Originally recorded in 1996 but never officially released due to “creative differences” from their then label, London Records, Sleep’s Dopesmoker first made its way to the public in 1999 as an unauthorized CD titled Jerusalem. The hour-long desert themed single composition split into six songs quickly gained a cult following in the doom metal scene. In 2003, the now-legendary sludgy stoner classic was re-mixed and re-released as one song “Dopesmoker” and put out on LP for the first time by Tee Pee Records. Remastered and released again in 2012 as a deluxe double LP on Greg Anderson of Sunn O)))’s Southern Lord, the latest and most realized incarnation of the album sounds bigger, clearer, and closest to what the band had been going for back in 96’. The hour-long ritualistic “Weedian Celebration” is further fleshed out here with “Holy Mountain”, an 11 and a half-minute bonus track, a perfect accompaniment to the monochromatic dirge and spaced out guitar wizardry by band leader Mike Pike. Building on the brooding ghost of its own shadow and its own mystical momentum, the storied Dopesmoker continues to garner even broader recognition today as a high watermark in the realm of stoner rock, and as a psychedelic rock masterpiece.
– Michael Friedman
Recommended – Full Listen
Tags: Drone / Psychedelic / Stoner Rock