Sleep's Holy Mountain
A paragon of stoner-rock perfection, Sleep’s Holy Mountain epitomizes the gloriously lumbering swing first accessed in Black Sabbath’s “Hole in the Sky” and makes it slower, funkier, and meaner. A power trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarist Matt Pike, and drummer Chris Hakius, Sleep blends its instrumental voices in such a way that the band forms its own tectonic rumble, which manifests and then hovers parallel to whatever groove it's playing. The riffs on Holy Mountain are so deep and rich that to listen to the album on headphones is to dissemble a normative sense of space and time. The album’s imagery is primarily drawn from ancient religious ceremonies, monsters of legend, and marijuana rituals. Sleep refuses to simply serve as entertainment for listeners, insisting on completely engulfing spectators in sound. While Sleep’s approach might at first seem disorienting and brutal, total submission to this album’s sound design will result in elation and otherworldly transportation. Mission accomplished.