Sleep – Holy Mountain – Cassette
Holy Mountain is the second studio album by the American stoner metal band Sleep. Released in 1992, it is considered a landmark album in the genre, known for its heavy and hypnotic sound. Setting heavy metal’s evolutionary clock back to the stone-age days of Saint Vitus with their debut Volume One was seemingly not enough for San Jose’s Sleep, who decided to time travel all the way back to the pre-historic days of earliest Black Sabbath with their second album, 1993’s Sleep’s Holy Mountain.
Sleep, formed in 1990, features the talents of guitarist Matt Pike, bassist Al Cisneros, and drummer Chris Hakius. “Holy Mountain” showcases their unique brand of stoner metal, characterized by slow, sludgy riffs, downtuned guitars, and extended song structures.
The album consists of 9 tracks that take the listener on a sonic journey through a haze of thick, distorted guitar tones and pulsating rhythms. Sleep’s music is often described as “stoner rock” due to its heavy, hypnotic qualities that evoke a sense of being under the influence of mind-altering substances.
Indeed, while Kyuss’ Blues for the Red Sun and Monster Magnet’s Spine of God are more frequently cited as the most influential and important albums in launching the American stoner/doom metal scene, not even these landmark releases compare to Holy Mountain for sheer devotion to unadulterated doom and copious weed consumption. In fact, as monolithic opener “Dragonaut” descends into a bass solo at its conclusion, one would be forgiven for expecting the band to segue straight into “N.I.B.”, such is their similarity to classic Sabbath.
Standout tracks from “Holy Mountain” include the epic opener “Dragonaut,” the monolithic “Holy Mountain,” and the sprawling closer “From Beyond.” These songs demonstrate Sleep’s ability to create dense and immersive soundscapes that captivate the listener with their sheer heaviness and hypnotic repetition.
Instead, they grind into “The Druid,” which despite a quick nod to the Sabs’ “Electric Funeral,” actually begins to establish Sleep’s personality, as riff upon massive riff in the form of songs like “Evil Gypsy/Solomon’s Theme” and the groove-heavy “Aquarian” flow from the speakers like molten lava. In an age of machine-gun double-bass drums, Sleep’s most startling quality had to be their seemingly endless patience. As they slowly embark upon the mammoth power chords of the title track and “From Beyond,” they also prolong the buildup of tension before delivering a final release of cathartic proportions.
Besides greatly inspiring next generation doomsters like Electric Wizard, such unwavering dedication to weed would also set the stage for their controversial and unfortunate swan song Jerusalem, featuring a single, mind-bending 52-minute track.
Holy Mountain received critical acclaim upon its release and has since become a seminal album in the stoner metal genre. It has influenced countless bands with its heavy, psychedelic sound and is often hailed as a classic within the realm of heavy music.
For fans of stoner metal and those who appreciate the heavy, atmospheric, and transcendental qualities of the genre, Holy Mountain offers a mesmerizing and immersive listening experience. It represents a pinnacle in Sleep’s discography and stands as a cornerstone of stoner metal music.
Brand new, never played and still in the factory plastic
2. Druid, The
3. Evil Gypsy / Solomon’s Theme
4. Some Grass
6. Holy Mountain
7. Inside The Sun
8. From Beyond
9. Rain’s Baptism