Review: Sleep At Stylus
Sleep play Stylus at Leeds University Union
words: Jack Taylor
Sleep, one of the progenitors of the stoner rock/metal genre in the early 90′s, reunited a few years ago, much to the delight of large sections of the metal underground. This was the first time the band had visited this part of the country in a long while, and anticipation was high. A Storm Of Light did a good job warming the crowd up, even if their brand of post metal is a little generic and uninspiring. Sleep blew away all memories of them, however, with a mesmerizing performance. The set began with some of the dirtiest guitar you’ll hear courtesy of Matt Pike, droning on hypnotically for about five minutes unaccompanied, before Al Cisneros and Jason Roeder joined in, producing an unbelievable cacophony akin to the lumbering of great mammoths. Most of the gig consisted of songs flowing seamlessly into each other, but the highlight of the set was the epic title track from 1993′s Holy Mountain, a gargantuan psychedelic journey with devastating dynamics and sludgy rhythms. Matt and Al’s bellies have expanded since the bands heyday, and so have their musical talents – both guys are masters of their instruments and it’s a joy to watch and listen to, and although purists might be a bit put out by the presence of Neurosis stickman Jason Roeder in place of original drummer Chris Haikus, it isn’t to the detriment of the band whatsoever. Leeds Uni hadn’t shook with this kind of subsonic energy since Electric Wizard graced Damnation Festival with their presence back in 2009 – it was a pleasure to witness these Californian legends in their element.