|Artwork by Arik Roper|
Sleep's Dopesmoker from 2003 is available on the newly opened Southern Lord Bandcamp. Many words have been written about the stillbirth and later resurrection of this seminal album, I invite you to read the Wikipedia article if you're interested in the history lesson. What we have here is the Southern Lord reissue from 2012, remastered from the original studio tapes by Brad Boatright, and featuring stunning new artwork by Arik Roper. The massive 63 minutes of the Dopesmoker track itself is cut in three parts like the vinyl release, and the live version of Holy Mountain is also included.
Jonathan Carbon from Chronicles of Chaos discussed just how "perfect" an album Dopesmoker is. He ended up giving it a 10 out of 10 rating, calling it
the pinnacle of stoner doom. For 63 minutes, Sleep pounds away at monolithic riffs which clears the ground for one of the most ridiculous and effective metal fantasy stories of all timeBut not before decrying his lack of a rating system that includes 11s, 12s, and 13s; for those albums that just keeps growing over time.
Ultimately Dopesmoker is an album you need to feel for yourself. As Craig Hayes concludes in his well written review for PopMatters:
You could argue that dissecting the song does it no favors at all – it must be felt, intimately and palpably. Certainly, “Dopesmoker” is not for those wanting a quick and easy fix. Its languid, lurching tempo, along with Cisneros’ mantric incantations, may challenge the patience of many listeners. Yet, for all the song’s complexity, Sleep ensures it never becomes impossible to navigateSo click the player below and drop out of life with bong in hand the next 63 minutes.
[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]