Album review: Sleep, The Sciences

15 years after the two-track Dopesmoker, Sleep’s The Sciences delivers on all you’d expect: deliciously slow tempos, bassy groves, and jammy interludes fit for spacing out.

‘The Sciences” starts the album with a noisy, squealing opener – getting us ready for the trance ahead. “Marijuanaut’s Theme” gives us our first riffs of the album. They’re on point. Pounding. Head-bangingly good.

“Sonic Titan” is steeped in heavy Sabbath sounds: Rich tones, incredible riffs. It plays between a few sections of chunky measures and vocals which follow the riff melody.

“Antarcticans Thawed” is the monster track of the album clocking in over 14 minutes. It’s one of those incredible songs with a break so long and powerful that when it comes back to the main musical themes you think “oh yeah, this was the song I was listening to.” Songs like Black Sabbath’s “The Warning” or Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” come to mind. The solo around 10:45 of the track, Pike delivers bending, squeezing solo delivers quite a punch.

“Giza Butler” is delightful. Beautiful, melodic groove of bass pulls us in as the guitar starts to sing. As the drums enter the sound of rain accompanies us. And out of nowhere these lyrics with cheeky nods to Sabbath and weed references abound.

“The Botanist” is a strong closer for the album. And just like that, it’s over. Go back and press play again. You’ll be glad you did.

Better yet, check out Sleep on tour this summer supported by Seattle’s Bell Witch to promote last year’s Mirror Reaper. I attended their show at San Francisco’s The Warfield on June 7th. The doom and sludge was so heavy and riffy I could feel my septum vibrate: a full-body, head-bangingly good time.

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