Review: Sleep at Gothic Theatre, 1/3/14
SLEEP at THE GOTHIC THEATRE | 1/3/14
Cannabis is legalized here in the same week Sleep comes back to Colorado to play a show. Coincidence? Whatever the case, this show surpassed the last time the outfit played at the Gothic in September 2010. Something just seemed more coherent and focused this time around; the glacier of thundering sound was inexorable and irresistible as it rumbled over an invisible landscape, grinding it down with a dynamic fluidity often imitated but rarely, if ever, equaled in the world of heavy rock.
Drawing largely from its two best albums, Sleep's Holy Mountain and Dopesmoker, Sleep put together two smoldering hours of music. From seeing one of the loudest bands playing quiet pieces -- with Al Cisneros and Matt Pike facing their amps, not to generate feedback so much as having more control over those delicate moments -- to seeing the way the band sketched outlines of songs and then breathed life into them with lingering rhythms, hanging chords and rippling low end, the set felt as cinematic as it was sonically imposing.
Tom Murphy Sleep at Gothic Theatre
"Dragonaut" had a smoother quality than the studio recording, as did "Aquarian." After the band played "Holy Mountain," somebody in the crowd yelled out a request for the same tune, and Cisneros simply said, "We just played that." (Perhaps the big haze that hovered in the room explained the redundant request.) At the end, Sleep treated us to an extended take of "From Beyond" and slipped in some lyrics about Voyager exploring other planets. But for all of the words can about the future and outer space, the music certainly seemed to come from deep down inner space.