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- LORD158LP / Deluxe clear vinyl 2LP reissue + bonus track on Southern Lord, LAST BATCH OF CLEARS!!
3 reviews. Add your own review.
I'm genuinely not really sure what I'm supposed to tell you about Dopesmoker that you don't already know. Sleep's magnum opus was recorded way back in the mid-'90s with megabucks from London Records, who then didn't know what to do with the finished product when they had it. The finished product, as you no doubt already know, was just over an hour of punishingly slow bong riffing in a single relentless track, blazing trails of unabashed cannabis grooves with grinding, rumbly bass and sludgy psychedelic guitars...
Pah, you know what it is, I'm not going to over-egg that. Saying that this album is a benchmark for stoner rock is basically just stating the obvious anyway, but the mastering certainly does the tones justice. The new artwork's totally sweet too, and the CD I'm reviewing has a really cool embossed digipak - the vinyl isn't in yet but I'm hoping it will have a similar level of swank to the packaging.
The bonus track included to ensnare all of you who've got the album already is an 11-minute live version of 'Holy Mountain'. The sound quality is pretty poor in contrast to the clarity and detail of the main album, but once you get past the muddiness you've got the band totally getting their Melvins on, with ten minutes of sludgy riffing and scorching guitar leads. It's a good performance but the sound quality does let it down a bit so brace yourself for that if this track's your main reason for getting the album. If you don't have any of the versions of Dopesmoker/Jerusalem yet, though, this is pretty definitive. If you like rock music and haven't heard it then you should probably resolve that and spare yourself future social embarrassment.
10/10 Rob Customer review, 29th June 2012
My copy of the double (clear) LP arrived today and without a doubt, it's probably one of the coolest items in my ever-growing record collection. The gatefold housing is nothing short of epic to behold and has a real weight to it, so you know it's not going to be wearing out on you any time soon. As an added bonus, the song structure is printed on the dust jackets to give you an idea of the true complexity of recording such a titanic beast of a track.
Packaging aside, the title track "Dopesmoker" is incomparable to any other, yes it may be stoner metal but that doesn't mean you have to be blazed out of your mind to listen to it (although some may say it enhances it?). To the unitiated, it is nothing short of an aural experience (that you won't forget soon), ridiculously down-tuned guitars with grooving rhythms and technical leads accompanied by vocals in the style of Gregorian chanting (which somehow work) make this a piece of music anyone who has even a passing interest in heavy music should listen to at least once, and anyone with a moderate-to-serious case of vinyl addiction should probably splash out on as soon as possible.
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