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Sleep Biography

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Sleep In-depth Biography

Perhaps the ultimate stoner rock band, Northern California trio Sleep}'s career wafted in and out of focus from within their self-mandated cloud of marijuana smoke. In their short time together, the group issued some of the heaviest, most uncompromising doom metal albums ever recorded, leaving a legend far exceeding the actual volume of their output. Formed in the late 80's in San Jose, California by bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros}, guitarists Matt Pike} and Justin Marler} and drummer Chris Haikus}, Sleep} instantly drew comparisons to under-appreciated 80's doomsters like the Obsessed}, Pentagram} and especially Saint Vitus}. Their sludgy 1991 debut was named Volume One} in honor of their sonic godfathers Black Sabbath}, but it wasn't until Marler}'s departure (reportedly to become a monk!) and the release of 1993's Sleep's Holy Mountain} that their own, unique doom metal vision truly began coming into focus. The album became a favorite of the heavy metal press, and Sleep} were heralded alongside other promising retro-rocking groups like Kyuss} and Monster Magnet} as leaders of the newly emerging stoner rock / doom metal scene. Such was the buzz surrounding the group, that following a short European tour supporting first generation doomsters Trouble} and English hopefuls Cathedral}, Sleep} was reportedly offered an unprecedented six-figure deal by London} Records. But instead of grabbing their chance at mainstream stardom for all it was worth, Sleep} vowed to delve even deeper into their incredibly heavy and slothful sound instead. After almost two years of writing and re-writing material for their next album (to be named Dopesmoker}, not surprisingly) amidst abundant weed consumption, the trio finally delivered their long-awaited epic, now named Jerusalem}, to London} Records. But to their label's surprise, Jerusalem} comprised a single, 60-minute magnum opus to marijuana which the band refused to edit or split up into sections under any circumstances. A complete deadlock ensued, tying up both parties in red tape for another two years. Finally, having smoked their entire cash advance through their bongs, Sleep} decided to break up rather than surrender the album. Guitarist Matt Pike} went on to form a new, more energetic heavy metal band called High on Fire}, while drummer Matt Haikus} eventually re-united with founding guitarist (and now ordained monk) Justin Marler} in The Sabians}. In the meantime, an unauthorized version of Jerusalem} was quietly released by Rise Above} Records, but it wasn't until 2003 that a supposedly authentic and fully endorsed version of Dopesmoker} finally reached record store shelves, bringing the convoluted Sleep} saga to a close at last. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide

Sleep Biography / Sleep Information

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