SLEEP
Stoner Metal / Doom Metal • United States

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After an overlooked debut, Sleep released a well-received follow-up, Sleep's Holy Mountain, in 1992 on Earache. The record had obvious Black Sabbath influences, and has been described as 'the best Black Sabbath never wrote.'

The success of Sleep's Holy Mountain landed Sleep a contract with a larger record company (London), who paid up front for Sleep's next record. As the story goes, Sleep went out and spent all the money on Orange amplifiers and marijuana (although this is denied by the band), then went on to record what is easily one of both stoner rock and doom metal's defining moments; the 1 hour long Dopesmoker.

London refused to publish the record, and Sleep privately released a somewhat shortened version of the song (as a bootleg) in 1998 as Jerusalem before splitting up. Jerusalem was properly released in 1999, however it took until 2003 for Dopesmoker to be released
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Thanks to Prog Geo, tupan, aglasshouse for the updates

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DopesmokerDopesmoker
Southern Lord 2012
Audio CD$9.93
$7.20 (used)
Holy MountainHoly Mountain
Import
Imports 2015
Vinyl$16.37
$20.26 (used)
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SLEEP Discography

SLEEP albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.46 | 6 ratings
Volume One
Doom Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.02 | 17 ratings
Sleep's Holy Mountain
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Jerusalem
Stoner Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 19 ratings
Dopesmoker
Stoner Metal 2003

SLEEP EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo
Doom Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Volume Two
Stoner Metal 1992

SLEEP live albums

SLEEP demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

SLEEP re-issues & compilations

SLEEP singles (1)

.. Album Cover
4.25 | 2 ratings
The Clarity
Stoner Metal 2014

SLEEP movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

SLEEP Reviews

SLEEP Dopesmoker

Album · 2003 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
Before you read this review, I suggest you check this list to see if you are associated with or are infatuated with the thought of any of the following:

cannabis, hemp, hashish, pot, dope, weed, Mary Jane, bud, hash, bhang, reefer, toke, ganja

If you answered yes to any of these, then you are secured and fully applicable to continue reading.

Sleep's previous work, Sleep's Holy Mountain, was less of a exercise of creative muscle and more of a salute to one of bands foremost influences, Black Sabbath. The instruments were kicked up a few notches in speed and vehement energy, and the slow muddle of their debut was toned down. After the album's release though the band set their eyes on a newer and brighter future. In 1995 the band was set and ready to record a new shining prospect of an hour long track that showcased all of the band's skill and prowess. Due to several problems in the process, mainly a contract with Earache Records preventing them from recording until '96, and the debt the band suffered until signing with London Records, the album Jerusalem was not released until 1999. Jerusalem was a 52 minute epic due to the unauthorized editing down by London Records that the band refused to have released. After a while many versions of Jerusalem were created under different titles and formats, but the most well known, highly acclaimed, and liked by the band was the 2003 release titled Dopesmoker. Cisneros himself admitted it was his favorite and was the closest to what he wanted in the first place, so that's what we'll be looking at today.

Dopesmoker is a concept album of sorts, a muddy brown sludge fest of repetitious chords and rhythms, that supposedly tells of a caravan crossing the desert to transport cannabis. The song is a giant drone-fest no doubt, and is probably one of the biggest milestones of stoner music in current history. Many doom metal bands have either cited it as an influence or a highly admirable piece of music, and I agree with that sentiment. Any fan of doom metal would find this grinding journey of an album to give you your desired state of comatose perfection any day of the week. Dopesmoker isn't subtle, no. But it's amateur composition and recording process make it one of the most organic and overall 'human' pieces I've heard in the metal circuit. Take a load off and go with the flow, bro.

SLEEP Sleep's Holy Mountain

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
A humble step forward for the band, Sleep's second album Sleep's Holy Mountain is a wholehearted tribute to 70's Black Sabbath, with faster riffs and ultimately faster songs. It's actually quite a shock when going from Volume One to this, due to the lighter (or just less somber atmosphere) of this record. As I said before this is mainly a full-blown incorporation of Sabbath's sound (circa debut/Paranoid), from the completely changed vocals of Cisneros to a more Osbourne style yell, to the faster guitar riffing to create a more streamlined sound. Don't let that turn you off in the slightest, because this album rocks hard, with perhaps more vigor than Volume One. With a newfound confidence, Sleep goes full steam ahead!

SLEEP Volume One

Album · 1991 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
aglasshouse
Sleep's debut is everything a debut should be: a spotlight of everything that the band stood for and would continue to stand for in the future. The slow dragging of lead footed guitar grinds that nod sleepily along to the heart-pounding jam of the drums was something doom metal, especially the stonerriffic Sleep's brand, would be known for. A small con, if you could call it that, is the hoarse, screaming vocals of Al Cisneros, whose style is very akin to Page Hamilton of Helmet. The only difference being Helmet's addition of noise rock to their alternative metal slamming style filled in any amateurish gaps that Hamilton's voice didn't. Cisneros has the problem that he has a lower quality voice, and sticks out a bit from the music. Even with that, Volume One does utilize a dream-like metal state (very truthful to the band's nomenclature), advertised well with Dali's fried bacon portrait. This album's darker tone would be left behind slightly in subsequent albums, so you can expect some uniqueness that you wouldn't find in the rest of the band's discography. Great start!

SLEEP Dopesmoker

Album · 2003 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Triceratopsoil
DDDDDDDDRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROPPPPPPPPPPPPP OOOOOOOOUTTTTTTTTTT OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF LIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFFFFFE WIIIIIIIITH BONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG INNNNNNNNNNNN HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDD

FFFFOLLLLLLLLLLOWWWWWWWWWW THHHHHHE SSSSMMMMMMMMMMOKE TTTTTTTTO THEEEEEE RRRRRRRIFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFILLLLLLLLLLLEDDD LLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDDD

Possibly the most essential stoner doom album ever released, Dopesmoker was, in a way, a big "fuck you" to London Records, who signed Sleep in the hopes of another Holy Mountain -esque album. Instead they got this crushingly heavy obelisk of an album. One slow, low, fuzzed out trip of a track spanning three LP sides, what's not to love? As they say, "sometimes a riff is just so fucking good that you want to hear it over and over again... sometimes for 52 minutes."

Dopesmoker is great music for many purposes. The obvious thing it's named after, for starters. Wearing in new stereo equipment. Drowning out your neighbours. Entering a catatonic state of pure aural bliss. Etc. Sometimes you just want to feel like you have been hit over the head with an bat (in a good way). Orange brand, of course.

SLEEP The Clarity

Single · 2014 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Tupan
Against all the probabilities, Sleep returned after a hiatus of 16 years, releasing a new song through the 2014 Adult Swim Singles – remembering that is free for download. Many acts return years after disbanding, and we all know that most of these returns weren't worth the wait...

But rejoice, fans of Sleep, you all can get high again! The line-up is not the same, since the original drummer left the band. Some people felt this loss, but I couldn't see the difference, really! The musicianship shown in this song, named The Clarity, is excellent. Many nods to Black Sabbath and the 70's hard rock/proto-doom bands, with a generous dose of psychedelia in the last half.

This song is recommendded for the stoner/doom metal fans. Check it out!

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