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Bow to the Holy Mountain - 94%

erickg13, March 22nd, 2007

While other albums are cited as much more influential to the genre of stoner metal, it seems that “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” influenced just about every pot smoking stoner metal band that came after it.

It must be said that any fan of doom or stoner would enjoy this, but without a doubt anyone who enjoyed Black Sabbath’s doom metal days, will absolutely love this. If almost to show how much Sabbath influence there is on this album, the opening track “Dragonaut”, ends in a bass solo not all that far off from the one on “N.I.B.”. And if that wasn’t enough, the second track “Druid” sounds much like “Electric Funeral”. And with this clear love of Black Sabbath established, the listener now knows what they are in store for.

But Sleep isn’t merely a 2nd rate Black Sabbath style band. This whole album is riff packed, easily flowing giant. “Holy Mountain” can be listened from end to end, not because all the songs are good, but because this flows so easy from song to song. In fact the only time you know you are done with a song is at the end, when there is nothing else to follow it.

There is however the production of the album. Don’t take it the wrong way, it’s good, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. The instruments are all clearly in the mix, and that’s not the problem, or more accurately, the minor annoyance. The mic seems to be set up far from the actually playing, giving a definite spacey vibe. Another thing that be an acquired taste is Matt Pike’s vocals, which are highly synthesized and have almost are sound unnatural.

Overall, “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” is by far Sleeps greatest, and most accessible album, then again almost anything is accessible compared to a single 52 minutes song/album. So for any stoner metal fan, or doom metal fan, or even someone who just happens to really really like Black Sabbath, this album is absolutely recommended.