SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON
Stoner rock titans carve a new set of tablets
“THANKS FOR COMING BLACK
to see us,” says MOTH’S  singer Harriet Hyde, forgiving the punters who only got there early to park up in the best blunt-smoking spot away from security. Rock’n’roll Sabbath isn’t new but with Harriet’s post-punk vocal bent and newcomer Federica Gialanze’s incendiary riffs, they deserve the big crowd.
All hail SLEEP ! A month ago these stoner icons released The Sciences – their first album since 2003’s Dopesmoker – with no warning. The verdict? New Sleep is as pristinely glacial and megalithic as anything you’d hear on Sleep’s Holy Mountain. Previewed as a live-studio bonus track on Dopesmoker, the revamped Sonic Titan is a heavyassed highlight, grinding away minute upon minute, before springing to life with Matt Pike’s ripchord solo while Al Cisneros’s hypnotic bass and mantric vocals on Antarcticans Thawed guide the sea of nodding heads like a weary but determined pilgrimage. The Botanist is an expansive instrumental, unnerving in its screeching, psychedelic crawl. At least 10 amps line the stage flecked with blood cell-like light pools. Al remains tight-lipped and static except for his neck-bob as the bare-chested Matt blazes heavy-laden rifftuals. Neurosis skin-pounder Jason Roeder, whose tempo-setting skills are unfathomable, is the formidable vertebrae to this set. They close first with Dragonaut then on the first beat of Dopesmoker a fan in full weedian regalia surfs to the front, adding the final touch to Sleep’s magnificent return.
Black Moth draw the early punters like, er, moths to a flame
Al Cisneros sends us all off to another plane