Some stupid joke about Sleep being awake here. Following sentence that precedes a new paragraph.
The Sciences is an album that is predominantly built around one particular note with a few variations away from that note. Its tone is warm and fuzzy and its groove is solid. Sometimes the sound is really thick and sometimes it is a little thinner. Overall, the sound is sparse and dry.
Some of the songs are longer than others. Some are slower than others.
Jason Roeder’s drumming is good and works well for the songs. The same can be said for Al Cisneros’ and Matt Pike’s playing. The band sound conversely loose and tight which gives the whole thing a certain kind of pull to its sound.
The lyrics reference pot, Black Sabbath, Dune and probably a number of other things that are more subtle than other things which may not be as subtle. The vocals vary very little which works for the kind of music they’re making. It’s not a dynamic performance and it doesn’t need to be. They just need to get the imagery across and for that they work.
Sleep have released an album that has some solid material. However, the biggest issue with The Sciences is that it’s tiring. The album comes out strong with the first two tracks, then dips until the final track which avoids much of what came before whilst remaining as weighty. After a few listens there’s not much desire to go back as the record begins to drag. Save for a few moments, the album doesn’t do enough with what potential there is and consequently it begins to drag on the same thing a little too much without the required punch to get through that issue.
Music doesn’t have to be going in multiple directions. There’s some excellent music out there that does very little. With that being said, on The Sciences it feels as though there’s a dearth of ideas.
To be fair to Sleep, they do some interesting stuff on The Sciences and they certainly know how to use a riff, but they let the high of the album peak a little too early.