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.

Atmospheric Sludge Metal

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • Bosh66 (leader)

sludge metal top albums

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CROWBAR Broken Glass Album Cover Broken Glass
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MELVINS
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sludge metal Music Reviews

WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA Syntheosis

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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UMUR
"Syntheosis" is the debut full-length studio album by Finnish doom metal act Waste of Space Orchestra. The album was released through Svart Records in April 2019. Waste of Space Orchestra is a collaboration project between the members of Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising and was originally formed with the goal of a one-off performance at the Roadburn Festival 2018. The performance was so successful though, that the band were offered the opportunity to record and release "Syntheosis"...

...and listening to "Syntheosis" it doesn´t take long to understand why that is. Already from the opening notes of "Void Monolith" (well it opens with some mellow noises, but about 1 minutes into the song) it becomes apparent that Waste of Space Orchestra are a pretty special unit. Droning doomy paces (and occasionally more energetic tempos), heavy riffs and beats, organic and pretty busy drumming, psychadelic dark nightmarish atmospheres, and various types of vocals (black metal shrieks, death metal growling, sludge/hardcore shouting, and even some female clean vocals) are some of the features of the album. Keyboards and effects often help build epic moments of dark bliss, and this is a very adventurous but also stylistically consistent release with a great tracklist flow.

Personally I find the repetitive almost hypnotic krautrock influenced first minutes of the 10:36 minutes long "Journey to the Center of Mass" to drag a little, but it´s more a matter of subjective taste than it´s a matter of quality, and the closing epic climax to that song is very impressive. The remaining part of the album is a bit up and down as far as intriguing structures and effectful songwriting go. Both the ritualistic, repetitive, and slow building "Infinite Gate Opening" and the ambient "The Universal Eye" drag for far too long, and are both uneventful and a little hard to get through. The closing 13:02 minutes long title track is thankfully a bit more interesting and an effecful closing of the album.

The musicianship is strong on all posts and "Syntheosis" features a powerful, detailed, and organic sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. "Syntheosis" is a dynamic release which is sometimes a wild and energetic ride but often a more slow building and atmospheric journey and the contrasts work well on the album (although some tracks are a bit too repetitive and drag for too long). The opening trio of tracks are absolutely amazing to my ears, but I don´t think the band are able to deliver the same high quality throughout the album and therefore my rating is a bit lower than I thought it would be, when I started listening to the album. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

BARONESS First

EP · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BARONESS was started in Savannah, Georgia by a group of friends who grew up in Lexington, Virginia and has become one of the more recognizable sludge metal acts in recent years although the band has drifted more into stoner metal territory. Also noted for the band’s fondness of naming albums after colors, before the debut “Red Album” in 2007, BARONESS released two EPs and one split. Never one for original catchy titles, these early EPs were simply called FIRST and “Second.” The two EPs have also been released as a combo pack also unexcitingly titled “First & Second” in 2008 after the band found success with its full-length debut.

Given that the band had members with punk roots in the punk / metal band Johnny Welfare and the Paychecks, it’s no surprise that these early offerings from BARONESS are more aggressive and caustic than the more polished albums that follow. FIRST (and “Second”) are the only releases to feature the early lineup of John Baizley (vocals, guitar), Allen Blickle (drums), Tim Loose (guitar) and Summer Welch (bass.) Baizley is known not only for his caustic vocal style and jangly guitar antics but also has been the visual artist for the band’s cover art which began with this first release.

FIRST only contains three tracks that are just shy of 17 minutes but pack a serious punch with highly aggressive and raging sludge metal that already begin to display some of the band’s progressive tendencies that follow in the footsteps of other Georgian sludge metal acts like the superstar band Mastodon. It’s interesting to hear how the band evolves step-by-step from these early origins. While “Second” was already showing signs of a more polished approach, FIRST displays the band at its rawest and primeval angst with the punk infused guitar bombast on full decibelage dripping with rage. This EP was produced by Phillip Cope of Kylesa and although not as intricately designed as the band’s full-length albums is nonetheless an entertaining listen that is well performed. Recommended for those who love the filthy raw origins of sludge metal.

BARONESS Second

EP · 2005 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BARONESS followed up its debut EP, “First” with the logically titled SECOND which was released the very next year in 2005. Like the debut, this one contained three tracks that exceeded the 20 minute mark and along with the debut was one of the two releases to feature the early lineup of John Baizley (vocals, guitar), Allen Blickle (drums), Tim Loose (guitar) and Summer Welch (bass.)

SECOND exhibits a more sophisticated sound that while not jettisoning the extreme core influences that emerged from the members’ punk roots that offer caustic sludge metal delivers on overdrive, the band’s progressive tendencies that peeked through the din on the debut are more developed on this one and in many ways BARONESS sounds most like Mastodon on this one as the 2000s found an entire Georgia scene that incorporated core and punk influences into sludge metal along with progressive and psychedelic elements.

While “First” was on high octane all the time, SECOND allows for some slower echoey guitar sequences that allow some interesting instrumental interplay especially on “Son Of Sun” which displays some of the band’s notorious flirtations with progressive rock that would become its signature sound and as a result makes a much more interesting musical experience than on “First” although that one was a wickedly wild unadulterated slab of primeval raw sludge metal.

One can think of these early EP years as the first phase of BARONESS which includes the following split with Unpersons titled “A Grey Sigh In A Flower Husk” before the lineup change that would debut on the band’s first full-length “Red Album.” In addition to the sludge metal antics of Mastodon on SECOND, there are clear references to post-metal bands like Isis as well the expected Kylesa connection. Overall i prefer this much more sophisticated SECOND offering to the first because not only does it deliver a filthy raw slab of caustic sludge metal but also exceeds its one-dimensional nature by offering respites into more progressive and psychedelic meanderings.

BARONESS First & Second

Boxset / Compilation · 2008 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BARONESS released two EPs before crafting the signature sound heard on the full-length debut “Red Album.” These two EPs were simply called FIRST followed by SECOND and showcased the band’s evolution from the punk roots on the caustic debut to the more progressive elements exercised on the sophomore release.

These two EPs were released as a combo pack in 2008 after the band had achieved popularity on this compilation simply titled FIRST & SECOND that includes all six tracks from the two EPs without any bonus tracks or extras. This release pretty much covers the first phase of BARONESS’ original lineup that consisted of ohn Baizley (vocals, guitar), Allen Blickle (drums), Tim Loose (guitar) and Summer Welch (bass) except the two tracks on the split “A Grey Sigh In A Flower Husk.”

This is pretty much for anyone who wants to explore the early origins of BARONESS and how they evolved from a fiery aggressive and raging sludge machine into the more polished progressive experimental sludge metal act that would take the world by storm. Personally i like the SECOND EP better for my tastes but this is a nice example of what excellent sludge metal with experimental touches is all about.

ISIS SGNL>05

EP · 2001 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The making of the band’s debut “Celestial” resulted in lots of extra material but ISIS was rightfully apprehensive about releasing a double-album as a debut full-length album. Instead, the band wisely chose to release a companion album titled SGNL>05 the following year that acted as an extension for the “Celestial” experience for those who just couldn’t get enough. Originally released as a separate EP, the album appears as a bonus disc on the newer deluxe versions of “Celestial.”

Unlike “Celestial” that offered the first glimpse of ISIS’ unique take on atmospheric sludge metal all teased out with post-rock compositions, SGNL>05 feels much more like a supplemental album that exemplifies less metal bombast and is much more experimental in the ambient and atmospheric possibilities. The EP is somewhat of a remix album of different tracks that didn’t make the cut with remixer Justin Broadrick who worked with Godflesh and Jesu contributing a new version of the title track from “Celestial” now with the added “(Signal Fills The Void.)”

In fact, tracks like “Beneath Below” are more dark ambient with little or no contributions from the guitars and other metal features. “Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)” is one of the highlights that does deliver the metal goods but even here, much less so than the band’s full-length releases that sandwich this oddball. The tracks are for the most part lengthy and sprawling soundscapes that evoke an emotional reaction rather than create melodic constructs and are even more hypnotically repetitive than “Celestial.”

More instrumental than vocally infused, tracks like “Constructing Towers” display some of the guitar chugs that ISIS are famous for and is the heaviest track on the album. When the vocals do emerge, they are barely audible as they emerge from the suffocating din. The ambient “Celestial (Signal Fills the Void)” is the connecting track that bridges the album and this EP but is very much rooted on the electronic side of the ISIS equation with guitar sounds merely providing sonic textures to embellish upon.

Overall, SGNL>05 is a decent companion piece for “Celestial” but the far inferior of the two. I’m so glad that the band decided to release this separately or as the optional deluxe double discker because while this is a nice chill out album, it’s not nearly as interesting or as fluidly dynamic as “Celestial” and if these tracks were inserted into that album’s run, it would’ve totally derailed the flow and added way too much bloated padding that would’ve sunk it. With the exception of “"Divine Mother (The Tower Crumbles)” and “Constructing Towers,” these are really just leftovers without enough appeal except for the hardcore ISIS fans. The other two tracks just mentioned are quite dynamic and could easily be slipped onto an ISIS album without much ado. Good but not essential.

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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