Sleep ‎– Volume One

First pressing was 2000 LPs, 500 cassettes, 2000 CDs.


Stillborn 6:18
The Suffering 5:12
Numb 3:30
Anguish 5:37
Catatonic 6:04
Nebuchadnezzar's Dream 4:47
The Wall Of Yawn 5:32
Prey 3:46
Scourge 5:02

Versions (7)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
RTD 3444334CD Sleep Volume One(CD, Album) Tupelo Recording Company RTD 3444334CD Europe 1991 Sell This Version
Number 34 Sleep Volume One(CD, Album) Very Small Records, Tupelo Recording Company Number 34 US 1991 Sell This Version
NUMBER 34 Sleep Volume One(Cass) Tupelo Recording Company, Very Small Records NUMBER 34 US 1991 Sell This Version
VSR 34 Sleep Volume One(LP, Album) Very Small Records, Tupelo Recording Company VSR 34 US 1991 Sell This Version
SLLP2005, VSR 34, Number 34 Sleep Volume One(LP, Album, Unofficial) Sleuth Records, Very Small Records (3), Tupelo Recording Company (2) SLLP2005, VSR 34, Number 34 UK 2013 Sell This Version
TUP034, TUPELO 34, NUMBER 34 Sleep Vol. 1(LP, Album, RE) Tupelo Recording Company, Tupelo Recording Company, Tupelo Recording Company, Very Small Records TUP034, TUPELO 34, NUMBER 34 US 2014 Sell This Version
VSR 34, TUP34 Sleep Volume One(CD, Album, RP) Very Small Records, Tupelo Recording Company VSR 34, TUP34 US Unknown Sell This Version


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January 26, 2017
edited 5 months ago
referencing Vol. 1, LP, Album, RE, TUP034, TUPELO 34, NUMBER 34
My copy came with the record in a PVC-like sleeve and when opening it today I noticed the vinyl surface was becoming milky/hazy. I've had this ruin records in the past so I suggest everyone swap out the inner sleeve.


December 6, 2014
referencing Vol. 1, LP, Album, RE, TUP034, TUPELO 34, NUMBER 34


March 16, 2014
edited over 2 years ago
referencing Volume One, CD, Album, RP, VSR 34, TUP34
obsolete comment...


March 3, 2014
referencing Volume One, CD, Album, RTD 3444334CD
Beyond the 1980's, doom metal slowly took a few different routes of development that saw a myriad of bands expand upon and indulge in the style. The traditional guard in Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble, and a few others would go off in a few other directions, resulting in works like the rockish "Children of Doom" or the surprisingly awesome "Manic Frustration." As for the style itself, there was the gothic offshoot (which went in a few directions in itself,) the sludge off shoot in Crowbar, Eyehategod, Cavity, Buzzoven, etc. and the stoner offshoot commanded by Kyuss, Monster Magnet, and Sleep.

Yet before Sleep provided the soundtrack for bong hits everywhere with "Holy Mountain," they were a slightly less trippy entity. In fact, Sleep wasn't very happy at all, and they sure as hell weren't singing praises to Dragonauts or talking about Druids to the backdrop of insanely awesome riffage. Instead, they were a pretty tormented band, whose topics were much darker and in some cases, sinister. This is almost like the nihilistic combatant to Trouble's pseudo-Christian lyrics on "Psalm 9," speaking through a negativity filter that makes most anything in life seem so tortorous that none have the capacity to bear it.

In fact, Al Cisneros doesn't sound like himself at all. There are times he almost reminds me of the early black metal barkers (Celtic Frost comes to mind) and there are moments he verges on those impish shrieks none too dissimilar from the second wave of black metal, which at this time wasn't even really in full swing. He almost never reaches back to those trippy, fuzzed out vocals he would use on "Holy Mountain" where he seemed to transcend reality, but instead acts like a barking doomsday preacher howling out lyrics about misery, pain, and the utter futility of life. And you know what - its fucking awesome.

Naturally the main question when concerning a stoner/doom band like this - how are the riffs? After all, this style is nothing without the RIFFS. Well, I can't really say this album surpasses "Holy Mountain" in terms of riffage, but damn if Sleep doesn't try (albeit two years before "Holy Mountain," so they were trying to outdo their future selves apparently.) The best songs here take one particular riff, and either speed it up or contort (vary it) that riff to keep the song interesting. A few times they simply forget to do this and the song suffers, such as "Stillborn" which is not that great of an opener. "The Suffering" however, can match up to anything on "Holy Mountain." After the 2:30 mark, it slowly starts speeding up (similar to how some High On Fire songs begin these days) and morphs into something that seems like minimalist thrash. No, I'm not joking.

Other highlights include "Scourge," which is a trip down misery lane. This song here is almost like a ghost emerging from a pit of eternal sorrow and internal pain, only to drag you down into an eternity of unbearable grief, all the while laughing at your futile attempts to escape. "Nebuchadnezzar's Dream" is quite similar, though with a short atmospheric break towards the end. Even when these guys lay off the heaviness, a sense of anger and bitterness pervades further. This honestly reminds me of grim black metal, no matter what these guys are doing a thick coat of revulsion, bitterness, and inner torment simply persists. No happiness, no inner peace, just sorrow, greif, and inner conflict. Fuck, after listening to this I was pretty depressed, but it was worth it, thanks to those awesome riffs.

For the longest time, I rejected this album because it wasn't "Holy Mountain." After all, alot of stoner/doom bands weren't that great prior to their landmark albums (like Monster Magnet with "Dopes to Infinity," Kyuss before "Blues for the Red Sun," etc.) Yet I was completely wrong. Sleep weren't necessarily inferior as they were simply going in a different direction. The only way you can really compare this album to "Holy Mountain" is the nature of the riffs, which are similar in construction but the vocals and atmosphere are almost completely different. I would say the riffs on the succeeding album are better and more memorable, but this one here has its own appeal, especially for fans of doom metal laden with dark, haunting tones.

"Volume One" is quite an interesting find in this popular stoner/doom band's back catalog, an album that a number of their fans simply dismiss. They are in error, for they're missing out on excellent riffs and some songs here that can easily stand up to anything that came after. In terms of a complete listen, its less exciting than "Holy Mountain," but certainly more appealing than the hour long slug-a-lug drabbery that was "Dopesmoker." An album I can recommend for any fan for the doom genre.