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Soooooo I was shopping at FYE and had Sleep in mind while browsing their selection of metal. Hiding behind a bunch of bullshit was Sleep's Holy Mountain. I was hoping to pick up Dopesmoker since I heard so much about it but they didn't have it so I settled on this. I'll admit that I was a little hesitant getting this because I had no idea what to expect but I discovered how awesome this album really is.
Simply put, this album is an essential slab of doom. All songs have their unique characteristics that make them stand out in their own way. I absolutely love the riffs that Matt Pike has created, very memorable and awesome. Al knows how to deliver the damn best vocals too. As a whole this album starts off with the best songs first. Every song upto
and including "Aquarian" could easily be considered worthy of it's own single release, with the exception of "Some Grass" which is a short instrumental. "Dragonaut" is a good choice for the opening track because it starts off easy and gradually builds up into a bluesy, mid-paced song preparing you for the rest that's to follow. For me this CD can be divided up into 2 sections, the 1st ending and the second one beginning with track 6, "Holy Mountain". This is kind of strange because on the back there's also a gap between "Aquarian" and "Holy Mountain". hmm. The reason I say this is because the first half of this album is very different than the second half. The first half being more straight forward and delivering the goods without delay. The second half is slower and the songs are longer. Take for example "Holy Mountain" and "From Beyond", they have a combined length of 19 minutes. But don't be imtimidated by their length. Both songs are repetitive but that doesn't take away from their value. In fact I like that these 2 tracks are longer because there's more to enjoy that way. This album ends with the other instrumental, "Rain's Baptism". Just like "Dragonaut" started the album gradually, this song prepares you for the silence that comes when any CD is done playing. A good choice for the closing track because it is very mellow and soothing.
Time to discuss the non-musical aspects of this album; production and cover art. The production certainly sounds raw and primitive but this fits the music perfectly giving off an oldschool vibe that gives the impression that this was recorded back in the 70's. I really like the cover art on here, it's something that you can look at for a while without getting bored. You can find everything on there from angels and demons to planets, the sun, magic mushrooms, and, of coure, the serrated leaves of the holy cannabis plant. This is the only album I've heard by Sleep but I can tell you that I've discovered a really amazing band. I can also tell you that you'll love this album.