Before Sleep came Asbestosdeath, featuring all three members -- Matt Pike, Al Cisneros, and Chris Haikus -- of the soon-to-be stoner/doom legends plus a second guitarist, Tom Choi, who, to his eternal misfortune (or good luck), didn't hang around for the long haul. This release, then, represents the short-lived entity's complete surviving recorded discography -- all four tracks and 20 minutes of it! Three of these cuts would later make their way, re-recorded and slightly cleaned up (but only slightly) into Sleep's 1991 debut, Volume One, and along with lone holdout, "Nail," they reveal the band's roots in rougher forms of post-hardcore and sludge. However, Sleep's future exploits in psych-inflected doom are certainly foreseeable here in the slothful cadence, tortured cries, eerie melody lines, and repetitive riff lines of "Scourge," "Anguish," and "The Suffering." Clearly, only serious devotees of Sleep's subsequent exploits need apply for entry to this selective witchcult of an EP, but then, there are ever more numbers of those discovering the band's hallowed recorded legacy.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia