Sleep – Dopesmoker
“Dopesmoker” is one of those albums that should need no introduction to metal fans. Is probably one of the most influential albums, with dozens of groups citing it as the reason they play the music they. It’s also one of those albums with an almost mystical bake story.
It was originally recorded as a single 63 minute long ode to Mary Jane, which the label rejected. The band then edited it down to a single 52 minute track. The label, lacking any real vision, subsequently dropped the band. The difficulty recording the song and the label troubles that followed resulted in the band calling it quits, with members going on to form both High on Fire (who just released an excellent new album) and OM, (who have an album coming out soon), as well as the so-called “super group” Shrinebuilder.
The label eventually ended up releasing it as a single song split into 6 tracks under the name “Jerusalem”, which the band never authorized. In 2003 and Authorized Version of “Dopesmoker” was released by Tee Pee Records.
Now in 2012, the fine folks over at Southern Lord will bring the definitive version of “Dopesmoker”, complete with new art work by longtime collaborator Arik Roper.
A review really isn’t necessary here, as you should have listened to this album already. All you need to know is that this is some of the finest Stoner Metal ever recorded. Its heavy, with a think, sludgy low end and more smoky riffs than you can shake a stick at. The recording sounds incredible and the release also comes with a bonus live version of their classic song “Holy Mountain.”
The albums come out on May 8th, but it should be up for order at the Southern Lord site sometime in April. I believe it’s coming to us both on CD and Vinyl, but make sure you get the vinyl, because an album like this deserves to be heard in all its analog glory.