is speaking to himself, contemplating self-acceptance. 

The vocal flexibility of Vessel is probably the most notable aspect of the album overall. Vessel seamlessly balances clean soulful vocals in tracks like “Euclid” with harsh screams in tracks like the heavily ambient title track and the blackgaze inspired “Vore.” There are R&B inspired vocals and instrumentals in tracks like “Granite,” “Ascensionism,” and the most beautiful song on the album, “Aqua Regia.” There are even pop influences, such as in tracks “Rain” and “The Apparition.” The album utilizes an abundance of inspirations, yet still cleanly blends the traditional guitar and other instrumental tones of modern metal.

“Take Me Back To Eden” is a creative and utterly genre-defying alternative metal album. It is accessible, yet still genuinely implements aspects of modern metal. It has completely shifted my music taste, and I hope it leaves you with a sense of how metal music can sound today.

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Jonah Mitre
Jonah Mitre, Reporter

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