Sleep
Sleep's Holy Mountain


4.0
excellent

Review

by BenjoJames USER (18 Reviews)
February 16th, 2014 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Sleep's Holy Mountain" is easily the best Black Sabbath album since "Sabotage" was released.

Despite obviously reviewing San Jose's own Sleep, we must hang fire before we dive into the sludgy waters of the album itself, and instead give voice to their primary influence: Black Sabbath. Such is the blatant inspiration of Butler, Osbourne, Ward and Iommi upon the American (or Amerijuanican, as fellow stoner metallers Bongzilla might add) band that the very album itself manifests as a Satanic altar to the Brummie headbangers. This album, and in fact the entire stoner and doom metal genres themselves are testament to metal's Aston-bred grandfather figure.

'Dragonaut' boasts riffs that loom so heavy they sound as if forged in Birmingham factories (establishments not unlike those that iconically parted Tony Iommi from his fingertips). Replete with distorted vox and an endless barrage of groove, few albums have seen such a pertinent opener. Much of this LP defines stoner metal; taking the blues out of its swampy homeland (this long-player even features a bluegrass number by way of 'Some Grass') and fusing its Southern tragedy with the overdriven guitars of classic British metal. Other highlights of the record include 'The Druid', as vocalist/bassist Al Cisneros' hardcore shouts deliver an aura of aggression to the former half of the piece, whilst the latter surfaces as an impromptu jam, reminiscent of the early works of the band that most inspired them. Elsewhere, 'Evil Gypsy-Solomons Theme' is as terrifying as it is monolithic, and at over 7 minutes long is by no means the longest track on the album, especially when compared with the 10 minute plus 'From Beyond', dirgey instrumental passages lumbering like cannibalistic cannabinoid fiends through darkened desert.

The production is raw, and amidst walls of feedback the FX has subtle psychedelic hints-the chorused vocals, the wah-wah bass; it is only the lower guitar tunings and the occasionally thrashy vocal that separates the 1993 record from the 1970s era that inspired it. The chemistry of the players (Sleep recorded this album as but a humble power trio) is remarkable, as songs, riffs and bass-heavy instrumental sections morph effortlessly into one another like daemonic hashish mirages. A defining moment for the stoner and doom metal genres, and a trip (pun intended) down memory lane for the nostalgic metalhead mourning his marijuana-rich 70s heyday, memories as long as his hair. "Sleep's Holy Mountain" is not a comfortable climb, but for the more seasoned metaller, it is certainly a worthwhile one.



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user ratings (526)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Timeizillmatic9 (4.5)
An underground metal classic...

Joe Schmoh (5)
Sleep's Holy Mountain > Dopesmoker...

Anthony Hoch (3.5)
...

related reviews

Volume One

Dopesmoker

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ending
February 16th 2014


1919 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summary is almost pos-worthy on its own.

BenjoJames
February 16th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha thank you.

KriegdemKriege
February 16th 2014


1362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree, great summary and review.

I love this album.

BenjoJames
February 16th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you.

Mad.
February 16th 2014


4056 Comments


Excellent review, really funny and enjoyable read. The summary is pretty awesome too.

It's hard to listen to ANY stoner band without feeling the overpowering Sabbath worship, it's kinda annoying but whatever, still an awesome genre.

rockandmetaljunkie
February 16th 2014


3696 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Album is classic.

Enjoyable review my friend , have a pos.

Hoppoman
February 16th 2014


654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sleep is awesome, I prefer Dopesmoker but this is equally groovy.

Ryus
February 16th 2014


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dopesmoker is better IMHO but this is sweet, good review too

Digging: Dean Blunt - Black Metal

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


21392 Comments


Best Sleep album.

BenjoJames
February 16th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you guys appreciate the review

NodScene23
February 16th 2014


270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anybody who likes sleep should check out Acrimony, not quite the full on Sabbath worship but still heavy and psychedelic. I wrote a review for Tumuli Shroomaroom awhile back but it slipped through the cracks.

Awesome review here, pos.

CaptainDooRight
February 16th 2014


30239 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

naw Jerusalem is way better

BenjoJames
February 16th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you NodScence23. I'll check them out.

Mad.
February 17th 2014


4056 Comments


Your review is now flagged!

TheRemnant
February 17th 2014


40 Comments


Such a good album. The tone is just perfect.

BenjoJames
February 22nd 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Flagged? And yeah it's a great album.

Spec
February 23rd 2014


27269 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

walls of stoner-riff-ic feedback.

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

Timeizillmatic9
February 23rd 2014


256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this shit melts my face

Mad.
February 24th 2014


4056 Comments


Flagged = main review for the album

BenjoJames
February 26th 2014


178 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aha legend. Go Benjo.



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