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Sleep : Volume One

Sleep existed as a four-piece when this album was released in 1991. Rarely, if at all are the signature stoned-daze vocals used, unlike in some of the most memorable songs on 'Sleep's Holy Mountain'. The vocals, combined with more noticeable vigor on the drums and a second guitarist (Justin Marler) provide for a seriously jammable record. A song that sticks out for me is 'Catatonic'; it has such a raw feel, yet such a groove. Mode is the word I'm looking for. Sleep is one of few bands that manages to perfectly transmute the pissed stoner's emotions into music.

This album was released in between two different sounds: the avant-crust of Asbestos Death, and the stoned groove of '...Holy Mountain'-era Sleep. That leaves you with a slightly faster album that spares no heaviness or grooviness. Let's just say this record "maintains the doom". In me, this album puts a want of pizza and lots of greens, reminds me of what it would sound like if DRI crashed head-on with Black Sabbath. When listening to this jam, one would expect that there would be at least a few "misses", but the songs play through, and it becomes hard to find one that doesn't meet the mark of satisfaction.

Let us not forget the heaviness of this band. This album was, in my opinion, heavier than 'Sleep's Holy Mountain'. Not just the tuning, but every element of the music is crushing. The harsh vocals, the roar of the green amps, the pound of the drums; all were about as heavy as it gets. This makes it a little more surprising to hear that Justin Marler went on to become a monk after this album (seriously). Maybe I am being too easy on Sleep, but then again, maybe I am being too harsh.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Stillborn
2. The Suffering
3. Numb
4. Anguish
5. Catatonic
6. Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
7. The Wall of Yawn
8. Prey
9. Scourge

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes.

Visit the Sleep bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Cody
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