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Sleep Ranked

Genre: Stoner Rock/Doom Metal/Psychedelic. I chose to rank Sleep's LP's only since their EP, 'Volume Two', contains only 3 tracks consisting of a Sabbath cover and two other songs already contained on their LP, 'Sleep's Holy Mountain'.
1Sleep
Jerusalem


4.5 - Dam this album is the 'best ever' and probably heavier than
anything Sleep's done up to this point. This third LP forcusing more on atmosphere
with a strong-crusty atmosphere, dense bass tone, pounding riffs, and drum work
that
reeks of an almost tribal/rock style. The sheer beauty and emotion of the
production
and riffs/elements takes this album far above their previous LP 'Sleep's Holy
Mountain'. An stronger doom vibe is found here too which compliments the bands
effective dynamics. Now the 'doom' sections are necessarilly slow in the sense of
drum work because the drums seem to always be pounding hard as I mentioned the
tribal/rock styles earlier. Its the guitars that take on more of a doom tempo and
like Sleep's debut Volume One this integration of mid paced drums and slow paced
guitars really heightens everything! The psychedelic tag attributed to this band is
more apparent than ever and everything seems to drone extremely hard but as
anyone
who is familiar with proper drone, its never a bad thing as long as the elements are
extremely tasty which this album definitely is. Call it drone-rock if you will, with
psychedelic tendancies. Even the vocals are more 'droney' as they tend to creep in
with long drawn out words in a clean sung raspy sort of fashion. Basically, simply
said, this album is basically sex. The main drawbacks is the riffs can drone on a
little too long from time to time but after a hamonizing lead solo saves the
impatience things completely come back together perfectly again. The album also
comes
together hard when the music drops low to a clean section around the mid-way
album
mark and ladies and gentlement we are takin' pure psychedelic goodness here, I
mean
here's the thing. The only thing that would make this album perfect would be if the
drums went more berzerk and utilized more handwork with jazz added to the tribal-
rock
style. I bet most of the people who rated this album a 3.5 and below didn't even
listen to the whole thing. I bet they just listened to 3 minutes of it and said oh it
looks like the riff hasn't changed so ima just 2 it now. Lol, quees.
2Sleep
Volume One


4 - Volume One is a great start to Sleep's catalogue. Right from the
beginning they've been a solid band. Their characteristics of Stoner Rock and Doom
Metal are also aspects notable since their inception. The slowed down tempos of
stoner rock goodness are what really make this album tasty, even from the
beginning.
Usually doom metal has some pretty boring minimal drum work on them but here
with
Sleep they're using what good about doom metal which is the slowed down tempo
which
allows the flavors to impress and circulate around the mind while the drums which
are
more in the format of rock music, while staying in tempo, add groove and
enjoyability
to the mix. Heaviness is never lost by these rock qualities; Sleep manages to
effectively crush while inducing hip shakes in their listeners. The vocals on this
album are top notch and favor a mid-high range crusty scream approach. They fit
very
well and add a good deal of emotion to the music. One of my favorite elements on
this
album is the use of clean vs distorted sections, especially after dynamic crescendo
shifts. Hearing a solid groove filled with raging distortions drop to a clean section
following the same notes is quite rewarding. Although all passage/riff moments
usually recover quite well, there are a few moments where the riffs grow a little
stagnant, as if they could be stronger and more varied. But this doesn't happen too
often at all. Most of the time, due to the production and grooves, you'll be
immersed
in atmospheres of exquisite delight. Dam how can I forget that audible bass. Dam
this
album is soooo good, a must listen. It's funny how this is usually overshadowed by
Sleep's later releases but for any fan of Sleep who hasn't heard, dam, just dam, get
on this now!!
3Sleep
Sleep's Holy Mountain


3.5 - Oh sputnik what am I going to do with you. Now, this
is album is good and even great but its not as good as 'Volume One'. Don't ask my
the
averages don't justify what I'm saying. Well, first of all this album is more
rock/stoner rock focused than anything else. The doom metal elements of their
debut
is almost non-apparent here which doesn't mean that has to be a bad thing but the
emotional weight just isn't the same as Volume One. This isn't as delicate as
Volume
One. It is, however, still a damn fine album and the grooves are quite tasty but the
drums aren't as good, the vocals aren't as strong, the riffs as said before don't
hold the same emotional impact. This album is most similar to the band OM than
anything else. Not sure who came first, I don't care. All that matters is this album
is overrated and its a shame if there are any Sleep fans out their who've heard this
but not Sleep's debut LP. Now don't get me wrong, this album is not a huge step
back
it's just not as strong as Volume One. There's still tons to love here and tons to
get lost in. We still have clean and distorted tones, groovey-enjoyable riffs,
dynamic builds and fitting vocals which are the backbone of this albums success.
As
good as the riffs are though its impossible to dismiss the fact that many of the
riffs here could be a tad bit better and more inspirational and insightful like
Volume One. The latter half of this album is much stronger thatn the beginning as
well and damn those Sabbath vox really come out around that area and the Iommi
riffs
breathe hard. Still a great album nontheless.
4Sleep
Dopesmoker


3 - Following in the same dense atmosphere and similar production style
as 'Jerusalem', 'Dopesmoker' is force to be reckoned with. Simply put the music is
still great but riffs aren't as strong as Jerusalem or even Volume One for that
matter. The psychedalic drone approach is still here but again the emotions of
Jerusalem don't support this release as strongly. The main elements here that could
be considered better than Jerusalem would be the use of deeper reverbs over the
use
of harmonizing lead solos but even then that's a pale comparison and a weak
argument
to say this is better than Jerusalem. Unlike Jerusalem, as well, the droning elements
here don't have as much replay value and it isn't as enticing as one would hope. In
fact, this could be considered boring at times as well. Definitely Sleep's weakest
album to date but still a good one nonetheless and I still look forward to their
possible 2014 release. Hopefully they either create something totally new or create
an album that combines the best elements of Volume One and Jerusalem.
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