While Sleep’s Holy Mountain remains Sleep's most accessible and most enjoyable album, Dopesmoker is unquestionably the apotheosis of the band's stoner-metal vision. An epic in every sense of the word, Dopesmoker's original edition contained only the hourlong title song, recorded in Comptche, Calif., in 1996. According to the band, writing and recording the track was the most arduous task it ever faced. When it was completed, Sleep's record label refused to release it due to its monolithic length. While the song eventually saw release in slightly altered forms in 1998 (under the title Jerusalem) and again in 2003, the first exemplary issue finally arrived in 2012 courtesy of Southern Lord Records. Make no mistake: this is how you were meant to hear “Dopesmoker.” The sound quality is superlative, creating rich corridors of space in what might otherwise sound like mere metal riffs. While Dopesmoker feels like the culmination of something Black Sabbath started decades earlier, its structure and tone have more in common with Gregorian sacred music than anything achieved in the rock arena.