Sleep is the best meditation.
On April 20, 2018, heavy music fans made haste in search of Sleep’s new album, The Sciences. The release of the record was a surprise; there had been hints in recent years, but no exact date had been given. In support of the record, Sleep has been touring throughout the spring and summer of 2018. But — you can’t talk about Sleep and just say, “they’re touring in support of their latest record.” This is the first record they’ve made in two decades, and the previous one, Dopesmoker, was so mired in record label indecision that it didn’t get a proper release until the band had called it quits out of frustration. In spite of that, a reunion in 2009 quickly rekindled the fan base. Consistent live shows and the simple trifecta of marijuana, sci-fi, and Sabbath-esque riffs have been more than enough to maintain momentum.
That brings us to the 2018 Muddy Roots Music Festival. Sleep occupied the headliner slot on Friday, August 31st and an enormous crowd gathered to witness their set. We were treated to songs old and new, followed by an introductory mood-setter consisting of NASA mission control communication. You might think a bunch of stoned metalheads would tend towards lethargy at the end of a humid Tennessee day, but Dragonaut played at deafening volume has a way of energizing just about anyone.