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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
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Stations Featuring

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Snowblind
  3.   Dragonaut
  4.   Dopesmoker
  5.   Holy Mountain
  6.   The Druid
  7.   Evil Gypsy/Solomon's Theme
  8.   Sonic Titan
  9.   Inside the Sun
  10.   From Beyond
  11.   Aquarian
  12.   Nain's Baptism
  13.   Some Grass
  14.   Punk Rock B*tch
  15.   Strictly for the Money
  16.   Hustle
  17.   Smile
  18.   Type Fo B*tch
  19.   Do It Movin'
  20.   Actin Like a B*tch
  21.   I Pray
  22.   Knockoffs
  23.   Grinda
  24.   That's My N!gga
  25.   Hush Em Up
  26.   So Dope
  27.   Fast Life
  28.   Charge Em a Fee
  29.   Dragonaught
  30.   Jerusalem (Continued)
  31.   Stillborn
  32.   Suffering
  33.   Numb
  34.   Anguish
  35.   Catatonic
  36.   Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
  37.   The Wall of Yawn
  38.   Prey
  39.   Scourge
  40.   Cut From Dopesmoker
  41.   No Name

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