Label: Southern Lord
While pundits often seem eager to throw the adjective "uncompromising" at any rock musician with more than three nipple-rings, what we have here is the real deal. After haphazardly embarking on their intensely single-minded career in the late-'80s, Northern California's pioneering prophets of doom-metal took the opportunity of a '90s major-label advance to record a 63-plus-minute magnum opus to ganja and other Valhalla-friendly political conceits that effectively cost them same promising record deal and embroiled them in enough turmoil to permanently splinter the band. Cut by nearly a dozen minutes, the track eventually surfaced in ‘99 to some critical acclaim as "Jerusalem." But now, sounding like a hung-over Thor awakening from a three-century bender, the original hour-plus "Dopesmoker" returns to stake its claim as the heaviest, if minimally expansive metal dirge of them all, with founder/vocalist Al Cisneros's massive bass drone and tortured growl making for a hypnotic, if harrowing, listening experience. This new edition also includes the previously unreleased, live-in-the-studio "Sonic Titan," a comparatively upbeat drone that breezes in at just under 10 minutes.