Atmospheric Sludge Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Atmospheric Sludge Metal or Post-Sludge Metal is style that mixes the hardcore doom of Sludge Metal with the atmospherics of Post Rock, often with progressive stylings. Atmospheric Sludge Metal was pioneered by US bands such as Neurosis, Isis and Pelican, building on earlier explorations by bands such as Melvins and Swans.

Click for Full Sub-Genre Chart

atmospheric sludge metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

CULT OF LUNA A Dawn To Fear Album Cover A Dawn To Fear
CULT OF LUNA
4.78 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NEUROSIS Souls at Zero Album Cover Souls at Zero
NEUROSIS
4.48 | 22 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CULT OF LUNA Mariner (with Julie Christmas) Album Cover Mariner (with Julie Christmas)
CULT OF LUNA
4.77 | 6 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NEUROSIS Times Of Grace Album Cover Times Of Grace
NEUROSIS
4.39 | 36 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ISIS Panopticon Album Cover Panopticon
ISIS
4.34 | 62 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NEUROSIS Through Silver In Blood Album Cover Through Silver In Blood
NEUROSIS
4.32 | 53 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
INTRONAUT Prehistoricisms Album Cover Prehistoricisms
INTRONAUT
4.33 | 17 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ISIS Oceanic Album Cover Oceanic
ISIS
4.22 | 51 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE OCEAN Pelagial Album Cover Pelagial
THE OCEAN
4.35 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CULT OF LUNA Vertikal Album Cover Vertikal
CULT OF LUNA
4.21 | 17 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
NEUROSIS A Sun That Never Sets Album Cover A Sun That Never Sets
NEUROSIS
4.18 | 22 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE OCEAN Anthropocentric Album Cover Anthropocentric
THE OCEAN
4.12 | 26 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
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!

atmospheric sludge metal online videos

atmospheric sludge metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Uniquely Inanimate
Album
OXIDE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Ebb & Flow
Album
THE KOMPRESSOR EXPERIMENT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Void Of Light
EP
VOID OF LIGHT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Hamartia
Album
NOORVIK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Pointless…
Album
POINT MORT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Corners…
Single
POINT MORT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Truth
Single
THIS IS OBLIVION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
This Is Oblivion
Album
THIS IS OBLIVION
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Time Uncounted
EP
MEANDER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Anthaupt
Album
SOLDAT HANS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Sunsickness
Album
ONLY ECHOES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Dying Pines
EP
HUNTSMEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Thra
Album
URSKEK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Keep This Be The Way
Album
HELMS ALEE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Rebirth
Album
TERRAFORMER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Riser
Album
DIVIDED
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Targeted
Album
I KLATUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Alder
Album
TURPENTINE VALLEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Tremor
Single
TURPENTINE VALLEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Light Beneath
Album
LIGHT BENEATH
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Marble Realm
Album
FISSURE OF RIDDLES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Bury Us In Shadows
Album
CLAIMSTAKER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Rise From Ruins
Single
ABSENT IN BODY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Sarin
Single
ABSENT IN BODY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Plague God
Album
ABSENT IN BODY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Star Is Way Way Is Eye
Album
NORNAͤ
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
DIM
Album
AEQUOREA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
INИER-I
EP
INNER-I
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Isolation
Album
KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Rift
Album
GLOSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Débris De Mondes Perdus
Album
ABRAHAM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Memorial
Album
THE FELLOW TRAVELLER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Minsk
Single
THE FELLOW TRAVELLER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Dark Mirage
Album
THE BLANK CANVAS [ ]
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Unknown Star System
Single
THE BLANK CANVAS [ ]
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Offerings
Album
VOTIVE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Love Lost
Single
VOTIVE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Visitation
Album
LADEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Nebula
EP
V/HAZE MIASMA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Long Road North
Album
CULT OF LUNA
Buy this album from MMA partners

atmospheric sludge metal Music Reviews

NEUROSIS Through Silver In Blood

Album · 1996 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Through Silver In Blood" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, California based sludge/Post-metal act Neurosis. The album was released through Relapse Records in April 1996. It´s the successor to "Enemy Of The Sun" from 1993 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as keyboard player Simon McIlroy has been replaced by Noah Landis. "Through Silver In Blood" was recorded in December 1995 with producer Billy Anderson. It was a rather painful labour as some band members had personal issues at the time with drug addiction, homelessness, and depression. "Through Silver In Blood" was preceded by its Tribes of Neurot (Neurosis experimental ambient/noise side-project) companion album "Silver Blood Transmission (1995)".

Stylistically the material on "Through Silver In Blood" builds on the experimental and atmospheric sludge/post-metal of "Enemy Of The Sun" (1993). It´s a harsh, bleak, and heavy album reeking of depression, decay, and frustration. The guitar riffs are slow and doomy, but they are still aggressive and hard-edged in nature, showing that the band have not completely forgotten their hardcore roots (there´s an unhinged "close to feedback" sound to them, which suits the music well). The drumming is almost tribal styled, with drummer Jason Roeder playing rhythmic drum patterns rather than the more usual heavy slow drumming of many doom related releases. The vocals are raw and aggressive shouting alternating between an aggressive mid-range vocal style and a lower end slightly more gruff vocal style (not growling though). Landis builds atmosphere with his keyboards and samples, and the band even use bagpipes and violin/cello on a couple of tracks.

The tracks often build from simple mellow beginnings to loud and raw climaxes, but just as often alternate between the styles, and the material are overall quite adventurous and boundary pushing. Early Swans is definitely an influence (I hear influences from artists like Killing Joke and Melvins here too), but Neurosis are generally a much heavier beast. "Through Silver In Blood" features a heavy, detailed, and well sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s a high quality release in its genre. It´s also a groundbreaking release, which has influenced many artists since. The combination of doomy hardcore infused riffs, the aggressive vocals, the tribal drumming, and the bleak atmospheric keyboards and samples, ultimately make for a rather unique listen.

It´s not an easy listen and the slow building repetitive nature of the tracks is probably an aquired taste, but that element is used to support and build the sombre oppressive atmosphere of the album, and it´s a key ingredient of the band´s sound. Personally I think Neurosis take it a bit too far and drag the songs out too much on "Strength of Fates", "Aeon", and on "Enclosure in Flame" (which is basically the last 30 minutes of the album), but again it´s probably an aquired taste if you find those tracks too slow building and uneventful, or if you find them purposedly building dark and brooding atmosphere. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

AEQUOREA DIM

Album · 2022 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Named after the bioluminescent hydrozoan jellyfish, AEQUORIA formed as far back as 2009 in Nevada City, California and hasn’t exactly been the most productive band in the biz with only two releases in its thirteen year run. While a demo emerged in 2010, it took another four years for the first album “Tellurian” to showcase the band’s hybridizing effects of merging atmospheric sludge metal with doom metal and post-rock. The stylistic approach may have been slightly innovative for the time but the band took a hiatus for the next eight years but finally after a long snooze has emerged with its second coming simply titled DIM.

While any album that features an album cover of a stag in the woods may bring Agalloch’s classic album “The Mantle” to mind, the fact is AEQUOREA actually does have its own sound although references to Neurosis, Isis and YOB are readily apparent. This band is a five-piece with the current lineup consisting of Falon Stoval (bass, vocals) Clay Powers (drums, vocals), Phillip Gallagher (guitars), James Brett (guitars, vocals) and Chris Johnson (keyboards, percussion). While Agalloch does have some similarities, AEQUOREA leaves out the black metal references and sticks to the world of sludge metal for its extreme proclivities while mining the world of post-rock for the musical processions and cleaner sounds on board.

DIM is a classic album’s worth of four tracks that is 34 minutes of playing time. While the compositions are clearly in post-metal territory and the vocals, drumming patterns and emotional outbursts reek of sludge, there are also many references to doom metal and thus AEQUOREA has done an excellent job of blending it all together until only a formidable expert can detect which genetic sequences were inherited from which parent genome. Add to that there are touches of grunge with the melodic similarities to Nirvana on the track “Mara of the Hollow Shadow.” The album plays out very nicely with nothing whizzing by overly fast and the transitions between stylistic approaches are tastily executed.


While post-metal can be a lazy sort of metal sub-genre that doesn’t allow musicians to crank out their best wizardry, AEQUOREA on the other hand allows crazy percussive creativity and riffing frenzies that would feel right at home in thrash or death metal at key moments. Despite the overarching theme of sludge metal dominating the soundscape, the tapestries of other metal forces in the mix are nicely performed and the atmospheric touches add icing to the already sweetened bounty of this beautiful dessert. I’m not sure which of the vocalists is the lead but he has a powerful and competent ability to control his guttural expulsions like few others have achieved. This adds subtle nuances that only enhance the atmospheric flow.

I’m quite intrigued by AEQUOREA and this second album DIM as it offers beautiful motifs of sludge driven post and doom metal that eke out all those possibilities between the cracks. Perhaps this band hasn’t quite reached its full potential as DIM seems to lack that extra “something” that puts it leagues ahead of the competition but for a relatively unknown band that has only two albums under its belt, i find the mix of sludgy din sprawled out into post-metal cyclical grooves with heaps of atmospheric splendor laced with just enough melodic mojo to keep from sounding too dissonant the perfect recipe. Perhaps not as inventive as Agalloch or Neurosis but these guys are certainly heading in the right direction.

CULT OF LUNA The Long Road North

Album · 2022 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Love em or hate em, Sweden’s CULT OF LUNA has become one of the most recognized names in post-metal alongside bands like Neurosis, Isis and Agalloch. This band from Umeå has also been quite productive in its two decade career having never taking longer than three years to craft new material to release. This is also one of those bands that continues to become more popular with each subsequent release with a loyal fanbase that seems to go gaga every time the band puts out a new album and so it seems is the case with the band’s latest 12th full album release THE LONG ROAD NORTH.

While there is an overlap between what is called atmospheric sludge metal and what has become referred to as post-metal, CULT OF LUNA more than any other has crafted a brand of angsty sludge metal teased out into sprawling post-rock constructs arguable more successfully than any other band out there. Following their huge hit album “A Dawn To Fear” which was top album on many metal sites in 2019, THE LONG ROAD NORTH continues down the post-sludgy highway. One of CULT OF LUNA’s trademarks is a long and drifting musical style that almost always slinks past the 60-minute mark and oft pushing the boundaries of CD playing time and this latest 2022 effort is no exception to that rule.

THE LONG ROAD NORTH presents nine brand spankin’ new tracks that conspire to steal 69 minutes of your life with CULT OF LUNA’s classic atmospheric rivers of post-rock meeting sludge metal and the consistent contrast of emotionally charged clean vocal passages with the dramatic discharge of screaming sludge metal excess. As the band has matured the tones and textures of the ambience have become more sophisticated and augmented by a number of guest musicians which in this case includes four guest musicians that contribute saxophone, flute, lyrics and even more guitars above and beyond the parts the three permanent guitarists already contribute. Despite the abundance of six-strings on board, CULT OF LUNA has oft seemed more of a post-rock band than a true metal band as the metal parts seem like only half the equation but lo and behold when the time is right, the loud and proud aspects of sludgery supreme are let off their leash to a deafening uproar!

Another predominant aspect of CULT OF LUNA’s approach is to offer a hypnotic psychedelic flow to its music and in that regard the metal riffs and heavier passages are almost subordinate to. There is a lot more attention paid to the swirling sounds of the softer parts whereas the metal bombast consists of power chords and increased energy level of the bass and drums. A boon for lovers of Krautrock, neo-psychedelic experimentalism and minimalism but somewhat of a downer for metalheads seeking a more robust discharge of guitar, bass and drum fury. CULT OF LUNA seem to be invested in the hypnotic effects of repetition and cyclical loops more in the vein of Godspeed You! Black Emperor than the atomic sludgery of bands like Neurosis but as the opening “Cold Burn” and title track showcase, the band has no problem switching gears to the atmospheric sludge angst of bands like Isis and Panopticon in a heartbeat.

Overall CULT OF LUNA is a band i respect more than actually enjoy. I find their albums a bit too sprawling for my tastes given the limited scope of material presented however there’s no denying that the material they craft is effective in what it’s trying to achieve. The problem results in the fact that when i want my post-metal sludge attack i want the hardcore no nonsense approach of early Neurosis or the more progressive twists and turns of bands like Intronaut leaving CULT OF LUNA down the list of my interests. Having said that, this band is hotter than freshly ejected magma for a reason and that is because they have mastered a unique atmospheric procession of post-metal that offers that perfect balance of chill time and eruptive outrage however for my tastes THE LONG ROAD NORTH doesn’t deviate in style from pretty much every other album CULT OF LUNA has released and the length of the album is an arduous task indeed. A competent and exhilarating album indeed but for me personally this one doesn’t really scratch that itch.

NEUROSIS Enemy Of The Sun

Album · 1993 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
After the success of wildly innovative “Souls at Zero,” Neurosis seemed eager to one-up themselves in regard to making something that sounded different. The result was an album that focused more on being avant-garde and unique than it did on sounding good. Enemy of the Sun did indeed capture an entirely new sound, but it sacrificed a lot of what made their previous album so good.

The album is very heavy with samples, and has an overall tribal feel to it. The percussion is often focusing on tom-heavy fill beats, and the guitars usually create atmospheric walls rather than riffs. If I’m being honest, there’s not much of the album that sticks with me due to the fact that there are no memorable melodies of any sort. The atmosphere isn’t anything impressive either, for how much they focus on it; “Souls at Zero” did a great job of conveying a desperate struggle and cold, hopeless pain. Enemy of the Sun seems more eager to convey, I don’t know, existential ramblings of struggles in third world countries or something. It’s more bizarre than it is evocative.

That’s not to say the album is bad, as moments of grandeur are hiding among the vast boring parts. The first two tracks have some great atmosphere to them, and the guitars and keys use single notes to create excellent pangs of moodiness. Penultimate track “The Time of the Beasts” simply sounds much more akin to material on “Souls at Zero” and is therefore easily the best track, lush with various instrumentation from strings to horns to samples.

The album merely pales in comparison to what came before. Unless, of course, you enjoy tribal Avant-Garde Metal, in which case, you may like this quite a bit. For me, the departure from doomy monoliths is a hard decline.

NEUROSIS Souls at Zero

Album · 1992 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
This was one of the biggest surprises in my course of listening to Metal evolve chronologically, for a few reasons. First of all, I hadn’t been a fan of Sludge Metal or Neurosis so far, so my expectations were something very different. Second of all wow, it’s breathtaking, especially considering absolutely nothing sounded like this in 1992, not even close. The layering, atmosphere, and building crescendos here are what would become the genre of Post-Metal, as well as Atmospheric Sludge.

Despite that terminology, this album has much more in common with Doom than any prior Sludge, and that’s why I love it! It’s all pessimistic melancholy and gloomy angst here, built on anxious, depressive but often melodic and sometimes beautiful melodies. The slow, plodding tempo is accented nicely by interesting rhythm work. The vocals are the only trait really reminiscent of Sludge, being a hardcore punk-esque strained yell that works wonders against the grim soundscapes. The desperation and angst in the vocals is ferociously convincing.

The core band creates some amazing instrumental soundscapes, the guitars especially doing some very interesting things I couldn’t begin to describe to add to the wall of punishment. It sounds dissonant, but never chaotic; very well constructed and orchestrated to add unique layers to the sound. However, possibly the most interesting factor to this album are the samples and other instruments/keys used quite liberally. The samples effectively convey some hopeless situation or another, and add to that overall anxiety purveying every moment. The other editions are endless… piano, violin, big band hits, horns, and more. Some are obviously synthed, so it might all be the work of keys, but it adds so much to the already very strong arrangements.

Something I noticed were a lot of moments that reminded me of one of my favorite bands, Mar de Grises (before now I hadn’t heard anything that really did). I think that shows the clear Doom sound here as well as the Post-Metal influence on the later band. Anyway, this thing is very nearly a masterpiece, huge variety and immense quality. A few fillers hold it down, but the heights are vast.

atmospheric sludge metal movie reviews

ISIS Clearing The Eye

Movie · 2006 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

Artists with Atmospheric Sludge Metal release(s)

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Heavy Metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Bhaihaalcha Nii Sludge Metal
JAI FAAK
Buy this album from MMA partners
Uniquely Inanimate Atmospheric Sludge Metal
OXIDE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Eternity Melodic Metalcore
DIMINISHED REASON
Buy this album from MMA partners
War of The Worlds // Pt. 2 Progressive Metal
MICHAEL ROMEO
Buy this album from MMA partners
Electrified Brain Crossover Thrash
MUNICIPAL WASTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Dark Tranquillity - Zodijackyl Light
DARK TRANQUILLITY
leechburton· 4 days ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us