The Outer Limits of The Essential Riff

September 6th, 2010
Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Brooklyn, NY
It was essential man! We were there, where were you?
A Harmonic Convergence of Epic Proportion. No Irony, No Bullshit. A Riff Ritual. Metalheads, Dopesmokers & Enthusiasts of The Dark Arts. A Communion and a Temple in Brooklyn.
We are all the same here, can you dig it?
Sleep has returned…
Before the legendary psychedelic doom trio took the stage in Brooklyn on Monday night the crowd was treated to an endless loop of Tony Iommi solos. An image of the Black Sabbath riff-master hung behind the drum kit. There you have it. The Beginning & The End. There is Black Sabbath and there is everybody else.
And then came Sleep.
If you didn’t already know it, Sleep were about to worship at the altar of the Original Heavy Metal Riff Catalogue in a holy temple built for masons.
Fucking masons man. Time immemorial. Look the fuck out and let the benediction begin…
The band blasted through Sleep’s Holy Mountain (1992) in its entirety. More songs followed; beginnings, endings. Running together, seamless. Riffs were boiled down to the absolute. Stripped naked, essential.
Alchemy. Metallurgy.
Good God Man.
For over two hours Sleep pushed itself to the brink, punishing songs just to see if they could take it. Pounding out one chord, over and over and over. Was that a beginning or an ending?
Further ahead to the Absolute Outer Limits.
It was with no irony that Sleep played in front of footage of space exploration, endless and epic. It is safe to say the band were stabbing the heavens, destroying accepted boundaries of riff exploration. Forty years of metal. Maybe even a thousand years. Whatever the essential riff is, Sleep possesses it.
Punishing. The reciprocating saw of noise. This must be the Sound of God.
At one point Matt Pike launched a scorching solo just as the Moon eclipsed the Sun behind him. Is there a better convergence of Sound & Vision? Not in this life…
When the show finally came to a close, an iconic image of Charles Bronson was all that remained. A fitting end to the destruction of the temple and all that was held within its archaic, small-minded walls.
Bronson spoke for Sleep when he said:
“Take that you fuckers. We showed no mercy. We have kicked your ass and now we must go”
Sleep has risen.
Photographs by the Rock File
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One Response to The Outer Limits of The Essential Riff

  1. Fason says:

    I know it’s only 8:15 on Sunday morning but you got me fired up – cartoons off kids, i’m going to crank some Sleep, that should go well with those pancakes

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