Sleep Dopesmoker

The saga of this seminal San Jose doom troupe continues with Dopesmoker, an earlier, longer (by ten minutes) and ultimately better version of 1999’s stoner opus Jerusalem. This time, however, the album is sanctioned by the band and includes an unreleased track, the live, nine-minute "Sonic Titan” (immortalised at the top of the set list shown in the video of "Dragonaut”). The hour-long title track is more complete, in that it doesn’t suffer from the weird track divisions and sudden ending of Jerusalem, plus it has improved (but not by much) production dynamics by Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Acid King, Melvins). When not cresting the tops of Electric Wizard-like peaks, it lopes through Earth-styled canyons on a sludge-filled journey from Sleep’s previously holy mountains. Thankfully, the Sleep story can now be officially retired and fans can concentrate on where this subgenre is headed, namely guitarist Matt Pike’s High on Fire. (Tee Pee)