Al Cisneros
Cisneros in 2019.
Background information
Birth Name Alberto R. Cisneros
Born September 23, 1973 - San Jose, California, United States
Occupation Musician, Chess Teacher
Genres Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, Experimental Rock, Dub
Instrument(s) Bass, Vocals, Piano, Percussion
Years active 1989 - 1997, 2003 - Present
Labels Tee Pee Records, Holy Mountain Records, Southern Lord Records, Tupelo, Earache, London, Neurot, Drag City, Sinai, Samaritan Press, Third Man Records
Associated acts Sleep, Om, Shrinebuilder, Asbestosdeath
Website Official Om Website
Al Cisneros is a musician originating from San Jose, California. Notably, he actively performs in Sleep and Om while having been formerly involved with Shrinebuilder and Asbestosdeath. Cisneros is also known for his meditative mannerisms on stage and grooving along to the music he performs.

Background Edit

Asbestosdeath Edit

In 1989 he formed the sludge metal band Asbestosdeath at the age of sixteen. Cisneros handled bass and vocals with Chris Hakius on drums and Matt Pike and Tom Choi on guitar. Cisneros and Asbestosdeath released two EPs between 1989 and 1990. The group would disband by December that year.

Sleep Edit

For more information, see the page on Sleep.

When Choi left Asbestosdeath, Cisneros, Hakius, new member Justin Marler and Pike renamed themselves Sleep. Cisneros jokingly called himself "Luke" in the early days of Sleep, in homage to 'Luke's Wall', the title of the outro to War Pigs. Cisneros also kept a picture of Tony Iommi in his bass suitcase as a further example of the band's worship of Iommi and Sabbath.

Cisneros' earliest musical interests included an appreciation of Black Sabbath, in particular their first four albums.

In 1991 Sleep released their first album Volume One, gaining a following in the underground doom scene. In 1992 they released their next album, Sleep's Holy Mountain an influential album in the early development of stoner metal.

Between 1994 and 1996, Sleep worked extensively on what would become their third full-length album, Dopesmoker, a single song lasting one hour. However, their record label at the time refused to release it, and in 1997 Sleep disbanded. Frustrated, Al Cisneros would quit doing music entirely for years.

In 2009, Sleep would reunite at All Tomorrow's Parties for two performances, doing the entire Sleep's Holy Mountain album along with selections from Dopesmoker and an unreleased composition. From 2010 onwards the band would be active again with Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder. What was intended to be sporadic shows has become a fully reunited band by 2014, with a new album in the works following new single The Clarity in 2014. Four years later as a surprise on 20 April Sleep would release their fourth album The Sciences via Third Man Records and embark on their most extensive touring cycle to date in support of the album.

Om Edit

For more information, see the page on Om.

In 2003, Al Cisneros had an interest in playing music again after spending a great deal of time away from doing so. He would recruit his Sleep bandmate Chris Hakius and form the two-piece band Om. The band would record a total of three albums together before Chris Hakius retired from music in 2008.

Since 2008, Grails drummer Emil Amos has performed with the band. Since 2009, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Of Lichens) has joined as a multi-instrumentalist, adding to their evolving sound. This lineup would release two more albums and remain fairly active, slowing down their activity by 2016. The band has a sixth album in the works.

Shrinebuilder Edit

For more information, see the page on Shrinebuilder.

In the mid 2000s Cisneros and Hakius expressed interest in working with Scott Weinrich on forming a new band together, with this project gaining ground following the dissolution of The Hidden Hand. Shrinebuilder would be founded by Cisneros and Wino along with Neurosis guitarist/vocalist Scott Kelly in 2008. As Chris Hakius had retired from music at that point the band would recruit Dale Crover (Melvins, Nirvana, Redd Kross, OFF!) in the drum role. Development of an album would begin in the Winter of 2009.

Shrinebuilder was released in October 2009 to critical praise. Following the album's release, the band announced a string of concerts, and the first Shrinebuilder track, "Pyramid Of The Moon," was added to the band's Myspace page. On 11 November 2009, Club My War arranged and hosted the band's first live show in the United States with two performances at The Viper Room. A short string of dates followed that year. In 2010 the band would tour the United States and Europe in support of the album when their busy schedules would allow. Plans for a second album would be in the works as early as 2010.

Following a short European tour in 2011 surrounding a re-scheduled appearance at Roadburn Festival, Shrinebuilder would disband. This would largely be due to conflicts between Wino and Cisneros as all four members would move on to other projects.

Solo Releases Edit

In December 2012 Cisneros released his first solo record Dismas on his own Sinai imprint, following the religious tones themed in OM but with more of a dub approach. A second solo record Teresa of Avila followed in March 2013. A 10" EP featuring two longer songs, "Ark Procession" and "Jericho", was also released in 2013 via Drag City. In January 2014 a 12" EP featuring five songs was released via Drag City.

Two more solo dub releases would follow in 2014. First was a collaboration with avid V. D'Andrea of Samaritan Press to create Empty Tomb / Sepulcher Dub, limited to 1000 copies. The other was a third 7" on the Sinai imprint entitled Lantern of the Soul.

Cisneros performed a solo dub set at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 20 February 2015.[1]

Personal Life Edit

Sometime after his departure of Sleep, Al Cisneros became a chess teacher. Sometime in the 2010s, Cisneros would leave his longtime home of California to move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He currently resides there with his wife.

Along with Black Sabbath, Cisneros also maintains a keen interest in dub and reggae music. Also while not following any organized religion he is deeply spiritual.

On 21 April 2019 it would be revealed that Rickenbacker bass company had developed an "Al Cisneros Signature 4003AC" in acknowledgment of the musician's frequent interest in the Rickenbacker brand for decades.

Bands Edit

  • Asbestosdeath - Bass, Vocals (1989 - 1990)
  • Sleep - Bass, Vocals (1990 - 1998, 2009 - 2019)
  • Om - Bass, Vocals (2003 - Present)
  • Shrinebuilder - Bass, Vocals (2008 - 2011)
  • Al Cisneros - All Instruments, Vocals (2012 - Present)
  • Wovenhand - Live Bass (2020)

Discography Edit

With Asbestosdeath Edit

  • 1990 – Unclean (Asbestos)
  • 1990 – Dejection (Profane Existence)
  • 2007 - Dejection, Unclean (Southern Lord)

With Sleep Edit

With Om Edit

With Shrinebuilder Edit

  • 2009 – Shrinebuilder (Neurot Recordings)
  • 2011 – L•i•v•e (My Proud Mountain)
  • 2011 – Coextinction Release 3 (Coextinction)

Solo Edit

Guest Appearances Edit

Equipment Edit


  • Rickenbacker 4080/6
  • Rickenbacker 4003
  • Rickenbacker 4003S5
  • Rickenbacker 4004
  • Rickenbacker 4003W
  • Rickenbacker 4003AC



  • Ampeg SVT and various Ampeg cabinets
  • Custom "Vivekananda" Electric Amp USA power unit
  • Electric Amp USA Master Volume Unit
  • Green Amp Matamp slave unit.
  • Two Matamp 4x15 custom cabinets.
  • Electric Amp USA 2x15 "Jericho" cabinet.
  • Two Electric Amp USA 4x12 cabinets.


  • BOSS DS-1
  • Boss TU-2
  • Raagini Digital Electronic Tanpura, used with Ernie Ball volume pedal.
  • DOD overdrive/preamp 250
  • Electro-Harmonix POG2 Polyphonic Octave Generator
  • Mountainking Electronics Megalith Fuzz pedal

References Edit

  1. Facebook Event]Accessed March 5, 2016.
  2. Bass Guitar MagazineBass Guitar Magazine October 2006, Accessed March 5, 2016.
V·T·E Om
Current Members Al CisnerosEmil AmosTyler Trotter
Past Members Chris HakiusRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Studio Albums Variations on a ThemeConference of the BirdsPilgrimageGod Is GoodAdvaitic Songs
Splits Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)Om / Six Organs of Admittance
Singles Gebel BarkalAddis DubplateGethsemane Dubplate
Live Albums Live at JerusalemLive ConferenceLiveBBC Radio 1
Associated Bands and Artists SleepThe SabiansShrinebuilderGrailsPhantom Family HaloHoly Mountain RecordsBilly AndersonDavid V. D'andrea
  V·T·E  Sleep
Current Members  Al CisnerosMatt PikeJason Roeder
Past Members Chris HakiusJustin Marler
Albums Volume OneSleep's Holy MountainJerusalemDopesmokerThe Sciences
Live Albums Sleep Live at Third Man Records
Extended Plays & Singles Volume TwoThe ClarityLeagues Beneath
Associated Bands and Artists AsbestosdeathDejection, UncleanOmHigh on FireNeurosisKalasThe SabiansShrinebuilderDenver Colorado 09.05.10Billy AndersonArik RoperDavid V. D'andrea
V·T·E Shrinebuilder
Past Members Al CisnerosScott KellyScott WeinrichDale CroverChris Hakius
Studio Albums Shrinebuilder
Singles Coextinction Release 3
Live Albums L•i•v•e
Associated Bands and Artists NeurosisTribes of NeurotThe ObsessedSpirit CaravanSaint VitusSleepOmAsbestosdeathMelvins
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.