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4.7 out of 5 stars19
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Vinyl|Change
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on 27 June 2005
Yes, its true what most people who hear this say about this album, that it is probably the heaviest recording ever made and i for one agree with those people.
Word is that with the advance that London records gave to Sleep to record their next album after the legendary Holy Mountain (get that if you havent heard it, it's mint), rumoured to be six figures, the band bought a huge heap of vintage-style Matamp amplifiers (anyone who's heard one will know). In all they had about eight valve heads, 8 4x15 cabs and 8 4x12 cabs and that was just for Matt Pike's guitar. Its believed they spent over $50,000 on Matamps alone, then spent the rest of the advance on weed and good times (as you do).
When the time came to record, Sleep took their wall of amps, and cranked out this! it took a couple of days, and the main course is a song entitled jerusalem - the heaviest song ever recorded! Its over 60 minutes long and mainly comprised of riffs made of three or four chords. Some people might think that this sounds boring but the majority of people whose company i have been in while listening to dopesmoker have enjoyed it. The riff swells and swells until its so heavy it literally hurts, and then Matt Pike unleashes another banshee solo (theres one every ten minutes or so and theyre all amazing), all the while the insane monk-like chants of Al Cisneros seem to drone more than the riff itself, and the lyrics, the lyrics are hilarious and inspirational at the same time, lines like "proceeds the weedion, nazareth", "drop out of life with bong in hand, follow the smoke towards the riff filled land".
In all, this is one of my favourite albums of all time. I loved the jerusalem version that was split into six but when i bought this i was blown away! its about twelve minutes longer than the rise above version and a much heavier sound, not to mention the extra song Sonic Titan, recorded live, which is an excellent song, but theres little need going into it here as the importance is really on dopesmoker the song. which is badass
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2012
Sleep's Dopesmoker is an album few bands are afforded to make. Consisting of an hour plus long song it's a large deviation from the format of the very successful Holy Mountain.

For those willing to open their minds to a little experimentation in the metal realm it can be a hugely rewarding listen. However it's understandable that some people dismiss this album as overindulgent, overlong and boring.

For me it's the soundtrack to the journey that your mind will take you on, through the desert of monolithic rock and a caravan of `weedians' travelling to the holy land. Let your mind fill in the imagery and enjoy the heaviness that beams from the guitars and the groove of the drums. The repetitiveness of the riffs offers a kind of meditation to the song with breaks and deviations to stop it getting too repetitive.

How is this different to the previous two Dopesmoker releases? Well the release entitled Jerusalem has a slightly different sound (not worse to my ears, just a different mix) but it is cut short and has no bonus tracks. The out of print Tee Pee release is pretty much as this mix is including the extra version of Holy Mountain (live). The artwork on this release from Sothern Lord is excellent; however the piece done for the Tee Pee record is also rather good. It's also worth noting that since this new versions release the Tee Pee album has plummeted in price (used to sell for around forty, now can be picked up for a fiver).
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on 19 April 2016
Clocking in at well over an hour in length isn't anything new for a rock or metal band. But when you consider this album contains only one track (stay with me, because this is in no way a bad thing), this is truly something to listen to in awe. The same band responsible for delivering the masterpiece 'Sleep's Holy Mountain' delivered the goods yet again with their marijuana-fueled opus - known as 'Dopesmoker'. Dubbed by many fans and music publications alike as 'The Heaviest Album In The Universe', it is very easy to see how it's earned this moniker right from the first listen. The album was originally released as 'Jerusalem' (which is now out of print), but the over-an-hour track was chopped up into five or six pieces and mixed terribly by the record company. 'Dopesmoker' is presented here in its entirety, exactly how the band intended it to be. Considering the stories of Sleep blowing almost the entirety of their advance from the label on guitars, amps and a hell of a lot of weed (honestly, I'm not making that up!) this is a record that deserves your attention. 10/10.
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on 10 September 2012
The other day someone at work was making fun of the fact that I only listen to 'doom' metal. He wanted to hear what I was listening to so I let him loose with a bit of Sunn 0))). He didn't last very long and thinks I am madder than ever. This might sound like a bit of a tangent when reviewing Sleep's Dopesmoker but I suppose the point I'm trying to make is if you're into Doom, especially long drawn out doom mental, then this is likely to be exactly what you are looking for. You'll either get it or you just won't...

This song goes on for just over an hour and I have to say that the first listen was one of the quickest hours of my life. This evening I was working out doing some boxing and the crashing guitar chords and pounding rhythms were perfect for heavy bag work.

This is Beethoven's 9th (also epic by the way) of the Doom world.

The version of the 'album' I bought had a second track, I think it was a live version of Holy Mountain, but I'm not sure. Don't shoot me if got that bit wrong. The sound quality on this track really isn't up to scratch and I think it detracts from the 'album' a bit, but still there is a thing called the stop button so no big deal and regardless this is a must listen to / must buy and five star all the way...
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on 18 February 2016
60+ minutes of grinding stoner/doom metal!
For the first 15 or so minutes of this epic I was thinking WTF have I wasted my money on..but then the slow, downtuned riffs began to take hold and I began to enjoy this utterly ridiculous and self indulgent "composition".
It really needs to be listened to in one sitting to fully appreciate the slowly metamorphic and monstrous progression.
It reminded me of Spinal Tap's "stonehenge",not musically but in its sense of delusional grandeur.
I'm not sure that I'll be listening to this on a regular basis but I am glad I can spend and hour every now and then losing myself in some of the heaviest, most absurd but enjoyable music ever.
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VINE VOICEon 25 December 2006
After a deal of critical acclaim following the fantastic "Holy Mountain" album, Sleep found their way into new ground with a bigger label deal and well, lots of money. The band used this money to buy hella loads of weed, and naturally amps, and they created "Jerusalem", an epic journey of riffs and silly lyrics about weed pilgrims and the likes. The problem was that it was too inaccessible for most labels, and it drifted into obscurity. But thankfully those wondrous people at Tee Pee have re-released a longer, heavier, and generally better sounding mix of the original, the aptly named "Dopesmoker". It contains all the massively fuzzed-out riffs and trippy, disorientating guitar solos that anyone could ever want.

For those new to Sleep, this is probably not the place to start, as it is one huge hour-long monolith, and their LP "Holy Mountain" is easier on the stomach and equally mesmerising. For those with the old "Jerusalem" I would advise you to try this, the guitar tone is much richer and Pike's solos are far superior, especially the first solo that comes in around the 14 minute mark, it is jaw-droppingly splendid. His feel for the solo is what makes it special, he plays with such flow and ease it reminisces that Hendrix fluidity that only the most gifted guitarists can pull off. Other moments of excellence include around 40 minutes, the band slows everything down, stripping the fuzzy guitars to play a simple motif. It acts as a perfect break from the engulfing sounds, and works its way wonderfully to my favourite riff in the songs entirety. The album also includes a live track called Sonic Titan, a kind of re-working of the title track from "Holy Mountain", an enjoyable song but it feels more of a collector's item than a necessity.

Special mention should also go to drummer Chris Haikus, who managed to keep the flow going with apparent ease. He never misses a beat or comes in from a fill slightly out of time, a great feat when you consider this version was recorded in one sitting live.

If you are a fan of 70s metal, big riffs, fuzzy tones and ethereal guitar solos then you really cannot go wrong with this. My only warning would be to those who lack concentration, as this is one massively long piece with moments of disorientating repetition, but I assume you wouldn't even be on this page if you can't handle a song over 4 minutes.
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on 28 October 2009
Hypnotic, powerful and heavy as balls.

Do believe the hype, this is one of the heaviest things ever put to vinyl. Even at a over a hour this record doesn't get dull, it instead sucks you into a trance and sends you off away on the desert.

I am sure that if you're someone who shares the vinyl's title this will take you even further than that (those days are behind me however).

The live bonus track is also a stormer.

Basically if you are a fan of stoner rock/doom and you don't own the album; you're not a fan of stoner rock/doom.
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on 5 September 2009
Sleep take the humble, unpretentious paradigm of stoner doom on camelback and drag it across the dunes on an epic exodus. This magnum opus shines like a diamond in the desert, it is an ode to the almighty power of the riff. The riffs hum and buzz with Herculean power and the repetitive droning never, ever becomes monotonous. Some argue that the track is simply too long, but there is enough variation here for the song to last an epoch. The main trick that Sleep use is building the riff to a thunderous climax, until the weight of the music causes it to cave in upon itself, reducing the music back to a simple riff for another crushing crescendo. This is used many times over the course of the song and it's an effective method for keeping the music interesting and unpredictable.

The events in the song seem to span the entire length of a day, describing the creedsmen rolling out across the dying dawn, the Semitic rituals infused with the billowing smoke of marijuana, finally ending in what sounds like a Buddhist temple. The beginning riffs sound like day, and the ending sounds like night, it just does, I can't explain why. This is some of the most visually evocative music I have ever heard; it conjures images of an army marching across the sun-scorched dunes mounted atop elephants. Despite the Zionist imagery, there is something very Sabbathian lurking beneath these sands.

The guitars rise and fall like monolithic dunes, the drums pound out a ritualistic march and the vocals are, well, they fit very well. This is very, very heavy and deserves only to be played at an appropriately monolithic level of decibels. The overall effect is like having a fleet of trucks unloading sand onto you, returning to fill back up and repeat the process once emptied.

There is something incredibly grand about this piece, something unusually grand for music of this genre. This is epic stoner doom and it is the only song of its genre (that I know of). It is undoubtedly a masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, the 5th symphony of good old drugged heavy metal.

My room is now silent after letting this bellow out of my speakers and I can still hear the hum of the riffs, almost as if the room itself has attuned itself to this colossal musical exodus.
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on 25 December 2012
the first riff in the beginning of the song just blew me away, and that just keeps on and on for like an hour, incredlible, matt pike is a real badass riffing monster...=)
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on 29 October 2014
Ultimate Heavy sounds..........once your hooked in you just cant stop.Headphones on and let it wash over you..
The CD art work is an added bonus.
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