Sleep’s Holy Mountain is a must have for metal fans

Sleep is a stoner rock band that formed in Washington back in the early 1990s. It consists of Matt Pike on guitar, Al Ciserones on bass and Chris Haikus on drums. The band has a small discography comprised of three albums, but their sound and songs were revolutionary in engineering the heavy riffed Black Sabbath worship genre known as stoner rock. The band’s second album, Holy Mountain (1993) introduced listeners to the stoner rock sound. Songs like the title track, “Holy Mountain” and “From Beyond” leave the biggest impression with their monolithic bass riffs and their overall length.

The band also makes its sound by using repetition. By repeating the riff over and over again, the song becomes heavier and heavier. The way the song incorporates the bass also adds to the overall heaviness. The opening track on the album, “Dragonaut” has a hint of funk in it with the bass starting and ending the song.

The overall theme of this album is fantasy. With talks of frost wizards in “Evil Gypsy/ Solomon’s Theme,” to magic caravans in “Holy Mountain,” to a race of Atlantean people in “Aquarian,” the album’s lyrical themes break up the monotony of the stoner metal vibe. With tracks like “The Druid” and “Inside the Sun,” the songs change from stoner rock to death metal. The one that varies the most from the stoner rock genre though, is “Some Grass”. The track is a solo acoustic track that lasts only 45 seconds and does not contain any vocals.

For any fan of stoner rock, this album is a must-have. The only problem with the album is the death metal song, “Inside the Sun.” All the songs tell a very interesting tale about a journey. However, “Inside the Sun” discusses the narrator flying into the sun and dying as a result. This track would be better placed as the last track on the album, instead of the seventh. After “Inside the Sun,” the album continues its story of space travel; however according to the song, the narrator should have already died. If you like classic Black Sabbath or a good bass, this album is definitely worth your time.