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Stoner Metal is possibly one of the best genres of the last decade or so. You've got Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, Reverend Bizarre, Yob all those dudes, and there's a ton of great bands that while they don't really fit the stoner metal category, they are still very awesome when stoned and have a similar sort of psychedelic vibe.. Stuff like early Isis (Celestial- definitely Stoner-ish), Jesu, Boris, even more out there bands like Sunn O))), Hyatari and Earth- stuff that's fairly far removed from the usual Stoner sounds, but still has some sort of Kinship with it. It's strange that these newer bands get so much praise, while those older bands with their own Psychedelic, mind expanding vision don't get much, or any attention. Sleep are one of those bands. Sure, their Jerusalem album is (deservedly) well known, but everything else they've done has been ignored, which is a real shame as it's all real high quality. This EP is a great collection of big guitar riffs, massive grooves and just general all round awesomeness.
The album opens with a live take Lord of this World. It's straight up Sabbath worship, real heavy and slow, with the most stoned vocals you've heard. It's real loose, heavy and a really good track. The guitar stuff is simple but amazing, and the rythym section is loose and quite awe-inspiring.. (for a good example of just how damn good Sleep's rythym section is, get Om's new album.) The Druid is bit more energetic, a fair bit heavier. The riffs are even more massive, and when the tempo picks up midway through the track, you know you're going to get owned. The result is an excellent jam/freakout kinda thing, and damn, it sounds so good. Boris wish they do stoner stuff this good, but chances are they'll never quite achieve it.
After a brief clean break that's Nain's Baptism, the riffs heat back up again. Anguish is very aptly named, and a surprising mood change from previous tunes. There's tonnes of fuzz, some real pissed off riffs and lots of shouting. It's definitely not something you'd want to get stoned too. It's the same thing with The Suffering, which is also a much more depressing listen the the first few tunes. Lots of shouting, and huge, oppressing riffs.
It's a bit of an oddity, this album. The first two tracks are pretty cool, and while the last two are also damn solid, the mood change is real big and strange, and while probably catch many people of guard. Bear this is mind if you're going to get stoned to this- it might become a bit more unpleasant after the first few songs! While that is a bit of a problem, all these songs are good, and it shows that Sleep were always awesome, even in their early stages.