Best Sludge Metal Bands


July 30, 2015 - 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. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

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.
[Newest]Rock. And the roll.

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
Melvins & Sabbath. everyone else is just a dumbed down copy.

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...

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.
I love Nola. I like Melvin's as well but Eyehategod will be forgotten because of it's small fan base, what a shame.
This band should be number 1 their debut Nola was flawless and down II was a masterpiece also
[Newest]If Phil Anselmo is the lead singer, then they are obviously great!


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

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

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.

8Black Label Society

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.
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

10High on Fire
Just pure fast tempo heavy sludgyness, love it.

The Contenders

11Alice In Chains
As much as I love Alice in chains to death, how in are they sludge?
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...

Flipper sludge? Since when?


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...

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.
Bam! Pure angry sludge that pounds you right in the face.
[Newest]What can I say. They're just a killer band

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

18Corrosion of Conformity
Where is Pepper and Co.? Corrosion of Conformity


20Electric Wizard
Dopethrone and Come My Fanatics are stellar. Electric Wizard captures a great heavy sluggish feel with a lot of distortion, and (at least on Dopethrone album) lots of reverb on the vocals. Very cool. Electric Wizard is considered by many to be one of the heaviest sounding bands within the genre.
Electric Wizard to me is the quintessential sludge metal band. They are also the best ever!
What! Electric wizard is THE stoner metal band!

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This list was created 5 years, 84 days ago and has been voted on over 500 times. This top ten list has been remixed 4 times.

Updated Thursday, July 30, 2015

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