Drone Metal

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Drone Metal blends the slower tempos and heaviness of doom metal with longer song durations. Vocals are usually growled and screamed, and an emphasis is placed on the electric guitar. Many songs lack traditional rhythm, but create a large wall of sound, drawing comparisons to post-metal.

Instrumentation featured by bands as diverse as Black Sabbath, Sleep, Swans, and Sonic Youth has had a very positive influence on the genre.

Additionally, minimalist composers inspired pioneers of the genre such as Earth, Burning Witch, and Boris. Other popular bands in this genre are Sunn O))) and Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_metal#Characteristics

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Stoner Metal and Doom Metal):
  • Nightfly (leader)
  • MorniumGoatahl

drone metal top albums

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CORRUPTED El Mundo Frío Album Cover El Mundo Frío
4.38 | 8 ratings
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SUNN O))) Monoliths & Dimensions Album Cover Monoliths & Dimensions
4.19 | 16 ratings
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BORIS Amplifier Worship Album Cover Amplifier Worship
4.15 | 18 ratings
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NAKED CITY Leng Tch'e Album Cover Leng Tch'e
4.36 | 5 ratings
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SUNN O))) White2 Album Cover White2
4.15 | 10 ratings
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TEETH OF LIONS RULE THE DIVINE Rampton Album Cover Rampton
4.17 | 6 ratings
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EARTH Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version Album Cover Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version
4.00 | 21 ratings
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SUNN O))) Oracle Album Cover Oracle
3.98 | 14 ratings
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SUNN O))) Black One Album Cover Black One
3.94 | 20 ratings
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SUNN O))) White1 Album Cover White1
3.95 | 13 ratings
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BORIS Absolutego Album Cover Absolutego
3.98 | 8 ratings
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BORIS Boris At Last: -Feedbacker- Album Cover Boris At Last: -Feedbacker-
3.87 | 18 ratings
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SUNN O))) Monoliths & Dimensions

Album · 2009 · Drone Metal
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With monologues from Attila featured on three of its four tracks, one might expect Monoliths & Dimensions to follow up the approach of Black One (Black Two, in other words). It isn't quite that, and nor is it quite a followup to Oracle, an EP released in the midst of the recording sessions for this. Compared to both it's more orchestrated, more ephemeral, a more serious chase after the "monastic plainsong meets drone metal" concept than they've ever presented before, with excursions into dark ambient and even avant-garde jazz - listen, for instance, to the plaintive brass at the end of Alice, the album-closing tribute to the late Alice Coltrane, perhaps symbolising John welcoming her to eternal rest.

RORCAL La Femme Sans Tête

EP · 2015 · Drone Metal
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My first drone album - and it was a pleasant experience!

Rorcal is a doom/drone/experimental band from Switzerland, specialized in huge tracks mixing atmospheric passages and crushing riffs. La Femme sans Tête is an EP (despite its half-hour lenght) containing one song divided in three movements.

The first track is calm and minimalist, with sparse sounds of electronics and some drumming. The second one brings noise and that marvellous crushing riffs. It's more varied than one can imagine, I even banged my head at some point! The third track follows this trend and end the album in a high note.

Good album, indeed. Recommended for fans of drone doom and experimental sounds.


Album · 2001 · Drone Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Sometimes understanding where a band got their name will tell you a lot about the overall vibe their trying to instill with their music. In the case of KHANATE, a so called supergroup due to the fact that the four band members vocalist Alan Dubin (Old, Gnaw), guitarist Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O)))), bassist James Plotkin (Old, Scorn, Phantomsmasher) and drummer Tim Wyskida (Blind Idiot God) all got their feet wet in various doom and drone oriented metal bands that had an impact on the metal scene. The name KHANATE is a term for a political entity that appeared on the Eurasian Steppe and most synomous for the time of Genghis Khan and his massive Mongol Empire. This is music of conquest indeed, the type that administers its bombast at a snail’s pace and unleashes all the torturous apparatuses to fulfill its goal.

While drone metal was derived from doom metal, many of the bands that fit into that child sub somehow managed to separate themselves completely. I mean, does anyone associate bands like Earth, Sunn O)))) or Boris with doom? Maybe only superficially but they certainly evolved into a more post-metal realm that utilizes all that fuzzy drone sludgery in a world all its own. KHANATE’s self-titled debut on the other hand totally embraces the doom metal roots from whence the drone sub spawned. Therefore this album contains four long sprawling terrifying tracks (and a short dark ambient one in the middle) that utilize all the grating layers of feedback, insane asylum shrieking and fuzzed out bass in conjunct with heavy doom laden riffs that flow like Antarctic molasses only they also have hints of their doom metal roots from the likes of Black Sabbath and Pentagram.

While drone metal is mostly a miss in my books as it is usually repetitive and sprawling to infinity, KHANATE found the perfect formula to create elongated timespans filled with AAAALLLL the frightening possibilities. First of all, Alan Dubin’s vocals are absolutely terrifying. In fact the whole album makes me think of scary dude from the movie Scream inviting all his buddies over to make some music. They shoot up a little heroin and the party’s on. It’s fright night with all the amps turned to eleven, intent to scare at full capacity and experimentalism is set to high with only the tiniest trace of established doom metal orthodoxy allowed to provide a somewhat shaky canvas to paint upon. Slasher metal anyone? These guys are great at keeping the tracks distinct from one another despite operating on the same set of principles, namely scare the holy crap outa anyone who gets near.

KHANATE couldn’t have conquered new territories if not for the outstanding production that graces this album. While the plodding rhythms flow like cooling magma down a only slightly sloped terrain, the guitar, bass and drums all conspire to create just enough variation to keep one’s attention span from teetering off into elsewhere. These guys paid attention to every small detail and the result is an addicting feedback fuzz laced with sludge celebration of slow, miserable and lugubrious outbursts of pure dread. I’m not sure why this hasn’t been lumped into the funeral doom world because it certainly evokes the same desperate depths of despair. The middle piece “Torching Koroviev” takes this to even more extreme levels as it eschews the metal aspects and creates a dark ambient gut-wrenching experience.

Julian Cope described this album as an orchestrated root-canal and you know, that’s not too far off the cuff. This music has a fuzz back feed that does remind of the dentist’s drill only it’s like going to the dentist on LSD where every seemingly banal move becomes a torturous tale of misadventure and every sonic change is a new demon invited to the party where you are the victim of demented torturous abuse. The album is good all the way through but the final two tracks “Under Rotting Sky” and “No Joy” really delve deep into a dark and unforbearing underworld that resonates as an eternity of suffering where no souls escape in a true tesseract of impending hopelessness. This is some of the coolest drone doom metal around as KHANATE mastered the emotional depth to pull it off. This is very different than any of the band’s other projects and totally recommended for those looking for the most extreme examples of doom based metal on slo-mo.


Album · 2005 · Drone Metal
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Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and (briefly, in one of their earliest lineups) Napalm Death fame offers up the debut album of Jesu, a drone metal project exploring the sonic territory that lurks between industrial metal and a bank of overworked vacuum cleaners. Fat, doomy riffs keep things varied, but the underlying drone never ceases, it merely evolves and grumbles as it is passed from instrument to instrument. Shoegazey influences creep in here and there, particularly in the vocals, though to be honest I consider them the weakest aspect of the album. (Of all the sonic features of shoegaze you could seek to imitate, I'd say the customary shoegaze vocal style should be at the bottom of the list - it was endearing in its original context but is just irritating outside of it.)

SUNN O))) White2

Album · 2004 · Drone Metal
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Sunn O)))'s White2 continues the drone metal explorations of White1 but seems to come from a more serious place. There's nothing on here like the narration of My Wall from White1, for instance, which seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it aspect of that album: rather than walking a tightrope between sincerity and parody, Sunn O))) demonstrate their seriousness.

Opening track Hell-O)))-Ween is a more purist drone metal piece, whilst bassAliens takes us into a trippy space rock realm reminiscent at times of the first Tangerine Dream album. But it's the sickening void of Decay2 (Nihil's Maw), with vocals from Attila Csihár (in his first of several collaborations with the band) that points to the future, providing a sort of appetiser for the terrors of Black One.

Between them, this triptych of tracks puts paid to any suggestion that just because you play drone metal that automatically means all your material sounds the same, and it might well be Sunn O)))'s best album.

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