Stoner Metal

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Stoner Metal is a sub-genre of metal music that rose into prominence in the early 1990's, pioneered by bands such as Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Sleep, as well as the grunge band Soundgarden. The genre is known for it's fusion of the sludgy riffing of doom metal, the fuzzy distortion of psychedelic rock, and various other styles of music such as blues rock and southern rock.

The origins of the genre is often attributed to early metal bands like Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer. The former's Master of Reality album of 1971 was especially influential in the development of the genre, sometimes even being cited as the first stoner metal album. Space Rock pioneers Hawkwind are also noted to have a substantial impact on the genre, with many stoner rock and metal bands taking elements from space rock. Stoner Metal pioneers Monster Magnet covered Hawkwind's "Brainstorm" on their 1993 album Superjudge. Hardcore punk is also sometimes cited as influencing the genre, with Kyuss's Josh Homme and John Garcia stating Black Flag's My War album of 1984 as having an impact.

Some stoner metal bands took more from blues rock and southern rock, and blended it with their own take on the stoner sound. Corrosion of Conformity and Clutch are among these acts, with the former starting out as a crossover thrash/hardcore punk band in the 80's before bringing in a southern/stoner sound on their 1991 album Blind. Speaking of hardcore, bands such as High on Fire and Kylesa are often considered stoner-sludge metal due to their common usage of hardcore punk elements.

Stoner-doom metal: Stoner doom was pioneered by bands such as Sleep and Cathedral, who started their careers playing traditional doom metal. While much of stoner metal takes influence from doom metal, stoner doom puts more emphasis on said influence. Notable examples include Sleep's Dopesmoker, Cathedral's The Carnival Bizzare, Electric Wizard's Dopethrone, and Acid King's Busse Woods. Some stoner doom releases are placed under doom if there is more of a focus on doom than a balance between the two.

Stoner Rock, while having much in common with it's metal offshoot, has less of a focus on the metal aspect of the sound and is included in the Hard Rock sub-genre on MMA.

- Biography written by Unitron.

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Unitron

stoner metal top albums

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

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Wiseblood Album Cover Wiseblood
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
4.45 | 9 ratings
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CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Deliverance Album Cover Deliverance
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
4.42 | 11 ratings
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THE SWORD Gods of the Earth Album Cover Gods of the Earth
THE SWORD
4.45 | 9 ratings
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THE SWORD Warp Riders Album Cover Warp Riders
THE SWORD
4.48 | 7 ratings
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KYUSS Welcome To Sky Valley Album Cover Welcome To Sky Valley
KYUSS
4.28 | 31 ratings
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TROUBLE Manic Frustration Album Cover Manic Frustration
TROUBLE
4.48 | 5 ratings
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CATHEDRAL The Garden of Unearthly Delights Album Cover The Garden of Unearthly Delights
CATHEDRAL
4.23 | 19 ratings
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SLEEP Dopesmoker Album Cover Dopesmoker
SLEEP
4.21 | 18 ratings
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HIGH ON FIRE Death Is This Communion Album Cover Death Is This Communion
HIGH ON FIRE
4.25 | 9 ratings
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CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror Album Cover The Ethereal Mirror
CATHEDRAL
4.18 | 23 ratings
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THE SWORD Age of Winters Album Cover Age of Winters
THE SWORD
4.20 | 9 ratings
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HIGH ON FIRE Snakes for the Divine Album Cover Snakes for the Divine
HIGH ON FIRE
4.18 | 8 ratings
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stoner metal Music Reviews

NEANDERTHAL Get a Move On

Album · 2017 · Stoner Metal
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Unitron
While stoner/groove metal band My Ruin seems to be on hiatus, the band's husband and wife duo of Mick and Tairrie B Murphy have dedicated themselves to releasing their own solo stuff. Tairrie B released her first solo hip-hop album since 1993 back in 2015, and now Mick Murphy (under the moniker of Neanderthal) has released his first solo album since 2007's Take the Ride.

While Mick Murphy has already proved himself to be a guitar virtuoso and one of the most underrated guitarists out there with plenty of My Ruin's material, he presents a very eclectic and varied album with Get a Move On. There's a little bit of something for everyone on this release, with styles ranging from bluesy stoner metal, thrash/speed metal, neo-classical metal, and even a bit of a punk attitude. It's all instrumental, as Murphy's guitar sings better than any vocalist could on this album.

Often times the styles blend together in one song, as his playing on My Ruin's albums did. He'll be playing bluesy stoner metal, and rival Yngwie Malmsteen at the same time with his neo-classical soloing. "Anti Pop Culture Manifesto" and "Alarm Bells" are great examples, as they are both groovy upbeat tracks, with very classically-styled solos. "Triptych" is pure neo-classical metal, which begins and ends with some of the best classical guitar playing I've heard in a while. "Party Knights" may very well be the most impressive song on the album, blending blues, funk, and thrash metal all while remaining coherent and infectiously catchy.

It's not all upbeat though, as there are some quite emotional moments on the album. "Euphonious Dissonance" blends somewhat of a bluesy-grunge sound with the atmosphere of some melodic doom metal to create an unsettling vibe. "Song for Sam III", which is dedicated to Mick Murphy's late brother Sam M Murphy III, does this best though. Its mix of brooding doom riffing, atmospheric somber harmonies, and bluesy soloing really brings home the emotional feeling.

Get a Move On is not a long album, only clocking in at about 35 minutes, but that helps it in leaving no room for filler and delivering a wide range of styles for any metalhead to find something to enjoy. The production has a nice raw garage rock tone to it, making the aggression sound that much heavier and harmonies that much more atmospheric. If you're looking for an eclectic album with a masterful blend of various styles, this is an essential listen. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

CLUTCH Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
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UMUR
"Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" is the debut full-length studio album by US hard rock/hardcore act Clutch. The album was released through Eastwest Records in August 1993. The regular version features 11 tracks, but the Japanese version features the bonus track "Apache".

The "Pitchfork (1991)" EP displayed an edgy and aggressive hardcore sound with hard rock leanings. On "Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" the scale has tipped towards a more hard rock oriented sound with occasional hardcore leanings. Some tracks are pretty aggressive and groove oriented, but there is always a bluesy hard rock sensibility to the proceedings. The repeated use of the word "Motherfucker" on "Binge and Purge" did result in the album receiving a parental advisory sticker though, so it´s definitely not a nice and friendly blues rock album.

The musicianship are on a high level. Great powerful singing, organic drumming and bass playing, and some great rocking guitar riffs. The album also features a suiting organic sound production so all in all "Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths" is a good quality debut album by Clutch. It´s a bit immature in the songwriting department and it´s obvious that Clutch were still searching for their sound at this point, but that also makes the album an interesting adventurous listen. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

RED WIZARD Cosmosis

Album · 2016 · Stoner Metal
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Unitron
A relatively new band in the constantly growing yet underrated stoner metal scene, Red Wizard released their debut full-length studio album in 2016 after being around since 2010. The band delivers their own unique take on the usual stoner metal sound, and in doing that, one of the best albums of 2016.

Red Wizard masterfully combines the always lurking bluesy doom metal of early Black Sabbath, the majesty of Candlemass, and the driving groove that's often essential to stoner metal with a bit of space rock in the vein of classic Hawkwind for taste. The opener "Tides of War" immediately starts the album off amazingly, taking the spot as my favorite on the album. All the instruments keep an infectiously catchy groove, as they do on the majority of the album. Sometimes they go into space metal jam mode, as heard best in the ten-minute long title track. The three parts of "The Red Wizard Suite" that closes up the album has plenty of great catchy riffing, awesome drumming, fantastic soloing, killer bass grooves, and Travis Baucum giving a beautifully emotive vocal performance.

Travis Baucum brings an excellent vocal performance up there with the best stoner vocalists. His varied tones are part of what makes Red Wizard so great, as he can deliver multiple vocal styles with much conviction. He's perfectly able to nail the majestic Candlemass-esque vocal style on the track, "The Temple of Tennitus", which is more of an old-school doom metal tune. His vocal performance on "Blinded" is a bit reminiscent of Pepper Keenan of Corrosion of Conformity, and his harmonica playing is killer and adds a perfect blues touch.

The production is as perfect as can be for a stoner metal album, having none of that annoying polish that's way too prevalent on metal albums these days. It's a bit fuzzy, dirty, and all rock 'n' roll. The production could be compared to classic Soundgarden records as well as most stoner rock/metal albums. The production and album cover should fit the music, and it does that job perfectly here.

Red Wizard may be a recent band on the scene, but they're already up there with the classic bands. If you're looking for some varied stoner metal, or are a fan of the genre in general, you should not miss out on this masterpiece. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

TONER LOW II

Album · 2008 · Stoner Metal
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Unitron
"One, two, five, three"

Number order really doesn't matter when one's stoned out of their mind, but seeing as this is music not math, it really doesn't matter here anyway does it? On the music end, Toner Low manages to take the Dopesmoker formula to the next level. Droning, sludgy, vibrating, groggy, and even spacey; these are all descriptors that could be used for Toner Low's almost droning brand of stoner-doom.

Despite being separated into four tracks, Toner Low's II may as well be listened to in one go. Shifting from the usual doomy Sabbath-esque riffing, to slow droning sludgy pounding that may be heard on a Boris record, and the band's own unique space-doom metal touch, the band hits all the check-boxes for a great stoner-doom album. That unique sound is given from the sound effects that are placed among all the tracks that sound straight out of an old 50's Sci-fi movie. The band's spacey sound is only increased by the robotic-sounding vocals that are featured in "One", which can only be described as a robot who smoked a bit too much of that dope while listening to Dopesmoker.

While the band mostly brings the dazed sludgy-doom goods, they certainly have some fantastic use of subtleties. The best example of this is on "Two", which has an absolutely fantastic bass dirge that just sends chills down my spine. The bass maintains a lethargic chromatic plod down the scale, while subtle jazzy touches are sprinkled in to give it a cool taste. I've never heard doom metal and jazz work together so well before, but it just sounds incredible here. The bass dirge is brought into the crashing sound of the fuzzed-out guitar and roaring vocals blasting back into the song after several minutes of Toner Low's Masterpiece Theater for bass.

Ultimately, Toner Low masters the art of stoner-doom. It's heavy, lethargic, and droning like the best. However, the band knows how to throw in their own unique touch to avoid sounding like a standard average band. If you want to get stoned with music, this album does that job quite well. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
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Warthur
Although over time I have come to appreciate the early doom sound that Cathedral had on their debut - a style of comparatively purist doom metal flavoured and given a little extra edge by the band members' past experience in various extreme metal subgenres - the style wouldn't last long. Already, on their second album, you could hear the gear shift, with the band already moving away from traditional doom to the sort of good-natured stoner metal that would be their calling card for much of their subsequent career. This unfortunately puts more of a spotlight on Lee Dorrian's vocal performance, which frankly I find to be a turn-off, and the catchier, simpler, more accessible sound feels kind of vapid and empty to me if I'm being brutally honest.

stoner metal movie reviews

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Live Volume: The Movie

Movie · 2001 · Stoner Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Corrosion Of Conformity’s Live Volume: The Movie was recorded live in Detroit at the Harpo's venue and released in 2001. This was the band’s first and to date only live DVD and captures the band live in support of their America’s Volume Dealer album from 2000. Jimmy Bower, who plays alongside Pepper Keenan in the fantastic Phil Anselmo fronted super group Down, provides the drums for this live concert as the band were in between losing and reuniting with long time Drummer and founding member Reed Mullin.

The band really hammer home a strong and confident performance, aided by Bower’s fine drumming. Each member puts in a good show, the guitars are big and heavy as they should be, the bass really stands out and Pepper’s vocals stand up very well in the live environment.

The setlist is strong, concentrating mostly on the band’s Pepper Keenan era material. Standout tracks include ‘Wiseblood,’ and ‘King Of The Rotten’ as well as the big hits like ‘Clean My Wounds,’ and ‘Albatross,’ which go down a storm live.

The sound mix is pretty great, really conveying the heaviness and southern edge to some of the riffs and letting you hear what each member is doing perfectly for most of the duration.

In terms of camera work and visuals the DVD is also pretty successful and it has certainly aged better than some of the concert DVDs that were released around that era, some of which are now feeling comparatively dated.

If any complaint were to be leveled at this Live DVD it would be that the editing is perhaps a little overenthusiastic, there is a lot more double-exposure than one would expect, things brake into slow motion at unexpected points and there is sometimes a seeming desire to get across how much fun the fans are having, even at the expense of the visuals.

If you can forgive this one flaw then there is a lot to enjoy about C.O.C’s Live Volume: The Movie and I would highly recommend it.

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