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Sleep: Al Cisneros (vocals, bass); Matt Pike (guitar); Chris Hakus (drums); Doug Ebright. Recorded at Record Two, Comptche, California. Subtle is not a word that could ever be applied to Northern California doom-metallists Sleep. DOPESMOKER, a record with a backstory almost as interesting as the album itself, is about, oddly enough, smoking dope. Lots of it, all the time. There are other metal/prog lyrical themes here, too, but in general, this is a long, loud salute to the demon weed. That Sleep managed to make this album on a major label's dime is utterly amazing, although turning it in cost them their deal and the album was released in a frustratingly chopped-up form as 1999's JERUSALEM. That experience caused the band to split, and many wondered whether the original recording would ever see the light of day. Thankfully, this bass-heavy, droning opus--which features lead singer Al Cisneros (later of Om) growling like an angry hound--was issued by Tee Pee Records in 2003. As a favor to fans, the reissue ends with a 10-minute-long bonus track intended to be a palate cleanser after an hour of stoner dirge.