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.

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 was originally a largely American phenomenon, but also included in its development 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)




Post-metal is a genre that uses metal music to create a sound that draws heavily on atmospheres and textures.

This approach was used by many sludge metal bands including ISIS, Neurosis and Pelican, combining post-rock techniques with sludge metal. Bands in other genres including black metal and doom also combined those styles with atmospheric elements to create metal best described as atmospheric black metal or atmospheric doom metal (or atmospheric folk metal etc). Those bands are listed in MMA under atmospheric sludge metal, atmospheric black metal, doom metal or whatever core style best describes them.

A number of bands originally rooted in those styles moved away from their original sludge (or other) metal roots, increasingly focusing on the post-metal elements of their sound. Others were never based on those styles of metal and took their influences directly from post-rock, adding metal elements to create a more abrasive and expansive sound. These bands are listed as post-metal.

Post-metal is captured as a child-sub of sludge metal on MMA to reflect the stylistic origins of many post-metal bands in atmospheric sludge metal, albeit those origins have largely been left behind.

sludge metal top albums

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CROWBAR Broken Glass Album Cover Broken Glass
CROWBAR
4.82 | 8 ratings
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CULT OF LUNA A Dawn To Fear Album Cover A Dawn To Fear
CULT OF LUNA
4.89 | 5 ratings
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NEUROSIS Souls at Zero Album Cover Souls at Zero
NEUROSIS
4.52 | 13 ratings
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CROWBAR Odd Fellows Rest Album Cover Odd Fellows Rest
CROWBAR
4.62 | 7 ratings
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NEUROSIS Times Of Grace Album Cover Times Of Grace
NEUROSIS
4.35 | 28 ratings
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ISIS Panopticon Album Cover Panopticon
ISIS
4.30 | 55 ratings
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MASTODON Crack The Skye Album Cover Crack The Skye
MASTODON
4.26 | 93 ratings
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NEUROSIS Through Silver In Blood Album Cover Through Silver In Blood
NEUROSIS
4.27 | 44 ratings
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INTRONAUT Prehistoricisms Album Cover Prehistoricisms
INTRONAUT
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ISIS Oceanic Album Cover Oceanic
ISIS
4.23 | 43 ratings
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MASTODON Leviathan Album Cover Leviathan
MASTODON
4.18 | 84 ratings
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MELVINS Houdini Album Cover Houdini
MELVINS
4.24 | 18 ratings
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sludge metal Music Reviews

CROWBAR Odd Fellows Rest

Album · 1998 · Sludge Metal
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BitterJalapeno
I hate to use the word "unprecedented" at a time when the word has lost all meaning due the frequency of its use in the 2020 media but there is no alternate word i can use to describe the heaviness of this album. I don't mean heavy as in the brutality of the music or heavy as in shockingly harsh vocals. I mean heavy as in the heavy emotion projected by Kirk and the boys which is dripping in so much sorrow and burning pain that it will weigh you down to the point where you are empathizing with their misery - in a very good way.

The album is very slow and at some points dirgey but my god, the delivery is brute force. The riffs are of gargantuan proportions and sort of sound like two giants battling on a mountain top. These are carried along by the ever pounding drums and together with the rasping vocals of Windstein, the whole thing washes over you in a big wave of sludgy goodness. If you have not had the pleasure of this album yet, please get yourself immersed.

Deep, passionate, sorrowful, amazing. Truly deserving of a 5/5.

PS: Good Iron Maiden cover to round things off at the end.

CONJURER Mire

Album · 2018 · Sludge Metal
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BitterJalapeno
I discovered this most interesting band in the autumn of 2016 when a good friend offered me a spare ticket to see WEEDEATER play at Glasgow's famous/infamous Cathouse Rock Club. As much as I enjoyed the set from WEEDEATER, the then unknown to me CONJURER turned out to be the support band. They completely blew my tits (man tits) off.

At this point, the only music of theirs I could source was their debut EP "I" which i listened to several times that week and began to tell anyone I thought would listen all about my new discovery - CONJURER

Whilst that EP was and still continues to be very enjoyable, it was only setting the tone for what was to come next in the form of 2018s MIRE.

The album opener presenting a thick, doomy wall of sound giving the listener a strong ominous feeling and a major sense of foreboding and despair. The pace soon picks up with some nice intricate yet powerful riffing and thundering drums before dropping back into hard, almost groovy death/doom. The majority of the album switches between grinding doomy sludge with more ferocious parts full of blast beats and riffs more akin to thrash and also some lighter sections with strangled anguished screaming.

The musicianship is at a very high standard and the vocal performances from both vocalists are very strong - one with a very powerful death growl and the other slightly higher pitched but they work very well together.

One other thing that struck me about this album is the atmospheric quality and real genuine, heartbreaking despair this new band manage to showcase. The guys are playing/pouring their hearts out with undeniably monstrous results. It does not feel dated in any way shape or form, but very fresh

I would recommend to anyone who enjoys anything on the heavier side of music, particularly to fans of NEUROSIS. Watch this space as I believe we have much bigger and better things to come from CONJURER in the coming years.



MELVINS Gluey Porch Treatments

Album · 1987 · Sludge Metal
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SilentScream213
A milestone release, as there have been a couple very sludgy albums prior to this one (namely the B side of My War, Black Dust and Gore’s catalogue) but this is probably the first fully formed Sludge Metal album. It’s a disgustingly heavy, ploddingly aggressive mess, the kind that would have easily freaked people out back in the 80’s. Melvins basically take the aggression and anger of Hardcore Punk and slow it way down, adding in a bit of experimental elements and metallic sheen and go at it. For such slow music, a ton of tracks are incredibly short (there’s that punk influence) and despite there being 18 of them, the whole thing is very consistent.

The kind of album where you either love it all the way through, or it doesn’t do anything for you. I appreciate what they were doing here, but early Sludge Metal just doesn’t have enough going on for me. Without memorable riffs, Sludge tends to rely on atmosphere and delivery, but neither had been developed in the genre at this point, so the release falls flat on my ears.

LORD MANTIS Universal Death Church

Album · 2019 · Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
Lord Mantis had actually split up following the death of drummer/founder Bill Bumgardner, but vocalist/bassist Charlie Fell and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Markuszewski decided get things going again. Guitarist Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams had been a member on their last album ‘Death Mask’, and they also brought back honorary vocalist/member Dylan O’Toole of Indian as well as a new drummer in Bryce Butler. I have been reading various reviews about this album online, and they all seem to give it universal acclaim, so it is fairly obvious I am missing something as to me this fails on most accounts.

To describe this music is to say they have brought together elements of sludge, doom and black metal and produced something which to my mind manages to miss the highlights of any of those genres. I can understand what they are trying to achieve, but it is rare indeed that it actually accomplishes anything of note. There are bits and pieces here and there where the light shines on what is otherwise an impenetrable mess, but the fans seem to like it. They are trying to blend together very different styles indeed and move from one extreme to another without ever really capturing any solid ideas or anything different. There is just nothing here for me to get excited about and while it isn’t an awful record there isn’t actually contained within it that makes me want to play it more than I have had to so I could write about it and I am fairly confident I will never play it again.

PELICAN Nighttime Stories

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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The Angry Scotsman
6 years since their last release, Pelican shows they are still a force to be reckoned with.

This album continues their drift from post metal to, well not quite sure what to call it. Instrumental progressive sludge metal? Perhaps atmospheric metal is the most fitting genre to lump it under. What I call it is: awesome.

"Nighttime Stories" is in some ways classic Pelican, (super heavy, killer riffs, grooves, and melodies, quiet peaceful movements) but in some ways quite different. For one, I was quite shocked to here blast beats. In general, "Nighttime Stories" is less "post" and more riff oriented metal. Don't get me wrong, Pelican has always been based on the almighty riff, but here their songs continue their shorter trajectory, all except one clocking in at under 7 minutes, and there's less collective wall of sound, long building sound and more traditional riffy driven metal songs.

This is not unwelcome. It keeps the band fresh, and given the countless number of post metal bands that have faded away with the tide of that genre, I'm glad to see some of the founders of it managing to fight past and stay relevant. This is not to say there isn't still wonderful atmospheres created, because their are, as well as some of the classic slowly progressing old school sound.

The music on "Nighttime Stories" is not as compelling or thought provoking as older Pelican, it's not quite as energetic as some newer, and I found the drumming a bit lackluster, but the music is still interesting enough to hold up without any vocals. The major driver of this album is its biggest difference from previous output: emotion. This is a very emotional work. Not surprising giving the band's various difficulties and changes, and it really comes out. It can't be put into words, but you feel it.

FOUR STARS

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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