Monday, 20 January 2014

SLEEP *UPDATED*



*NOTE* If You have already been to this post since it's original publishing in May 2013 then you should read anything written in yellow and then skip to where it says *UPDATE*  if you are here for the first time then please, read on....

A band like Sleep should need no introduction especially with their recent touring and mighty remastered version of "Dopesmoker" last year. If you didn't know here's a quick history Sleep started off as brutal sludgy crust band Asbestosdeath who released 2 x 7" singles they then evolved into Sleep, doing their debut album "Volume One"  in 1991 which was not a million miles away from what they had done in Asbestosdeath (3 of the 4 tracks from the Asbestosdeath 7"'s are re-done for "Volume One") they then recorded a second album of all new material which they shopped around labels for a release, a tape of it found it's way to Earache records with this letter....


Earache saw the potential and signed them. The subsequent "Holy Mountain" album was a radical departure from "Volume One" and pretty much invented the "Stoner Rock" genre. After the success of this album Sleep decided to sign with major label London records and for their London Records debut to record the now legendary 1 hour plus epic that was 3rd album "Dopesmoker"!  Exec's from major labels aren't known for their open mindedness and immediately balked at being presented with a concept album of 1 track an hour long the main theme being weed smoking (unlike today this was not the most acceptable or commonplace activity in 1995!) The band and label butted heads severely, the band refusing to change or alter the album and the label refusing to release it! They were subsequently dropped the master tapes were shelved causing the band to fracture and it wasn't until 1999 long after Sleep broke up that "Dopesmoker" was released albeit broken up into 6 parts and re-titled as "Jerusalem" then in 2003 it was reissued in it's original format as "Dopesmoker" with a bonus track "Sonic Titan (Live)" Then in 2012 the masters were handed over to Brad Boatright of Audiosiege for a proper remastering and released on Southern Lord this time with "Holy Mountain" Live from 1994 as a bonus track.Whether the recent Sleep reformation and tour was merely to promote this or the band actually plan to record or not I don't know but i guess we'll see **. So that's a brief history of Sleep here's a more in depth look at the albums I've posted....

(**= since time of posting it has been stated that Sleep are indeed recording again for a new album scheduled for release later this year (2014)


Asbestosdeath 7"'s "Dejection" & "Unclean" these were released one by Profane Existence and the other by the band themselves in 1990 and are 4 tracks of slow, crawling sludgy stuff reminiscent of Dystopia but if you listen carefully you can hear that trademark classic Matt Pike riffing in there underneath the sludge! and as i said before 3 of the 4 tracks were re-recorded for the Sleep debut album "Volume One" These 2 x 7"'s were collected together on one CD by Southern lord this file is taken from my CD 320kbps.

Sleep Volume One Debut album from Sleep and released on what was then the European home of all things Grunge & Seattle in the early 90's Tupelo recordings (also responsible for releasing the first editions of Nirvana's "Bleach" in Europe) not exactly a good fit however this album whilst the stoner edge can be felt is still not a million miles away from what these guys had been doing in Asbestosdeath this is slow heavy sludgy metal that is also to my ears heavily influenced by early Melvins in fact when the reason i bought this album is because when i listened to it it just screamed "Gluey Porch Treatments" at me, remember these guys pretty much invented stoner rock so at this time in 1991 there was nothing to compare this to and it certainly wouldn't fall into the stoner genre had it been invented then!! Like i say this is slow heavy punishing stuff and whilst the vocals aren't quite as anguished as Asbestosdeath this is still some pretty tortured music and vocals.It's a killer heavy album and there's nothing else (outside of Melvins early work) I've heard that's anything like it! Taken from a VBR download (min 224kbps)

Sleep Volume Two, This is a now ultra rare 7" EP that was released on Eric Keller (of legendary Swiss grinders Fear Of God) label Off The Disk in 1992 and is probably the holy grail of Sleep collectables as it was probably limited to copies in the hundreds maybe 1000 copies at a push,In the original version of this post from May last year I stated that this was very poor quality and only included for completion purposes but my research has unearthed a far better quality version soundwise than the original version i put up This 7" features their version of Sabbath's "Lord Of This World" (made to sound live but isn't!!) backed with excellent early demo versions of "Nain's Baptism" & "The Druid"!

Sleep's Holy Mountain I first heard Sleep in 1992 on the Earache records cassette comp "Naive" which was a showcase for all the non Grind/death metal bands that had releases out or coming out on Earache and featured bands like Clutch, Fudge Tunnel, Scorn, Pitch Shifter and of course Sleep I was already aware of a few of the bands but when i got to the Sleep track "Dragonaut" (Subsequently the opening track on "Holy Mountain") I was utterly floored this was utter Sabbath worship given a 90's twist and made even heavier!!! (Ozzy Osbourne himself is quoted as saying when he heard Sleep out of all the bands that are influenced by Sabbath, Sleep were the closest in sound and feel) I had been a fan of Early Sabbath for a while then and had exhausted those first 6 Sab's albums so this came along at a perfect time for me! Though there is no denying the Sabbath influence Sleep are not too derivative, they have the sound and feel as Ozzy says but they are not straight off ripping Sabbath off for a start this is way heavier in sound and production and riffs like the Monster intro to track 2 "The Druid" are so utterly fucking amazing it just makes me go arrrgggggghhhhhh! everytime! This predates the legion of Sabbath pilfering and weak stoner rock that's around these days by almost a decade like I say this album practically invented the style there was NO ONE else doing this type of music in 1992 and there has been no one yet from the stoner genre that has recorded ANYTHING in the same league as this album it's an utter masterpiece! (320kbps Reissue version with "Snowblind" from the Earache "Masters of Misery" Sabbath tribute as a bonus track)

Dopesmoker I've already gave you the history of this album and about how it never saw release till 1999 (in altered form) years after the band broke up after originally recording it in 1993.However is this the absolute pinnacle of a short lived career by the band who invented stoner rock? Hmm it's a good album no mistake and theres titanic fucking walls of riffage by the dumper truck load but i think it may have been a little ambitious because i don't think there's enough to it to keep me completely involved for a whole hour the main riff to the song is a theme throughout and mighty a riff as it might be.... I mean don't get me wrong when i play this album some parts just make me go whoaaahhh FUCK yeah! and because it's 1 song it's good that when you listen to it certain parts blow you away and it keeps repeat listens interesting but I have to say the majority of this album kinda washes over me until aforementioned parts just grab me! I'll leave you to make up your own mind on this album and say no more except here is the Brad Boatright remastered 2012 version 260kbps with "Dopesmoker" and "Holy Mountain (Live 1994) and as a bonus I've also tacked on "Sonic Titan (Live)" from the 2003 version!


*UPDATE*

So here's my reason for updating this post and moving it up the line... NO less than 2 new additions! 

I recently discovered, and, being a huge Sleep fan I kicked myself repeatedly, that both a double CD and cassette were released of their reunion show at the famous All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May 2009 since it has been out for over 4 years and I only just found out about it last week is an utter tragedy becasue 1: i will now have no chance of ever owning one and 2: It's a double CD/Cass of live Sleep!!! So I will state that the CD appears to be a bootleg and the Cassette an official release which of the two these files are sourced from i don't know i found it on the internet the bitrate is high but the quality is not the most sparkling it sounds somewhere between an audience recording and a soundboard recording not terrible quality but not amazing either however the quality of the music is another matter this is an epic 95 minute Sleep set now having only got this downloaded yesterday I have listened to it but not intensely but as well as a wealth of material culled from their "Holy Mountain" album there are no less than 3 NEW Sleep songs on here these are "Cultivator" "Process The Weedeon" and "Antartricus Thawed" Now I cannot tell you anything more about these tracks maybe someone who spends more time reading interviews and the like on the internet knows but i suspect with the news that Sleep are now in the process of recording a new album that this may not be the last we hear of these songs, what i can tell you is all 3 are great and up to the usual titanic riff standards you'd expect from these guys! These along with epic length versions of the "Holy Mountain" material (a 14 min through "From Beyond" HELL yeah) means you should have been reaching for the download link at the point where the words "New Sleep Songs" were mentioned however don't let my quality control alarms put you off this is a great live set from one of the greatest bands around not a terrible bootleg for diehards only. This is well worth an hour and a half of your time for even a casual fan, do not doubt it! 

So secondly at the same time as i discovered the Above live CD i also discovered there had been a semi-official live 12" from a 2010 show in Denver Colorado so for the sake of completion i thought I'd try and get a download to add to this post however when I was looking for a copy of the 12" online i happened upon a nice little blog by the name of "That's The Thing About That" (Check it out HERE) and the kind soul behind that blog had the full set from the show posted up in glorious 320kbps! Now I have downloaded this myself literally minutes ago and I am just having a quick listen the sound is heavier than than the Reunion show recording but the quality is about the same as the Reunion show, not amazing but again far from unlistenable. The set is almost identical and i might have considered not posting this because of that but as well as the usual glut of material from "Holy Mountain" and the three new songs (Although "Cultivator" here is lengthened from about 8 mins on the reunion show set to a mighty 12 minutes!) this set is worth your having because clocking in at a massive 2 hrs long it also contains an opener of a near 10 Minute run through the intro to "Dopesmoker" which segues nicely into "Holy Mountain" there's another 8 minute run through a second part of "Dopesmoker" later in the set and a super heavy Sleep style run through Ozzy Ozbourne's "Over The Mountain" from his "Diary Of A Madman" album! All in all the fact that i went looking for the 3 track live 12" and found the complete set from the Denver show makes it worth the inclusion! So there you go no less than 2 amazing Sleep Live sets for you.

Ok so off you go download this stuff and just have your mind blown by the utter fucking undisputed lords of the riff SLEEP!


ASBESTOSDEATH EP'sMediafire

VOL 1Mediafire

VOL 2Mediafire

HOLY MOUNTAINMediafire

DOPESMOKERMediafire

REUNION AT ALL TOMORROWS PARTIES DISC 1Mediafire

REUNION AT ALL TOMORROWS PARTIES DISC 2Mediafire

LIVE DENVER 5/9/10HERE

(Please Note that the link to the Live Denver show is not my link however it is tested and working as of the date of this post (Jan 2014) it is a link to a host i have never heard of called hightail however the file is a massive 265mb and I managed to download it in around 5 mins from there even with my pedestrian download speed so the link is 100% ok, no spam, no messing, no ads straight forward click and d/l . should this link not work please notify me i will upload it to my own host)

And as an extra DOPESMOKER bonus here's something I was shared from youtube....

Calvin Armstrong (cello), Brian Courage (bass), and Kelson Zbichorski (drums) from the Heavy Metal Ensemble of Lawrence University performed Sleep's Dopesmoker on June 2nd, 2012, in the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel.


This is just fucking insane unfortunately it's an amateur recording and when the rhythm section kick in properly, great as they are, the cello gets kinda drowned out. but this is still amazing I don't blame you for not watching the full performance but EVERY Sleep fan should check out the first 5 mins...ON A FUCKING CELLO??*~%$$!!! Amazing!

10 comments:

  1. Thanks you, this is amazing. Going to see them in December. Smoking up a storm all the way from New Zealand

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    1. No prob gaz glad you liked it, never had the luck to catch them live even tho i've been a fan from vol 1 right through to this day! they keep playing either times or places i can't get to! Hope they are good when you see them. Thanks for the comment Gaz,

      Cheers,

      Dave B.

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  2. This is great. Complete, chronological and high-quality. Thank you!

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  3. Replies
    1. it is and you're welcome, thanks for commenting,

      Cheers,

      Dave B.

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  4. great blog! many gems here. thanx, Michelle

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle Glad you are finding some things on here you like, Thanks for the comment,

      Cheers,

      Dave B.

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  5. Amazing work man.
    Cheers from Brazil.

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  6. As I am a noob to this glorious band, I'd like to extend my gratitude, as well as, appreciation for what you have assembled here within the blogosphere!!!

    ReplyDelete