Best Sludge Metal Bands

I know there are many Sludge bands that aren't on the list. Feel free to add some if yours ain't on the list. These are the Sludge bands that I feel are the most noteworthy.

The Top TenXW


The least predictable band of all time. It took me a good five years until I liked them...and I've loved them for 25 years... and for the past decade I can't even listen to anyone else (other than a little Death - RIP Chuck). Buzz conjures up riffs that are so heavy and so intense... and unlike anything heard before or by anyone after that words cannot describe them. On drums, Dale Crover is the greatest rock drummer of all time (any genre). If you don't agree, go ask the guy you think is the greatest rock drummer ever and he'll say "Dale Crover".

Melvins should be #1 on this list and the next band should be listed at #23... the gap is deserved.

A unique sound to sludge metal, its almost like really evil grunge music that's really heavy it somehow became metal

cus melvins was in it from the beginning

Yes the Melvin's please!

V2 Comments

They are just a fantastic band. They have produced such a great variety of music while also maintaining a very distinctive and memorable sound. They simply have a unique tone that people can only strive to emulate. Their music peaked with the album "Crack the Skye" but their new album is still fabulous.

I believe this should be in the top 10 because Mastodon just takes sludge to a whole new level. Their music has the technicality and precession of Northern industrial groups, the heart and soul of Southern groove bands, and that thick sludgy, dirty feel of Western sludge/stoner acts. They're also excellent in concert!

Mastodon is my favorite band...of ALL time. There music completely changed the way I feel about metal. Music of epic proportions and mighty walls of sound fall on you with every track. There also the most mesmerizing band fusing stoner rock progressive metal and sludge. THEY ARE GODS.

Mastodon are most certainly not sludge. Jesus christ, you idiots don't know anything about the genre.

V12 Comments
3Acid Bath

Agree with everyone: It isn't technical prowess, it isn't any one thing really. These people just happen to have a vibe together that is incredibly dark and at the same time artistic, by which I mean it has a way of taking an idea apart and putting it back together in a way that conveys a meaning on various levels. Incredible.

The most unique, innovative and creative band. They have a sound unmatched by any other band; their music captures the essence of darkness and suffering.

After all these years of listening to music, not one band has stuck with me like Acid Bath has. Since discovering them roughly 3 years ago there hasn't been I day I haven't listened to them, and I'm being serious. Their music creates such emotion that it's truly impossible to explain...

You just can't beat them. Amazing vocals all around, awesome riffs, just pure beauty. Literally not one flaw with this band.

V10 Comments

Kind of an all star band but with only three albums they earned their position between the best of the kind. From the southern "swampy" style of the Down II album to the great melodies and heavy guitars of NOLA and Over the under, all the southern and bluesy styles combined with really heavy music and a frontman like no other.

This band should be number 1 their debut Nola was flawless and down II was a masterpiece also

If Phil Anselmo is the lead singer, then they are obviously great! - IronSabbathPriest

V1 Comment

This is one of the most important bands in the genre and should be on top! Not many bands can make the eerie moods that this band often makes! and not many bands can make you feel the darkness as this band does. One of the most important and most underrated bands in the genre! the best ever!

I'm surprised it's so low! In my opinion they are the biggest bands ever. Their Souls at Zero can br only compared with the so great albums like I, II of Led Zeppelin, Rock for Light of Bad Brains, or Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

One of the alltimes greats. But I think they are bigger then just sludge. They are so much more. So innovative and just all around groundbreaking. There are few bands that will contribute to the world of music as Neurosis. They are just bigger life. But I guess this is what will evolve when so many genius musicians get together and create magic.

Should be much higher in rank. No one even came close to what they were doing in the mid to late 90's.

V1 Comment

Heaviest Band ever! Truly awesome songs like Conquering, I Have Failed, Mourn the Illusion, All I had I gave. None Heavier than Crowbar still awesome after 25 years

Nothing thicker. Will never understand why this band does not get more respect. Kirk, Crowbar, and Louisiana mud FTW.

Such an atmosphere of power and destruction, the real godfathers of heavy music and sludge metal

Between them and acid bath I don't think it can be decided they both truly sludge metal!

V1 Comment

The blue record proves that sludge can be brutal and peaceful. Baroness plays insane music and deserves as much credibility as mastodon, if not more, especially since mastodon is moving away from the sludge genre while baroness is only attempting getting better at it.

Ever since I heard Purple I've been addicted to these guys. They amaze me with every track - ryanrimmel

Definitely one of the best sludge bands out there. They have a foot in so many genres while remaining sludgey and they help out a lot of the smaller sludge bands out there. Amazing, through and through

8Black Label Society

Mastadon is great, but Eyehategod has been doing sludge, amazingly, for ten years longer. Seeing them in the early 90's was mindblowing and groundbreaking.

Eyehategod is rhythmic, filthy, and listenable all at the same time. Their bluesy, sludge/hardcore punk style of music is simply awesome, if you haven't listened to it, do.

In The Name Of Suffering is some of the most masochistic, brutal, almost bluesy sludge ever! Gotta love the pain of it.

Brutal Riffs and Screaming Lungs - This is Sludge Metal. This is EyeHateGod.

V5 Comments
10High on FireV1 Comment

The Contenders

11Alice In Chains

As much as I love Alice in chains to death, how in are they sludge?

Not quite as Sludgy as the other bands. But they definitely had some elements of it.

This is one of the first bands that played sludge...yet they are in this place! These guys deserve number 1...there is no other band that can do sludge better than AIC...

Sludge factory

V2 Comments

Kylesa has to be one of the best sludge metal bands of all time. Spiral Shadow and Static Tensions prove that.

I love all these bands but love my Kylesa the best...

Georgia seems to be taking over lately between Savannah and Atlanta...


Flipper sludge? Since when? - ryanrimmel

V1 Comment

Pure, bubbling, oozing sludge. Dixon's screams and bass lines alone are enough to earn them a spot on the list. Pure southern filth.

15Iron Monkey

It takes a true master of extremity to come up with something that is suffocatingly heavy, yet catchy enough to stay in your head for hours. Under the glacial sludge, filthy crust punk bits, and gleefully hateful lyrics/vocal delivery, there is an undeniable groove (courtesy of drummer Justin Greaves) and a healthy respect for melodic riffing (courtesy of guitarists Dean Berry and James Rushby) that ultimately puts this band above the rest of the sludge mental legions.

These guys certainly pushed to intensity level of sludge to the limits. With migrain inducing feedback, super heavy riffs, and vocals that sound entirely inhuman, it's wonderful stuff.

V2 Comments
16Black Tusk

I love this band and I love their energy! I can't wait to see them again. Definitely one of my top favorite bands.

17Black Flag

Pure southern hate. Will always love them - Terroredneck

19Corrosion of Conformity

Where is Pepper and Co.? Corrosion of Conformity

V2 Comments
20Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard to me is the quintessential sludge metal band. They are also the best ever!

What! Electric wizard is THE stoner metal band!

Oh yeah electric wizard is super stoney sludge.

V1 Comment
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List StatsUpdated 2 May 2016

600 votes
41 listings
5 years, 361 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Mastodon
2. Black Label Society
3. Baroness
1. Alice In Chains
2. Black Label Society
3. Melvins
1. Mastodon
2. Baroness
3. Down

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