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Sleep (Rock)

Perhaps the ultimate stoner rock band, Northern California trio Sleep had a career that wafted in and out of focus from within their self-mandated cloud of marijuana smoke. In their short time together, they issued some of the heaviest, most uncompromising doom metal albums ever recorded, leaving a legend far exceeding the actual volume of their output.

Formed around the turn of the '90s in San Jose, CA, by bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, guitarists Matt Pike and Justin Marler, and drummer Chris Haikus, Sleep instantly drew comparisons to underappreciated '80s doomsters like the Obsessed, Pentagram, and especially Saint Vitus. Their sludgy 1991 debut was named Volume One in honor of their sonic godfathers Black Sabbath, but it wasn't until Marler's departure (reportedly to become a monk!) and the release of 1993's Sleep's Holy Mountain that their own unique doom metal vision truly began coming into focus. The album became a favorite of the heavy metal press, and Sleep were heralded alongside other promising retro-rocking groups like Kyuss and Monster Magnet as leaders of the newly emerging stoner rock/doom metal scene. Such was the buzz surrounding the group that, following a short European tour supporting first-generation doomsters Trouble and English hopefuls Cathedral, Sleep were reportedly offered an unprecedented six-figure deal by London Records. But instead of grabbing their chance at mainstream stardom for all it was worth, Sleep vowed to delve even deeper into their incredibly heavy and slothful sound instead.

After almost two years of writing and rewriting material for their next album (to be named Dopesmoker, not surprisingly) amidst abundant weed consumption, the trio finally delivered its long-awaited epic, now named Jerusalem, to London Records. But to the label's surprise, Jerusalem was comprised of a single 60-minute magnum opus to marijuana that the band refused to edit or split up into sections under any circumstances. A complete deadlock ensued, tying up both parties in red tape for another two years. Finally, having smoked their entire cash advance through their bongs, Sleep decided to break up rather than surrender the album. Guitarist Matt Pike went on to form a new, more energetic heavy metal band called High on Fire, while drummer Chris Haikus eventually reunited with founding guitarist (and now ordained monk) Justin Marler in the Sabians. In the meantime, an unauthorized version of Jerusalem was quietly released by Rise Above Records, but it wasn't until 2003 that a supposedly authentic and fully endorsed version of Dopesmoker finally reached record store shelves, bringing the convoluted Sleep saga to a close at last. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I'm seeing them out in Joshua Tree next month!!
markf885
LOL JK nothing is going to be fine
markf885
lol JK, nothing is going to ne fine
markf885
it's fine. It's all fine. it's gonna be fine
Old school gramma : If you don't have anything' positive to say......Say no thing. Dummy!! Do something original .
bobonit dropped a hot dog on the floor of a Kmart mens' room and ate it anyway.
westcoastjay
Dope!
bobonit needs to bob on it if he thinks Sleep bites.
They bite and shouldn't appear on my station
ivanmiles7
Sleep is back in the studio!!!
They found a way to stretch 30 seconds of music into 6 minutes. They smoke weed,big deal.
Indeed.
Pandora! Please play the entire ,uncut dopesmoker!! !
1063083611
Fisheeboy From Beyond. SleepeeFish
Sonic Titans!!!!
Don't forget they released a remastered version of dopesmoker this year.
The most rock & metal stations on Pandora Radio!
Pretty rad!
How am I just discovering these guys? Sleep f**king rocks!
J. Harral expresses his complete lack of basic, fundamental music composition knowledge with his ignoramus comment.
crappy garage band? holy S#it!!!! The level of craftsmanshi p of heavy music, mood, and tone, has, to date, not been replicated. no one is doing epic explorations of fuzz like this out of their garage. you must like computer programmed-p u s h - b u t t o n dance noise or scorpion-esq u e hair & make-up rock if you cant appreciate the brilliance of sleep.
Sounds like a crappy garage band. :-(
Sleep!
F**k yeah!
I could use more Sleep.
love this machine called sleep....
I f**king love sleep.
Pandora u r a great entity, a force tp be bowed down to but do u think u might start playing some Sleep outta Nor Cal. Thanx guys..
Heck yeah man , loving this band .
Fukkin chuffin!
Bong huffing caravan thru the holy land....
SLEEEEEEEEEE E E E E E E E E E P
This band, stoner metal? I would have never guessed.
johnoslaught e r - a m r
the review didn't say anything about Al forming OM with Chris!!!! OM rules! How could you make an oversight like that? OM is better than High on Fire OR Sleep, that's just wrong.
craptasticat
ahhhhhhhhhh SSSSLLLLLLEE E E E P P P P P P
Too cool. I dig it.
I saw these guys in Chicago in '93. SUPER HEAVY!! The show had to end when the drummer(poun d i n g the drums harder than i have ever seen by anyone) broke his kit in half. By that, I mean the toms broke off and fell on the floor. He stepped over his drums, like a viking stepping over a slain opponent, and that was all she wrote. The shirt I bought that night from the band had a picture of an astronaut smoking a bong on the moon. It doesn't get any heavier than Sleep!!!
Sleep is so thick and heavy and sludgy. It's like a warm blanket of noise.
nfischetti12
undeniably amazing. check out Shrinebuilde r , too.
SLEEP!!!! HIGH ON FIRE!!! OM!!! KALAS!!! ASBESTOS DEATH!!! EVERYTHING THESE GUYS TOUCH TURNS INTO GOLD!!!XD
rippsss
saw them in SF on september 13, 2010. they did not disappoint. f*&king amazing show!
reunion in austin was 2.5 hours awesome. Didn't know justin marler played music as a monk...will have to check it out
The reunion happenned... a n d it was 3 songs worth of killer :P
Amazing group, their music got me through high school and college. Still always long for a reunion. But You should check out OM its the band that Al and Chris started after sleep.
These guys are f**king bad a** !
crazypete61
I agree, metalmidget, all good things must come to pas though. *shrug* High on Fire is still good, just not as good.

PS - could a nice admin please add Sleeps's Holy Mountain
Personally, I think these guy are way better than HoF, they are good too though.
i just give a listen and bingo! - i'm high!
kzoorockahol i c
All hail Sleep

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