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Boomkat Product Review:
‘Dopesmoker’ is an important record, let’s get that out of the way first. Originally recorded back in 1995, it languished in mostly unreleased form until 2003 when Sleep (the unholy trinity of Al Cisneros, Chris Hakius and Matt Pike) finally started getting the attention they always deserved.
Fans of all things Sunn o))) and Earth will probably have heard it before, but let me be the first to say that this brand new remastered edition is the finest iteration of the record I’ve heard. The monolithic hour-long piece now sounds wider, thicker and doomier than ever before and Brad Boatright has given it the royal treatment with his new master. Funnily enough for a near-20 year old album, it doesn’t sound like it’s aged a day – this is balls-out sludge metal, and while it gives more than a few clear nods to Sabbath and the band’s predecessors, this is 100% Sleep, and will probably always sound totally singular.
The band’s members have all gone on to new pastures, with Pike forming High on Fire, and Cisneros and Hakius forming Om, but this is where it all came to a phenomenally essential apex.