Song of the Week #36

Ladies and gentlemen, I have finally returned to give you Song of the Weeks on a more consistent basis. And it is my hope that you will discover something new with each track I choose to highlight. But for this week, I’m shining a spotlight on an oldie but dirty goodie. I hope you don’t mind. If anything, you’ll be reminded of how badass this band is…

San Jose stoner spearheads’ Sleep performed 2 epic shows in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago and it inspired me to dig heavily into their painfully short but sweet discography. And as I traveled from Volume One to Dopesmoker, I found myself constantly returning to the base of Sleep’s Holy Mountain.

My Song of the Week is the soul-crushing opener called ‘Dragonaut’ from the Sleep’s Holy Mountain album. When you hear the intro featuring Matt Pike’s blues-infested guitar riffs with Al Cisnernos’ trippy bassline and Chris Hakius’ drum grooves following closely behind, you might feel like you’ve been teleported back to the Sabbathy-era where dreams were constantly high…or you were just high (all the time).

But the familiarity drops as the direction turns towards the ever-so-stoner-doom-metal-subgenre-defining down-tuning chug of the guitar. Whew, that was a mouth full. But it’s important because this is where the Sleep distinction is made. Not to mention that this is also when the ring of heavy repetitive riffage starts, chipping away at the path to a metalhead’s heart.

Al Cisneros’ distorted echoey vocals are intriguing yet somewhat otherworldly. And hearing the lyrics, I’m pretty sure that was intentional:

Ride the dragon toward the crimson eye
Flap the wings under Mars red sky

So we’re on Mars, are we? Well, apparently Mars is the SHIT. Let’s go!


“Dragonaut” by Sleep

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For fans of… Sleep (DUH!)