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.

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

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Bosh66 (leader)

sludge metal top albums

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

MELVINS Houdini Album Cover Houdini
MELVINS
4.48 | 11 ratings
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CROWBAR Broken Glass Album Cover Broken Glass
CROWBAR
4.65 | 5 ratings
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NEUROSIS Souls at Zero Album Cover Souls at Zero
NEUROSIS
4.42 | 11 ratings
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CROWBAR Odd Fellows Rest Album Cover Odd Fellows Rest
CROWBAR
4.67 | 4 ratings
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ISIS Panopticon Album Cover Panopticon
ISIS
4.25 | 51 ratings
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DOWN Down III: Over the Under Album Cover Down III: Over the Under
DOWN
4.48 | 6 ratings
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NEUROSIS Times Of Grace Album Cover Times Of Grace
NEUROSIS
4.27 | 26 ratings
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MELVINS Bullhead Album Cover Bullhead
MELVINS
4.40 | 8 ratings
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MELVINS (A) Senile Animal Album Cover (A) Senile Animal
MELVINS
4.50 | 5 ratings
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DOWN Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow... Album Cover Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow...
DOWN
4.44 | 6 ratings
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MASTODON Leviathan Album Cover Leviathan
MASTODON
4.20 | 69 ratings
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CROWBAR Crowbar Album Cover Crowbar
CROWBAR
4.48 | 5 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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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.

MASTODON Leviathan

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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Unitron
"Into sight 60,000 years of light, fascination with a mountain put to sea. Built to slay and conquer, all with teeth of beasts."

...and built to slay and conquer they were back in the sludge metal era of their career. Now one of the most successful metal bands of the past decade and current one, Mastodon brought back sludge metal in full force at the beginning of the 2000's. While the band has since mellowed out a bit, Mastodon once combined the intensity and pummeling force of Crowbar with the atmospheric brutality of Neurosis. Add in a bit of alternative metal in the vein of Alice in Chains or System of a Down for taste, and you've got yourself Mastodon's classic sound.

Mastodon were a pretty unique band, so these aforementioned influences are mainly just references. The majority of the album is pure raw sludgy brutality, as best exemplified in classics like "Blood and Thunder", "I am Ahab", "Naked Burn", and my personal favorite, "Iron Tusk". The experimental/alternative metal elements come along in the form of plenty of odd time signatures and rapid chromatic riffing that is played in a style akin to SoaD or other bands of similar ilk. This combination of two often separated styles is part of what gave Mastodon such a unique sound when they came out, giving a brutal yet fresh sound during a time when the metal world was still at the end of the reign of generic nu-metal bands (although those would soon be replaced by generic metalcore bands).

The only times the album lets up with the chaotic sludge attack is with the final two tracks, the nearly 14-minute long behemoth "Hearts Alive" and the classical/acoustic guitar ending "Joseph Merrick". These two tracks showcase a more experimental sound in the vein of Neurosis, albeit being more melodious. Speaking of, Neurosis's frontman Scott Kelly makes his first guest appearance on this album as he would on the band's future albums. Other guests include Clutch's Neil Fallon with additional vocals (Blood and Thunder), Matt Bayles on Organ (Joeseph Merrick), and Phil Peterson on Cello (Hearts Alive).

Only their second album, and Mastodon were already in their prime. While the following Blood Mountain is my favorite, both that and Leviathan are up there with the best sludge metal albums and are already considered modern classics. If you want some forceful and sludgy brutality that's a bit more recent than sludge masters like Crowbar and Melvins, the first three Mastodon albums are essential listening. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

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.)

CROWBAR Broken Glass

Album · 1996 · Sludge Metal
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aglasshouse
Sludge metal has had it's roots particularly deep ever since the mid-late 80's. Bands formed in '88 - '91 began releasing albums throughout the 90s, inspired by the sound of Washington-based sludge predecessors The Melvins and particularly the albums Gluey Porch Treatments and Ozma. Being an almost solely American scene in it's early stages, sludge metal began springing up mainly in Louisiana, specifically the New Orleans area with it's bustling and diverse music scene. One of the more prominent bands of this area are Crowbar, who themselves released their debut Obedience Thru Suffering in 1991, preceded only shortly by New Orleans peers Eyehategod by about a year.

It took Crowbar a few albums to get going, though it's contested as to which album it was where the band had made their mark. Obedience Thru Suffering, although highly acclaimed and extremely good, was more or less a tribute to the Melvins. I hasten to say the band's self-titled was where the band just kept getting better and better (sans Time Heals Nothing, not a fan). The bands zenith is arguable yes, but I'd like to think it's 1996's Broken Glass.

Broken Glass is quite the experience. Packed with raw emotion and power, this is album is both a return to basics and inversely and improvement. The album sort of incorporates doom elements on some of the slower tracks, as well as featuring more tuned-down instruments than those on prior albums. It's honestly a unique experience listening to the cohesion of the instruments, even though they each have their own unique recording style. The drums don't sound booming, on the contrary their more akin to a garage-rock style. This is almost amusing (though not mock-worthy) to a certain degree, as the guitars are loud and booming, and the bass is one of the most audible instruments on the album as they both crunch out some of the most cantankerously unyielding riffs that grab you by the balls in the most wonderfully violent way. It's so strange because the album puts you in the sort of stranglehold where you can't just stop listening, but it's consensual on both sides. A strange fact it may be, but a fact it is.

If you are a fan of sludge or really hardcore material in general, I'd say this is the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to Crowbar. Go wild!

CROWBAR Crowbar

Album · 1993 · Sludge Metal
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Warthur
Whilst the Melvins' pioneering style of sludge metal tended to be a little tongue in cheek, Crowbar's self-titled album does a stellar job of reconfiguring it to offer something more grimly serious. Kirk Windstein's performance on lead vocals is a standout feature - the man sounds like he is in absolute agony as he yells, but yells nonetheless, which really helps create an atmosphere of tension and agony. Phil Anselmo's production further teases out this aspect of the band's sound, and offers backing vocals here and there - and it's a credit to Windstein's style that Anselmo's one of the few vocalists who could really match his fury.

Also, there's a really killer cover of Led Zep's No Quarter.

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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