Sleep - Photo by Dennis Radacic
Sleep – Photo by Denis Radacic

The Bakery 

Tuesday, December 8, 2014

Stoner doom metal band Sleep play a heavy, sludgy brand of blues based metal. Drawing on garage rock and early metal such as Black Sabbath. Sporadically touring over the last few years after reforming, Sleep return to Perth for a second time in the last two years, playing the Bakery in Northbridge, the smell of freshly cut grass foreshadowing the highlight of the evening ahead.

The line was long for the 8 o’clock start. Perth stoner metalers Puck began the evening, setting the tone with their heavy, fuzzy riff-laden metal that drew the early crowd right in. The powerful trio definitely put the crowd into the right state of mind.

On the back of recording, Mt Mountain added to the local flavour of the night with their dreamy form of psychedelic rock. The ever-growing crowd lapped up the epic building grooves laid down by the quintet. A dark psychedelia lifted into the night sky, readying the crowd for the aural assault to come.

Sleep’s reputation as an epic stoner metal band is well earned; even during the break between bands, the pre-gig soundtrack sounded like the cockpit audio for an attack by fighter jets. In the right frame of mind it would have you spinning out of control.

The assault began with Matt Pike’s guitar playing the opening riff to the massive single track album, Dopesmoker. The album, recorded in 1995 to finally be released in 2003, seems to define their sound. Heavy, grinding, atmospheric and consuming, the movement they chose to play off it defined their set. From the earlier, floating dark psychedelic airs of Mt Mountain, Sleep brought you straight back down to earth with immense, powerful riffing, backed up by the glacier-like heaviness of the rhythm section of Al Cisneros on bass and Jason Roeder on guitar, transfixing the crowd into an almost hypnotic state with the huge sound from the trio.

Pulling the majority of their set from their 1992 album Holy Mountain, they powered though well over an hour, providing a large, dedicated crowd with proof of the band’s uncompromising dedication to their sound.
A brutal and awesome sonic assault by a great band deserving of their reputation as one of the greatest stoner metal bands around.