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Borrows too heavily from Sabbath - 72%

Chard121, December 13th, 2011

With "Sleep's Holy Mountain", Sleep are not just stylistically inspired by Black Sabbath, but oftentimes lift bits of Sabbath's songs and insert them into something new. It sounds as if Mike Pike grew up listening to and playing Sabbath songs, got stoned one day, jammed with his band, and this was the result. Bits of Sabbath riffs get mixed in with bursts of creativity. Frequently throughout the album I'll hear a bit of a Sabbath song, causing my mind to instantly expect the rest of that song, but instead something different happens. It can actually get pretty annoying.

That said, the album is somewhat enjoyable. The band clearly knows how to play together and construct a song. Pike also comes through with some quality solos that are all his own. When the Sabbath rip-offs aren't present sections of this album, they do in fact sound like something an early Sabbath could have written that was never recorded.

I think part of the reason people enjoy "Sleep's Holy Mountain" (besides pot) is for the amateur appeal. With the rough production and sometimes sloppy/unoriginal playing, it strikes the listener as something one of their own friend's bands could have recorded. If said friend had in fact recorded it, the listener would be thoroughly impressed. This kind of appeal can help the listener identify more closely with the musicians and is often looked for in metal. For me, however, that doesn't elevate the album anywhere above mediocre.