Hear ye, hear ye. Throughout this week at Adrenocrome Music we’ll be posting some tasty nuggets of Doom Metal for you to get yer teeth into. An album review a day for a working week of some of the best the genre has to offer. We have a deep sense of foreboding, and yep, it looks like the river is starting to run red, so let the doom and gloom begin! First up – Sleep’s Holy Mountain (1992):
Sleep formed in 1990 in San Jose, California, and after recording an often overlooked demo, released Sleep’s Holy Mountain with Earache Records in 1992. It is a blinding album that is highly accredited to the evolution of stoner metal.
With a prevailing, huge, heavy doom sound integrated with some real hard rock influences this is perhaps one of the most accessible of our choices. ‘Dragonaut’, kicks the album off nicely starting with a proper Sabbath style, slow and crushing riff and really sets the precedent. Some nice key changes and some slower, doomier stuff leads into an ending that could be straight out of Sabbath’s ‘N.I.B’. Leading nicely in the ‘The Druid’, a bludgeoning riff consumes you immediately whilst Al Ciserno’s vocal parts slap you in the face, screeching of tall mysterious towers, evil wizards and dark magic. The tracks following are class too and the album flows nicely. Though the highlight on Sleep’s Holy Mountain for me is the title track for sure:
It is widely considered essentially one of the first stoner doom albums. The best thing about it is that it just doesn’t let up, there is some really interesting composition and needless to say, it is heavy as balls. Sleep could be seen to influence numerous other bands and were at the forefront of movement including the mighty Kyuss and Monster Magnet. Holy Mountain is a great listen and a really solid recording, but there is nothing in here really that Sabbath haven’t done already. A moot point perhaps, everyone knows that Sabbath have already written all the music ever whilst travelling through space and time… And in that vein Holy Mountain gives us a bunch of tasty riffs and rhythmical hypnosis. The lyrics are pretty cool too. The Sabbath influences are so extremely obvious that they are just not worth dwelling on given Holy Mountain’s importance in the evolution of stoner metal and stoner doom.
Problems between the band and the label eventually caused them to break up shortly after and the rest of their albums were released posthumously. Sleep have left us an awesome album here and those in favour of crushing doom riffs and heavy down-tuning, please, give it a go!
The members of Sleep then went on to form heavy metal outfit High on Fire and experimental rockers OM after they disbanded. There’s also rumour of more reunion shows.
|3||Evil Gypsy / Solomon’s Theme||7:06|
|7||Inside the Sun||5:44|
Cover art by Robert Klem.
For fans of: High on Fire, OM, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Black Pyramid, Acid King and Church Of Misery