The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Sleep, 'Jerusalem' (1999)

62. Sleep, 'Jerusalem' (1999)

After releasing the stoner-rock landmark Sleep's Holy Mountain in 1992, this supremely heavy Bay Area trio decided to follow it up with an album consisting entirely of one relentless, pot-exalting hour-long song. Though the concept was simple, the execution proved even more punishing than the music itself; guitarist Matt Pike would later recall that the band worked on the song "for like four years" while it steadily mutated into something even slower, trippier and more complex than they'd originally imagined. "They had names for the riffs, like 'Blackened,' 'Reversed Flight,' 'Hotel Room,'" producer Billy Anderson explained to Willamette Week in 2015. "We'd get a version of it, we'd cross it off a dry erase board, and then I'd be like, 'Maybe we should try an alternate version of that section,' with a different feel or whatever. ... We had at least 10 reels of 2-inch tape. Some of those reels had 10 or 15 edits in them. But then, they're only 17 minutes long. So we didn't actually hear it as an entire song until well after it was mixed. It was like going to math class." Though the strain of its creation contributed to Sleep's breakup, the album – first released in 1999 as Jerusalem, and reissued in 2003 as Dopesmoker – still serves as a fittingly weighty monument to a legendary band. D.E.

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