Written by Marc C. Pietrek 2017

Per METAL HAMMER, modern-day stoner metal icons, SLEEP (HIGH ON FIRE guitarist Matt Pike, Om bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros and NEUROSIS drummer Jason Roeder) are nearing completion on their first full-length album since 2003’s ‘Dopesmoker’. The band posted a “secret code” message on their official web-site ( The translated message reads as follows: “Initialize new transmission 2017. SLEEP nearing completion of new album. Engineering accomplice Noah Landis”. Also mentioned in the message is that a record label and release date are still “undetermined” as of yet. Plus, they provided some map co-ordinates that center in on the dowtown Oaklnad, California area. One can safely assume that it is where they are currently holed-up in the studio. This album will also be the first recording released by the band since the region-levelling single, “The Clarity” (2014).

I am going to be 100% honest on this one. I am a HUGE (!!) fan of the Sabbath-worshipping ‘Holy Mountain’ (1993 EARACHE RECORDS). However, I am not a fan of ‘Dopesmoker’ (2003 SOUTHERN LORD RECORDS) nor its’ predecessor,  ‘Jerusalem’ (1999 LONDON RECORDS). Heavy? Check! Boring? Check! I am just as big of a fan of heavy, repetitive droning riffs and loud cromagnum drums as the next guy. Those two albums did little for me as a listener. “The Clarity” single is a differnt story all together. In my opinion, it is a God damn stoner metal masterpiece. The “icing” on the cannabis cake is guitarist Matt Pike’s guitar solo. One listen to it and you are launched into the Iommisphere, vaporized like the THC on a killer green nug by way of heat gun and six-chambered bong. Obviously, I am crossing my greedy, arthritic fingers in hopes for something that is a cross-breed of both the ‘Holy Mountain’ album and “The Clarity” single. We shall in deed see (hopefully) soon enough.

Cheers, ya rivet-heads!!


Author: Marc Pietrek

I grew up in northern California during the 1980s and have been an AVID heavy metal fan since 1982. Having experienced the Bay Area thrash metal scene first hand, thrash metal will always be at my core, However, I am also a huge fan of death metal, doom metal, traditional heavy metal, stoner rock/metal and old-school black metal. If it concerns any of those sub-genres, (to borrow a quote from Christopher Walken in 'THE KING OF NEW YORK') "I want in on it!!". Cheers, ya rivet-heads!!

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