Sleep - Dopemsoker
Southern Lord re-releases one of the greatest and most influential records of the last twenty years, in any genre. Sleep's "Dopesmoker" help kick-start the Doom/Sludge revolution, which revitalized underground metal and brought a uniquely meditative, but also a massive, grindingly heavy sound that took Sabbath's "Masters of Reality" as a Rosetta Stone and took its tone into the mystic.
The original was a maddening, stunning, staggering single track. Here the remastered "Dopesmoker," all fifty seven minutes and twenty five seconds worth. Brad Boatright's (Ashes Rise, Noothgrush) production basically cleans up the sound and uses that clarity to enhance and beef up what is already a pretty beefy sound. Al Cisneros and company never sounded more live, and this update opens up even more colors and echoes you may have missed the first time around.
Also included in this re-issue is a live version of "Holy Mountain" from a 1994 show in San Francisco. This too is a revelation, and here the somewhat muddy, bootleg feel adds to its power, and provides a good contrast to the clarity of the title track.
On historical significance only Sleep's "Dopesmoker" is essential listening. But as this reissue reminds us, it is still vital and current and, like most classics, probably always will be.
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