Album review: Sleep – ‘Sleep’s Holy Mountain’

Album review: Sleep - 'Sleep's Holy Mountain'


Slooooooooow and heeeeeeeeavy

Three red-eyed longhairs from San Jose, California, Sleep played slow, sludgy metal steeped in the clang of Black Sabbath, penning songs about drugs and, along with Josh Homme’s pre-Queens band Kyuss, laying down the floorboards for the sound people would soon be calling ‘stoner rock’. Sleep’s 50-minute epic ‘Jerusalem’ may be their imposing conceptual masterwork, but 1992’s ‘Sleep’s Holy Mountain’ contains their best songs: insistent, almost mantric weed hymns imbued with a bluesy, psychedelic heaviness. The lyrics can be corny – “Ride the dragon toward the crimson eye/Flap the wings under Mars’ red sky”, opens ‘Dragonaut’ – but when said lyrics surf in on riffs that dissolve your brain to soup, who’s griping?

Louis Pattison