Thursday, 16 February 2017

REVIEW: Sleep - "The Clarity" (EP)

By: Jake Wallace

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 10/02/2017
Label: Southern Lord


“This track sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a huge robotic entity slowly trudging through space. ‘The Clarity’ is exactly what every Sleep fan wanted to hear after being dormant for such a long time. If these guys can pull an album out of the bag in the near future with anything remotely close to the calibre of power involved in this, then we are in for a serious slab of mind-altering, heavy doom.”


“The Clarity” DD//LP track listing:

1). The Clarity

The Review:

Sleep. The undisputed lords of doom. Ever since ‘Dopesmoker’ was released back in 2003, enthusiasts of monolithic, weed-steeped music have been crying out for more new material from the holy trio of Al Cisneros, Matt Pike and Jason Roeder. 

In 2014, it was announced that Sleep would be releasing a single entitled ‘The Clarity’ via the Adult Swim Singles Program, recorded by Neurosis’ Noah Landis and mastered by John Golden. It was pummelling, it was cataclysmic, it was tripped out and it was fucking stoned to the backbone. 

Now, in 2017, Sleep have re-issued ‘The Clarity’ via Southern Lord and this time round it has been recut by Adam Gonsalves/Telegraph Mastering and pressed onto a kick ass 180 gram 12-inch vinyl.

‘The Clarity’ begins with a series of morse-code sounding noises, transmitting some form of ethereal communication from a deep void in space. Suddenly, we are met with the crushing sound of the trio in full force as the track takes off and the Weedian proceeds. The nostalgic sound of Al Cisneros’ low-frequency chanting breaks through the extremely dense wall of sound provided by Matt Pike’s astounding tower of Orange amplifiers. This is also the first piece of material with Neurosis’ Jason Roeder on drums and he has completely found his place in the universe’s heaviest trio. 

Around the 2:20 mark, the track breaks down into more tripped out otherworldly sounds via Pike. I saw Sleep play this track in London back in July and this section blew my mind out the back of my head. No matter what anyone tells you or how sure you think you are… get earplugs before you see Sleep. It’s a no-brainer… meaning you will cease to have an encephalon should you disregard this advice. 

The lyrical themes of this track are very expectedly dominant on marijuana. The short, deep chants are a perfect compliment to the riffs with lines such as ‘Stoned chariot ascending, Smokes the true believer’ and ‘Heavy dry weight, hasheeshian smoked relief’. It really isn’t that difficult to see who the target audience are. 

Around the 5:20 mark Pike lays down some Sabbath-worshipping lead guitar licks and the solo actually comes across very cleanly compared to some of his earlier lead parts in the infamous ‘Holy Mountain’ back in 1992. This track sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a huge robotic entity slowly trudging through space. The sustain from the guitar is insane and Cisneros’ bass is flawlessly hefty as always. 

‘The Clarity’ is exactly what every Sleep fan wanted to hear after being dormant for such a long time. If these guys can pull an album out of the bag in the near future with anything remotely close to the calibre of power involved in this, then we are in for a serious slab of mind-altering, heavy doom.

Sleep headline Desertfest London and Berlin this year along with Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and another performance at Psycho Las Vegas in August. 

“The Clarity” is available to preorder/buy here



Band info: facebook || bandcamp

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