This album is a mammoth release from stoner kings, Sleep. They take one riff, and cram it in your brain for 63 minutes and 31 seconds. Some people might find this tiring but I find it very enjoyable. This track has all the things you would come to expect from stoner rock/Doom band, Fuzzed out guitars, Booming Groovy bass, and drums that don’t disappoint. The lyrical content is kinda silly, its about ancient people on a search for weed.This is one of those albums where you have to listen to the whole thing to get it, even then you most likely still wont get it, and will probobly hate it.
The epic monster that is Dopesmoker starts off with a slow, churning riff, that almost hypnotizes you for the first 2 minutes and 40 seconds, the drums finally kick in, and that same riff keeps pulling you in, deeper and deeper. Changing ever so slightly, and grows more intense until at about 6:30 when the bass starts its groove and kicks in. It keeps building and building until at 7:30 when the bottom drops out and the brass starts crashing it sounds like a wave just washing everything away…except that riff, that riff keeps going. Then Matt throws in this fill a couple times that sounds like it was sent from god himself. It’s not amazingly technical but it just sounds holy. The groove kicks back in even deeper then before, and you feel like you’re on this journey, with them. Then at 8:25 the vocals kick in and you know exactly what wave length these guys are on.
“Drop out of life, with bong in hand."
They have no qualms about it, they love smoking pot, and they don’t find a damn thing wrong with it. They repeat that a few more times, and then you hear
“Follow the smoke, to the riff filled land."
Followed buy some really deep and heavy bass groove. Then at about 12:30, the bottom drops out again, and there is a nice guitar interlude, followed some cool work by the whole band, for the next couple minutes. Lots of groovy bass fills in here. Then at 14:30 Pike comes in with a nice solo, again not the most technically adept solo you will ever hear, but it fits with the music, I personally couldn’t imagine this solo being any different. He wails on his les Paul for the next 2 minutes or so, its never obnoxious or over indulgent (well in context to the song, because one 63 minute song is pretty indulgent, but what do you expect from stoners). Then Matt flows back into the riff, and your hit with the next bit of vocals
“Proceed the Weedian, to Nazareth."
Then they settle back into the groove that they have created. And things quiet down, at 19:10 but kick up again shortly proceeded again by
“Proceeds the Weedian, to Nazareth."
And they Drone on a little more, slightly changing that riff as it’s played.
The music drops out again around 21:50 with Pike just sporadically strumming the same couple chords that he has been playing all this time, slowly very slow, it drones on like something you would hear from Sunn 0))), or Earth or even some Boris. Then is builds and kicks back in at 23:10. They then come in with more lyrics illustrating just what’s going on,
“Creeds men roll out Across the Dying down,
Sacred Israel, Holy Mount, Zion
Sun Beams Down onto the Sandean,
Reigns Caravan Migrates Through deep Sandscape,
Lungs men Unearth the creed of Hasheeshian,
Procession of the weed priest to cross the sand,
Desert Legion Smoke Covenant is Complete,
arise the god of Israel. Jordon river flows on ever more,
Bathe in glow of sunlight’s beating rays
They feel so lost and burned through our days"
Then as the marijuana soaked lyrics flow, the music drones on in the background. Until 30:50 when things quiet down again. And Pike keeps those chords growling as usual. The music kicks back up and another verse comes in
“Stoner caravan emerge from sand sea, Earthling inserts to chalice the green cutchie, Groundation soul finds trust upon smoking hose, Assembled creeds men rises prayer-filled smoke, Raise up seer’s Holy Prophecy. Seed of Eden fall, onward caravan prepare new road."
At 35:30 some really cool drumming comes in and drives up the intensity till the bottom falls out again and Pike strums the riff, then the rhythm section escorts the guitar back in as its grows more intense here, the bass churning out some really low grooves. Then some lyrics come in
“Judgment soon comes to Mankind,
Green Herbs men serve rightful king,
Hemp seed caravan carries on."
Then the band plays for a few seconds and another solo comes right in, at 39:28. This solo isn’t as awesome as the first one but it has a very far away feel to it like its flying through the air towards you, and away from you never letting you grab it. This is cause buy the massive use of what I assume is Reverb, and feedback. As the bass plays in the background the guitar just gets farther out and farther out, until it just reaches space, then things settle down, almost completely.
Matt pike comes off, of a roaring mile high solo, into a shimmering interlude that sounds like something out of a Buddhist monastery, this gets more mystical because it is contrasted by the bass and the drums, very lightly grooving in the back, then at 44 minutes the whole band come roaring back and this part of the song is noticeably heavier then anything before the interlude, the bass is subterranean, but still keeps that groove, then at 45:22 the lyrics come back in.
" The molten fire flowed up to-uh Zion,
Flight of the Nazarene to seek the Cherubim,
Rides out believer with the spliff aflame,
Marijuananaut escapes earth to cultivate."
These lyrics are thrown in very sparsely, because the band is much more focused on the music right now. Then at 49 minutes the rhythm section drops out and Pike plays probably the most varied version of the riff on the whole song. Then the band kicks back in, the music seems to get deeper and deeper, as it sucks you. then at 51 minutes the next solo comes in. This is my personal favorite part of the song; this is a very bluesy, solo, and probably the best one on the album, but unfortunately the shortest as well.
Then at 52:30 the riff starts in again with the whole band following suit. At 54 minutes the lyrics come back in.
“Grow-Room is church temple of the new stoner breed,
Chants Loud-Robed priest down on to the freedom seed,
Burnt offering redeems, completes smoked deliverance,
Caravans stoned deliverance,
The caravan holds to Eastern Creed - Now smokes believer!
The Chronicle of the Sensimillian."
The band now jams on, throwing in a few variations on the tried and true riff.
Then the final bits of knowledge:
"Drop out of life with bong in hand
Follow the smoke to the riff-filled land
Drop out of life with bong in hand
Followed by a little more grooving, the band then starts to quiet down to the way it sounded in the very beginning, with the simple riff being repeated, but its starts to get gradually deeper and lower…and lower…and lower….until it fades out, and leaves as abruptly as it came in.
Sonic Titan: This is a cool little extra that they threw on here it’s a pretty cool song, a lot more stoner rock then it is doom. It’s about 10 minutes long but after you listen to dopesmoker you will be in such a trance that you probably wont even notice its on. But it features some really cool guitar work; overall it’s a solid song.