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

CAVITY Supercollider

Album · 1999 · Sludge Metal
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666sharon666
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by aglasshouse.

With some albums you only need to take a glance at its artwork or the artist's logo to make a reasonable guess about what sort of music it is. With albums like Supercollider, the third album by American metal band Cavity, I'd have guessed wrong if I hadn't already been told. You can no more judge an album by its cover than you can a book. I'd have guessed at something in the post-grunge line looking at either the original cover or the 2002 reissue over, but I'd have been dead wrong. But then who could have guessed that this rather unassuming and (in my view) interesting style of cover would be hiding some heavy, semi-doomy, sludge metal?

The 2002 version of this album also brought some changes to its tracklist, adding in two extra ones, Xtoone and ...Who Doesn't Even Know Yet? For some reason the original final song of the album, Almost Blue, was removed in this edition of the album. It's this version of the album that I have listened to. The album has however had another reissue, this time on vinyl, in April 2017 which restores the original 1999 tracklist.

Cavity aren't a band who mess about with their song-writing. Their main focus is heavy, fuzzy riffs. Vocals play a prominent role as well, but their do seem secondary to the guitars. They aren't a showy band though; there isn't any lead guitar to speak of in their music and their writing style tends towards a short track duration. Tracks two (Set in Cinders) through six (Threshold), don't even hit three minutes. Just heavy riffs, with the occasional added bit of full-on doom slowness. I'd also say it has a few stoner metal moments, a genre that some of the band's other albums seem to be more heavily associated with. Here it's just flavour though, like with the doom metal. Supercollider is otherwise a straightforward sludge metal record, out to do one simple job: make those riffs as heavy as possible.

I think they do a pretty decent job at that, but with that said, if you're listening to albums looking for a lot of variation then you won't find too much of it here. As I said before, Cavity aren't a flashy band, so the closest thing you'll get a change of pace with is probably Inside my Spine where the vocals are harsher and more traditional growling rather than the hardcore shouts and raw singing used elsewhere. Xtoone's style also stands out as a bit different but as I said before, this song doesn't exist on the original 1999 version of the album and my honest opinion is that its rather throwaway, so it beats me why the 2002 version added it.

Cavity don't play a style of music I listen to very often but as far as my taste in sludge metal goes they certainly display a raw kind of charm that as a metal fan I find difficult not to smile about. 4 stars.

DOVE Dove

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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aglasshouse
Somewhere along the messy musical family tree that stemmed from the doom-laden Miami metal scene, progenitors of said tree being sludge band Cavity and doom band Floor in the mid-late 90's, a short-lived project (at least in the studio) titled Dove was formed in the early 00's. This said project made it's debut in 2001 on a split with another project by multi-instrumentalist Henry Wilson, that of course being the band Floor. Albeit a short debut it was, Dove's song from the split 'One Year After' foretold a great future for this group.

Cut to three years later. Cavity called it quits in '03, only to resurface much later in 2015, and Floor underwent a long 10-year hiatus, releasing a set of unreleased songs recorded in 1994 as it's own studio album. This release, titled Dove, would funnily enough not really draw many connections between it and the project Dove's self-titled debut and sole release that came around in the same year. While not exactly able to sonically obfuscate his past in Floor, Henry Wilson is still able to create a cohesive power-house trio that is able to, blow-by-blow, deliver a solid release that rivals even that of his prior work.

Dove is an album, and by extension a music group, that takes up the torch of Floor's smothering brutality and Cavity's sludgy experimentation and creates a perfect blend of the two. The album delivered is melodic, punchy, and enjoyable. Dove follows a similar format to the Floor studio debut of 2002, i.e being a collection of relatively short songs that act as more of a singular epic that flow seamlessly between each-other. This is extenuated with the more evident influence of Black Sabbath on this particular release, as Wilson is able to almost flawlessly emulate Tony Iommi's surrealistic crunch to a T. Drummer John Ostberg is the key foundation (aside from Wilson's echoing vocals) to the classic Floor element of Dove, with his extreme similarity to Jeff Sousa (drummer that appears on the Floor album Dove) in his rigidity and tight-knit performance. Jewel is a new character to the fray, acting as bassist. What he lends to the equation is far from ineffectual, because he provides an element that is quintessential in Dove's formula- ambiance. The wavering emanations that seem to rise from each instrument, forming a cloud of doom & gloom is heavily in part due to Jewel's work, and it turns what would otherwise be a by-the-numbers album into quite the experience.

Unfortunately Dove was a firecracker, going off with a huge bang, but dying subsequently and sadly. Dove would go on to play underground live performances with like-minded sludge bands like The Sword and Starchild, but their studio career was over. However the one product we received was exemplary. From the acoustic opening to the brazen finish, 2004's Dove is a little relic of history that not only provides insight into some of Florida's most interesting metal groups but also stands on it's own as a memorable piece of art that maintains it's dignity through the years.

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.)

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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