Sleep, The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 22 May
Stoner metal from the Bay Area brings transcendent heaviness
The live Sleep experience could only ever function with obscene amounts of volume. Obviously the sticky green stuff might also be advisable to punters - depending on one’s propensity for light narcotics - but tonight it's about decibels. And low end. And riffs. Tar covered riffs, laced in sativa which swamps listener and stoner alike, engulfing all in the immediate vicinity. This was possibly one of the loudest things to have ever happened in The Arches, and also one of the most transcendent two hours of heaviness that any red-eyed, red faced beardo))) is likely to encounter for some time.
Reunion malarkey aside, Sleep’s eventual début performance in Scotland is a landmark. Intercutting title track of ‘Holy Mountain’, and ‘Dragonaught’ between reworkings of their baked up, mega-opus Dopesmoker, the trio's set just trucks through relentlessly. Al Cisneros' banshee-like vocal spoutings through flushed out reverb is perfectly at home with Matt Pike’s tone wizardry, each slab being thumped along by newish drummer, Justin Roeder. Filling the shoes of Chris Hakius (former Sleep and Om percussions) is no easy feat, but he’s settled in like the perfect sized roach material. Tonight it’s evident that this reformed unit's reputation is still totally intact and is as valid as it was over 20 years on from their debut release.