Sludge Metal

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Sludge metal generally combines the slow tempos, heavy rhythms and dark, pessimistic atmosphere of doom metal with the aggression, shouted vocals and occasional fast tempos of hardcore punk.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sludge_metal

Post Sludge / Atmospheric Sludge metal This heavy metal movement takes influences from post-rock. While it is in many ways similar to post-rock, post-sludge metal tends to include lower-tuned guitars, darker themes and tones, and heavier drums. Post-sludge stresses emotion, contrasting the ambiance of post-rock with the weight and bombast of metal. Vocals are deemphasized or non-existent, and lyrics tend to be equally abstract: often thematic or philosophical in nature. It is a largely American phenomenon, but also includes some Japanese bands. Bands like Neurosis, Isis, Cult of Luna, and Pelican write lengthy songs (typically five or six per album) that can range from light and guitar-driven to extremely heavy, drum and bass-driven.

Atmospheric Sludge Metal

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Bosh66 (leader)

sludge metal top albums

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NEUROSIS
4.52 | 13 ratings
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NEUROSIS
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ISIS
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sludge metal Music Reviews

MASTODON Leviathan

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Atlanta’s MASTODON made quite the thundering debut with 2002’s “Remission,” an album that sounded like a herd of ancient pachyderms rampaging across the Siberian tundra en masse with such force that the very ground below them quaked and split the continents in two. The album introduced a new kind of progressive sludge to the metal universe and excelled at creating murky dark soundscapes that added touches of suffocating atmospheric gloom and doom. The story of MASTODON has been pretty much that it incrementally at a snail’s pace slinked into more accessible stylistic approaches that would de-emphasize the chaotic paranoia and settle into more streamlined even melodic approaches. This trend began all the way back on the group’s second full-length release LEVIATHAN.

It’s more accurate to state that the band made some tradeoffs. While jettisoning the fear porn of the debut, the band instead adopted characteristics of the progressive world and on LEVIATHAN the band’s very first concept album was born which was loosely based on Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick. While taming the wild antics of the debut album, LEVIATHAN by no means slowed things down and continued a rampaging parade of ten sonic attacks of sonic ferocity well intact. Decorated with more progressive compositional workouts and tight consistent instrumental interplay, LEVIATHAN was the album that saw the band taking both the progressive and metal world’s by storm and catapulted the band into the big boys’ club. Laced with the raging angst of hardcore crust punk and the ambitiousness of tech metal wankery, MASTODON hit the scene like a derailed train colliding with an anvil factory.

With the first hard-hitting riffs of “Blood And Thunder,” MASTODON sets the tone for LEVIATHAN that never lets up until the bitter end. Laced with venomous guitar distortion and interchange of Brent Hinds’ and Bill Kelliher’s dual double axe attack, MASTODON takes the timbre-based sinew of sludge metal and coerces it into performing technical gymnastics that subtly sneak in and steer the aggressive assaults into more advanced creatures. The tracks seamlessly blend together with an idiosyncratic series of riffing made all the more outrageous by Brann Dailor’s approach of alternating the lazy slug drumming experience in the Eyehategod school of drumming along with more tech infused jazzy outbursts. Brett Hinds also delivers his madman vocal approach from under the cacophonous din of the relentless tempo drives save the short instrumental contrasts as heard on the intro and subsections of “Seabeast.”

Another interesting factor and what ties the band’s first four albums together is that each one symbolizes one of the four elements of tetralogy. While “Remission” was not a concept album, it was still considered to have the theme of the element of fire. LEVIATHAN therefore not surprisingly represents the water element however the turbulent paths forged throughout this relentless metal madness is more like the Drake’s passage between South America and Antarctica which is known to have the most devastating channels and highest waves on the entire planet. Of interest as well is the stunning artwork on the album cover created by Paul Romano which is a revamped version of Martin Heemskerck’s 16th century interpretation of the “Pharos of Alexandria” as well as the wave representing Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” It’s also notable that the vinyl edition has a different track listing with “I Am Ahab” and “Island” appearing toward the end of the album, presumably so that the tracks could be spaced out more cozily.

Of the ten tracks on board, “Heart’s Alive” exercises the band’s complete progressive workouts and at 13 and a half minutes runs the gamut of tender arpeggiated sequences to galloping metal fury and a healthy dose of Viking metal mythos as well as NWOBHM sensibilities. While Brent Hinds is the clear lead vocalist of the band, on LEVIATHAN, Neil Fallon picks up the task on the opening “Blood And Thunder” and Scott Kelly likewise on “Aqua Dementia,” but you know what? They all growl alike so it’s unlikely you could tell the difference anyways. “Aqua” also has a cello cameo and the final instrumental features organ by Joseph Merrick who strangely has the track named after him. Some kind of endorsement scheme here? My mind is so suspicious. Back to “Hearts Alive.” Despite it being the longest track it doesn’t seem to make the most of the progressive opportunities and actually becomes a big stagnant, however LEVIATHAN is an outrageously fun romp through the world of stampede style sludge metal with a few progressive candles channeling the spirits of technical wizardry. A great album that continues the band’s unique style.

PRESSOR Weird Things

EP · 2018 · Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
Here we have yet another release through the Russian no name label, who have certainly been putting out some intriguing albums over the last few years (as CDs by the way, not just digital like some small labels), and Pressor are no exception. The band was formed in 2008 in Kostroma, Russia under the name Leaden Sky by guitarist, vocalist and main songwriter Stanislav ‘Zoiner’ Vasiliev along with bassist Ilya Beschastnov with whom he had already been working with for a few years, mixing together funeral doom with death metal. Stan was also in the black metal band Nocturnlands with Anton Khmelevsky, and the following year Anton joined Leaden Sky on lead guitar. They started to move more towards sludge, changed the name to Pressor, and released their first EP.

Over the years there have been a few line-up changes, but Anton and Stas are still at the helm, and this is their latest EP, released in 2018. This is still sludge, but they have added just a few synths and Theremin, which mean they come across as stripped down incredibly heavy version of Hawkwind. I can imagine Lemmy listening to this and really enjoying it, as it has that same balls to the wall approach that his era with the ‘wind personified. No band name or EP title on the cover, just a psychedelic speaker stack, with the swirls carried through to the CD and inside the digipak. There are times when they are channelling early Sabbath and doom as well as sludge, but they pick up the tempo when the time is right, and with distorted vocals and heavy distortion everywhere it is almost as of Blue Cheer have been resurrected. This is also available through Bandcamp, and fans of this style of music really should seek this out and discover what is happening in Russia, as this will surprise you all. Solid.

ACID BATH Paegan Terrorism Tactics

Album · 1996 · Sludge Metal
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Warthur
On their second album Acid Bath diversify their sound a little, delving into the sludge-adjacent portions of stoner rock and grunge here, getting a little mellow with their psychedelic side there, and generally offering a deliciously morbid meditation on death and the various religious distractions from it. The tragedy of Audie Pitre's death as the result of a drunk driver ramming the Pitre family car brought an end to Acid Bath, making the album's near-obsessive focus on death somewhat eerie in retrospect, but even if you aren't aware of that the album's morbid, downbeat tone is brilliantly realised and will stand out to any listener.

ORO Djupets Kall

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Swedish sludge/doom quartet Oro, who came together in 2014. ‘Djupets Kall’ (‘The Deep Call’) is an album which is combining elements from lots of different areas including post and black metal to create something which at times is incredibly beautiful and at others dark and foreboding. The bass sounds as if it is about to go out of tune at any moment as the strings are loose and distorted, while the drums pound into the brain and the guitars often create a leaden curtain of sound which doesn’t let any light escape. Petter Nilsson is in pain, crying in anguish with vocals which are coarse and laden with emotion, while the lead guitar solos are like laser beams cutting through the darkness. They may be slow and steady, but they provide just the right amount of dynamic contrast to the hurt and pain everyone is going through. Just one thing, the band just needs to understand it is never right to fade out a song, as that can’t happen when on stage so there has to be a way of ending it!

Classic Neurosis is the closest I can come to in terms of comparisons, but there are more Black and Post influences within it as the band are stretching the sludge/doom genres. Powerful, emotional, this is quite a debut. There is a great deal going on within it and it does need repeated listening to get the best from it, but overall this is a worthy journey.

THE MOTH GATHERER Esoteric Oppression

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
The Moth Gatherer are back with their third full-length album, again centered around atmospheric doom, sludge and post metal. Formed in 2008 by Victor Wegeborn and Alex Stjernfeldt, as a form of therapy to help them deal with loss, the band name is an allegory for finding hope; similar to moths who are always searching for the light. The band has changed over the years, growing in size although musically always staying close to their roots, but there has been quite a dramatic shift this time as although Alex provided the lyrics, he has now left the band with Victor now providing vocals, guitar and electronics. He is joined by Ronny Westphal (guitars), Svante Karlsson (drums) and Dan Hemgren (bass).

The band play incredibly slowly, but the post metal atmospheric sound mean they never seem to be struggling in a morass, rather the atmosphere is so pervasive on everything they do that it just isn’t possible to play any more quickly. They are less like searching for moths in the night than an army walking over a moor shrouded in fog. It is incredibly evocative music, which is heavy but also dreamlike, as the band toy with Burzum-style black metal without ever really embracing it as they move in a different direction. This is music to get lost inside, and when they move away from the intensity into something lighter it is as if a sunbeam has pierced the all-enveloping mist, but soon it is back again. This is music which feels ancient, as if it is linked to the bones of the earth, with vocals full of passion and pain. This is incredibly deep music, far more than just another metal album, and expects the listener to pay close attention. Highly recommended to be played on headphones, it just doesn’t seem to work any other way. Impressive stuff indeed, but not for the fainthearted.

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

MASTODON The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years 2000-2005

Movie · 2006 · Sludge Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
The Workhorse Chronicles is a must have for any fan of the band. Period. The DVD contains a huge documentary, their first four music videos and live performances of just about every song the band had written up until the touring for Leviathan. The documentary is incredibly informative, with details on how the band formed, inter band relationships, the witting process, touring, their personal lives and what inspires them. Footage from their old bands, their earliest shows and backstage is mixed with candid interviews to let you in on just about every aspect of the band you could think of.

The dvd displays just what a down to earth collection of musicians Mastodon are, never acting like rock stars and always feeling honored to be where they are. While the dvd is completely serious and professional, fans of the band will already know what a humorous bunch of guys they are and will revel in the joking, sarcasm, unusual dreams and even an interview conducted in the shower.

Then you get the live performances taken from several sources, One concert while the band was still a Five Piece playing material off of the then upcomming LifesBlood EP which is recorded by the audience so isn’t of high audio/visual quality. Another Concert is from The Leviathan Tour is a sold out club, with higher Audio/visual quality and a career spanning track listing. Then there are several professionally recorded one off performances for television with superb sound and looks, With songs like ‘Workhorse,’ and ‘Mother Puncher,’ played to the highest standard with crystal clear audio. Finally the music videos which are welcome. Overall this dvd is a must have; with a superb documentary, four videos and an astonishing 29 live songs.

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