Atmospheric Sludge Metal

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Atmospheric Sludge Metal or Post-Sludge Metal is style that mixes the hardcore doom of Sludge Metal with the atmospherics of Post Rock, often with progressive stylings. Atmospheric Sludge Metal was pioneered by US bands such as Neurosis, Isis and Pelican, building on earlier explorations by bands such as Melvins and Swans.

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Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

ISIS Panopticon Album Cover Panopticon
ISIS
4.25 | 51 ratings
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NEUROSIS Souls at Zero Album Cover Souls at Zero
NEUROSIS
4.42 | 11 ratings
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NEUROSIS Times Of Grace Album Cover Times Of Grace
NEUROSIS
4.27 | 26 ratings
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CULT OF LUNA Vertikal Album Cover Vertikal
CULT OF LUNA
4.27 | 13 ratings
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THE OCEAN Precambrian Album Cover Precambrian
THE OCEAN
4.24 | 15 ratings
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ISIS Wavering Radiant Album Cover Wavering Radiant
ISIS
4.13 | 40 ratings
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NEUROSIS Through Silver In Blood Album Cover Through Silver In Blood
NEUROSIS
4.12 | 41 ratings
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NEUROSIS A Sun That Never Sets Album Cover A Sun That Never Sets
NEUROSIS
4.21 | 14 ratings
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SÓLSTAFIR Masterpiece of Bitterness Album Cover Masterpiece of Bitterness
SÓLSTAFIR
4.25 | 9 ratings
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THE OCEAN Anthropocentric Album Cover Anthropocentric
THE OCEAN
4.12 | 22 ratings
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INTRONAUT Prehistoricisms Album Cover Prehistoricisms
INTRONAUT
4.13 | 14 ratings
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ISIS Oceanic Album Cover Oceanic
ISIS
4.04 | 39 ratings
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atmospheric sludge metal Music Reviews

NEUROSIS Fires Within Fires

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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UMUR
"Fires Within Fires" is the 12th full-length studio album by US, California based sludge/post metal act Neurosis. The album was released through Neurot Recordings in September 2016. It´s the successor to "Honor Found in Decay" from 2012.

Stylistically the material on "Fires Within Fires" features very few surprises if you´re already familiar with the band´s atmospheric sludge/post metal style. It´s slow, doomy, and organic music featuring both deep register clean male vocals and harder edged hardcore shouting vocals. The song structures are adventurous and you never really know where a song is going before you reach the end and look back at an intriguing compositional structure. The whole thing is packed in an organic sounding production courtesy of Steve Albini. The sound production takes the meaning of organic maybe a bit too far though, as this sometimes sound like it was recorded live in someone´s garage. I know some people love a stripped down and raw sound production like that, and under the right circumstances a sound production like that can work wonders. Here though I think it takes the power out of the music and even the most heavy and punchy parts of the album, lack energy and conviction.

To my ears Neurosis also seem to have lost a bit of their creative spirit on "Fires Within Fires"...and don´t get me wrong here, because as mentioned above this is still very adventurous music, but it´s like they´ve made this album before a few times, and I´d like to think of them as innovators who take chances and who challenge their audience. We don´t really get much of that here. "Fires Within Fires" is Neurosis playing it completely safe and since they´ve also tuned down on their more aggressive side, the album does become a bit tedious if you´re not in the right mood. However it still speaks volumes of their general qualities that one of Neurosis lesser albums still deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating, and I´m probably just being a bit hard on them, but that´s only because I expect so much from them considering their impressive back catalogue.

NEUROSIS Times Of Grace

Album · 1999 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Warthur
Although it can be enhanced by listening in synch with the Tribes of Neurot album "Grace", even by itself Times of Grace is still an extremely solid followup to Through Silver In Blood which builds on the atmospheric sludge metal sound of that album impressively. The title track's titanic closing riffs melting away to reveal the plaintive brass instrumentation of album closer The Road to Sovereignty is a particular revelation. Between this and its predecessor, I would actually give this one the edge and say that it's the best release since the magnificent, genre-defining Souls At Zero. (Those especially keen to try the "Grace" experiment may want to bear in mind that a compilation of both albums was issued for your ease of buying.)

INTRONAUT Valley of Smoke

Album · 2010 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The year 2008 was a good one for INTRONAUT as they signed onto a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and hit a home run with their amazingly brilliant “Prehistoricisms.” The band followed up with a successful touring schedule with Kylesa and Mastodon as well as the Great Indian Rock Festival in Dehli, India. Two years later INTRONAUT followed up that album in a most unexpected way with their 2010 release VALLEY OF SMOKE. There was a new direction a-brewing and the most noticeable aspect is the toning down the overall harshness and adding heavier doses of post-rock thus creating a thick atmospheric slick of post-metal with healthy portions of sludgery on the side. The band enjoyed the luxury of a stable lineup as well and on this one sees a cameo appearance of Justin Chancellor from Tool adding a second bass on the title track.

The opening track “Elegy” belies the direction of the album as it sounds like the signature progressive post-rock infused sludge metal that the band has been conjuring up from day one, complete with progressively constructed distorted riffs, shouted vocals and jazz-infused song structures. Starting with the second track “Above” Sacha Dunable seems to leave the harsh extreme vocals behind for the most part and focuses more on a clean atmospheric approach reminding me of the clean parts on later Enslaved albums in mood and dynamics. While the shouting pops up intermittently there is much more attention paid to the lighter aspects of the band’s sound. This is an approach they would even further on the following album “Habitual Levitations.”

After a perfect album like “Prehistoricisms” i hardly expected a repeat in its successful formula and i’m glad INTRONAUT didn’t try to simply recreate it. I have to admit that i was initially disappointed by the approach on VALLEY OF SMOKE upon first listen as they seem to be on the same trajectory as The Ocean or even Mastodon where they began their career as uncompromising heavy sludge outfits and have slowly drifted towards the more ethereal and atmospheric pastures of post-rock infused sludge metal but after a few listens this one does sink in and the progressive time signature workouts accompanied by seasoned musicians and the stellar production of Josh Newell only makes this one better after every spin. True that it will never dethrone what came before in my book but VALLEY OF SMOKE is still quite the sophisticated atmospheric sludge metal attack with lots of post-rock meanderings. Unlike “Prehistoricisms” which i can put on any time and fall into the musical ecstasy zone, VALLEY OF SMOKE requires me to be in the right mood to want to hear, but when i am this one does deliver the goods.

ISIS In the Absence of Truth

Album · 2006 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Warthur
Following up classics like Oceanic and Panopticon would be a tricky enough prospect in itself, and whilst I respect Isis for choosing to evolve their sound at this point the fact remains that In the Absence of Truth is a bit of a transitional album which simply doesn't grip me to the extent that those albums do. The band seem to have been experimenting with a somewhat more atmospheric and less direct take on their sound, but on balance I think they succeeded much better at this sort of thing on the following Wavering Radiant; here, it's still a work in progress and it doesn't quite come together.

INTRONAUT Prehistoricisms

Album · 2008 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After a debut album and two EPs under their belt the members of INTRONAUT were only getting warmed up it seems. Another member change with Dave Timnick taking over guitar duties after the departure of Leon del Muerte seems to have been the necessary ingredient to grant INTRONAUT that magical prestidigitation to whip up and unleash their absolute wildest and most experimental album of their career. PREHISTORICISMS continues their reputation as an intellectual extreme metal band that seamlessly blends together elements of post-rock, psychedelia and crushing sludge metal brutality all laid out in the most satisfying of musical deliveries of the ages. This is the album that even made the critics go gaga and publications such as Decibel, Metal Maniacs, Outburn, Revolver and so on praised INTRONAUT as the next best thing and after hearing this musical masterpiece it isn’t too overly difficult to understand why.

The band goes about their usual business as before intermingling placid post-rock segments that once the listener is lured into a state of hypnotic bliss is sonically assaulted with catchy brutal riffs that sustain long enough to establish their dominance only to have the false sense of security shattered by unpredictable time signature changes that wend and wind the compositions through highly progressive head bangin' territory. While all the members are brilliant on their respective instruments, it’s worthy of mentioning the above and beyond the call of duty of fretless bass player Joe Lester who infuses the sound with the technical jazz fusion aspects. Equally vital to the new technical achievements is former Jane’s Addiction engineer Josh Newell, who blends together the seamless transitions between the soft and silky contemplative parts and the hardcore brutality by smoothing out any potential awkwardness between the contradictory styles on display.

While PREHISTORICISMS is undeniably the sound of INTRONAUT, the band went for broke and evolved every aspect of their sound to the next level. The compositions have been crafted carefully as to retain their signature sludge bombast all wrapped up with creative uses of slide guitar, fretless bass, highly technical drumming and ambient jazz-infused soundscapes. Timnick’s riffing style is top notch with its fuzzed fury graciously fusing with Sacha Dunable's aggressively screamed vocals with an emphasis on lyrical intellectualisms and concepts of the most primitive and atavistic aspects of the human experience. As mentioned, what really sets this release apart from its predecessors isn’t the excellent musicianship that is present on all of their material but rather the infusion of the jangly post-rock and jazz-infused technicalities. While throughout the majority of the album we are treated to brutal jarring dissonant orotundity, on the final track “The Reptilian Brain (Sleep, Eat, Shit, Fight, Fuck)” we are treated to a five part suite that begins like an Indian raga with sitars and tribal drums and slowly evolves into a 16 minute plus progressive behemoth that develops into a sludge metal monster that satisfies on all musical levels.

Not only is this my favorite INTRONAUT album but this is one of my favorite albums of all time. This is not only a desert isle pick but one that takes many of my disparate musical interests and throws them all together. The success lies not in the fact that these elements are all included but rather in how well crafted their inclusions are and how meticulously placed together in a logical sequence they exist while still finding improvisational space to deliver jarring surprises when least expected. The heavy down-tuned guitars and fretless bass work together in harmony while the percussion takes the listener on an exotic counter-journey. The rhythms, tones, timbres and tempos are all sorted out in a way as to allow the psychedelic and the sludge to not only coexist but to play together and dance the night away. This is highly recommended for anyone who craves mass quantities of intelligent design stamped upon every musical measure and imbued with exemplary musical maestrohood.

atmospheric sludge metal movie reviews

ISIS Clearing the Eye

Movie · 2006 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Triceratopsoil
Probably only really for fans of ISIS (I mean, who else would buy a concert DVD than a fan of the band in question?), but an absolutely great experience. Witness an incredible band at their peak. The main feature here is the full 70 minute performance from Sydney Australia in 2005. Great cinematic camera work, a relaxing and overall fantastic performance of some of the best songs ISIS ever wrote. Top notch. No complaints here, though I'm a giant fanboy so take my opinion with a grain of salt or 10.

Most of the other live videos are curios, though they are quite good - not the same professional sound and video quality as the Australia concert.

I made my mom buy me this for Christmas a few years ago, ahaha

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