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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NEUROSIS Souls at Zero Album Cover Souls at Zero
NEUROSIS
4.52 | 13 ratings
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CROWBAR Broken Glass Album Cover Broken Glass
CROWBAR
4.79 | 5 ratings
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NEUROSIS Times Of Grace Album Cover Times Of Grace
NEUROSIS
4.35 | 28 ratings
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ISIS Panopticon Album Cover Panopticon
ISIS
4.30 | 53 ratings
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MASTODON Crack The Skye Album Cover Crack The Skye
MASTODON
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NEUROSIS Through Silver In Blood Album Cover Through Silver In Blood
NEUROSIS
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MASTODON Leviathan Album Cover Leviathan
MASTODON
4.20 | 79 ratings
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ISIS
4.23 | 41 ratings
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INTRONAUT Prehistoricisms Album Cover Prehistoricisms
INTRONAUT
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CULT OF LUNA
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MELVINS
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NEUROSIS A Sun That Never Sets Album Cover A Sun That Never Sets
NEUROSIS
4.17 | 15 ratings
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sludge metal Music Reviews

ORO Djupets Kall

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
This is the debut album from Swedish sludge/doom quartet Oro, who came together in 2014. ‘Djupets Kall’ (‘The Deep Call’) is an album which is combining elements from lots of different areas including post and black metal to create something which at times is incredibly beautiful and at others dark and foreboding. The bass sounds as if it is about to go out of tune at any moment as the strings are loose and distorted, while the drums pound into the brain and the guitars often create a leaden curtain of sound which doesn’t let any light escape. Petter Nilsson is in pain, crying in anguish with vocals which are coarse and laden with emotion, while the lead guitar solos are like laser beams cutting through the darkness. They may be slow and steady, but they provide just the right amount of dynamic contrast to the hurt and pain everyone is going through. Just one thing, the band just needs to understand it is never right to fade out a song, as that can’t happen when on stage so there has to be a way of ending it!

Classic Neurosis is the closest I can come to in terms of comparisons, but there are more Black and Post influences within it as the band are stretching the sludge/doom genres. Powerful, emotional, this is quite a debut. There is a great deal going on within it and it does need repeated listening to get the best from it, but overall this is a worthy journey.

THE MOTH GATHERER Esoteric Oppression

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Kev Rowland
The Moth Gatherer are back with their third full-length album, again centered around atmospheric doom, sludge and post metal. Formed in 2008 by Victor Wegeborn and Alex Stjernfeldt, as a form of therapy to help them deal with loss, the band name is an allegory for finding hope; similar to moths who are always searching for the light. The band has changed over the years, growing in size although musically always staying close to their roots, but there has been quite a dramatic shift this time as although Alex provided the lyrics, he has now left the band with Victor now providing vocals, guitar and electronics. He is joined by Ronny Westphal (guitars), Svante Karlsson (drums) and Dan Hemgren (bass).

The band play incredibly slowly, but the post metal atmospheric sound mean they never seem to be struggling in a morass, rather the atmosphere is so pervasive on everything they do that it just isn’t possible to play any more quickly. They are less like searching for moths in the night than an army walking over a moor shrouded in fog. It is incredibly evocative music, which is heavy but also dreamlike, as the band toy with Burzum-style black metal without ever really embracing it as they move in a different direction. This is music to get lost inside, and when they move away from the intensity into something lighter it is as if a sunbeam has pierced the all-enveloping mist, but soon it is back again. This is music which feels ancient, as if it is linked to the bones of the earth, with vocals full of passion and pain. This is incredibly deep music, far more than just another metal album, and expects the listener to pay close attention. Highly recommended to be played on headphones, it just doesn’t seem to work any other way. Impressive stuff indeed, but not for the fainthearted.

THE OCEAN Precambrian

Album · 2007 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Warthur
Precambrian offers up two distinct musical trips, with an overarching theme concerning the earliest phases of Earth's formation. Hadean/Archaean offers about 20 minutes of direct aggression; Proterozoic offers an hour of more contemplative atmospheric sludge metal veering into progressive rock or New Age music at points. The full 80 minute package is, to be honest, a bit of a chore to listen to - but break it up into its two component parts and select the piece which suits your current mood better, and the overall package is substantially improved. Let's say it's a three star album packaged with a four star album - but which is which will hinge on the tastes of the individual listener.

NO TRUST Unfound

Album · 2013 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
NO TRUST is a thrash / sludge / death metal hybrid band that was founded in 2010 by brothers Ben Guzman (guitars / vocals) and Zach Guzman (drums) in Fremont, CA near San Jose. Existing as only a duo, the brothers succeed in creating a much larger band sound despite not using a bass on any of their recordings.

Drawn to check out the music by their intriguing artwork, the debut UNFOUND was released in 2013 with a massive sludgy metal sound that takes some thrash riffing, a touch of death growls and shouts alongside a filthy distortion that runs the gamut of harsh tones and brutal ear splitting decibalage.

Despite the lack of bass, the guitar seems to cover the entire spectrum of treble and bass sounds but the music is rooted on a deeper bass range along with a rather typical style of sludge metal drumming that rarely gets too energetic. The duo creates nice grooves which they build upon and delivery an interesting mix of melodic ranges on the ten tracks that take the listener on 48 minute run.

While this album doesn’t blow me away, i’m surprised how good it is although after 40 minutes or so the tracks start sounding the same and it could’ve been trimmed down a bit. While there are supplemental elements from classic 80s metal, death metal an even a black metal vibe at times, the overall sound is firmly rooted in a filthy grungy sludge style of riffing.

It’s hard to believe that two guys can get such a large sound out of two instruments but somehow that’s exactly what they achieved. Maybe the guitars are layered or something? I don’t know but something works. While i wouldn’t call NO TRUST the next big thing or one of the best bands to look out for, these brothers do crank out some pleasant filthy sludge metal that is a pleasure to soak in for its run.

TESA Heartbeatsfromthesky

Album · 2008 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
TESA formed in the Latvian capital city Riga in 2005 from members of the bands In.Stora, Kriegopfer and Les Corte before mastering the fine art of the progressive post-metal / atmospheric sludge metal that found them on the top of the European scene. This power trio consists of Dāvis Burmeisters (guitars), Kārlis Tone (bass guitar, vocals) and Jānis Burmeisters (drums, vocals) who have been quite successful over the last decade at European and Russian tours and festivals with the most famous gigs playing with the US sludge metal pioneers Neurosis as well as the more drone oriented Canadian band Nadja.

The band released two EPs in the form of 2006 combo pack “Depo” and the eponymously titled release. Two years later found the debut full-length HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY (alternatively written as HEART BEATS FROM THE SKY) which consists of six untitled tracks that conspire to create a larger than life atmospheric sludge metal experience. The band’s main influences include not only Neurosis but also Shora, Grails, Nadja, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even Converge. While categorized as metal, the band seems to spend as much time in post-rock territory as with the more energetic metal bombast. For the most part this debut album is instrumental with a few subdued screamed vocal parts emerging from the ruckus.

While not dissimilar to bands like Isis, Russian Circles and other post-metal bands, TESA dishes out lengthy soundscapes that plod along at mid-tempo and offer sublime mixes of textures, darkened melodies, ambient soundscapes, hypnotic repetitive loops and touches of noise all dressed up in a stellar production. What makes HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY stand out from the post-metal pack is the unique mix of the destructive riffs that contrast with a ridiculous amount of layers of guitar sounds and atmospheric soundscapes that offer a slight doom metal touch. While the pure metal parts are rare, when they do emerge the guitars erupt into a pyroclastic flow of distorted head banging riffage that eclipses the mostly dominant ambience of the album’s 32 minute run.

TESA dish out the kind of post-rock that would surely please in a live setting as the cyclical grooves reverberate across a packed stadium however in the creativity department they implement the status quo of a post-rock album in a metal context and don’t actually stand out from the many other bands ranging from Cult of Luna and Rosetta to Jesu. In fact they are probably less diverse than any of the aforementioned as the formula sticks to the playbook. The biggest draw on HEARTBEATSFROMTHESKY is surely the impeccable production and mixing job that makes this a real treat to listen to. While the vocals are subdued under the sheer magnitude of the fiery instrumental section, they can be heard creating interesting counterpoint harmonies when used. Overall this is a decent slice of post-metal but one i’d hardly call overly essential either.

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

MASTODON The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years 2000-2005

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