Best Sludge Metal Bands

AvAtArA
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

1MastodonMastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in early 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor.

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.

Best Modern Metal Band

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2MelvinsThe Melvins are an American band that formed in 1983. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers.

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.

With out a doubt the best gig I have ever been too. The albums are as amazing and ridiculously cool as buzz's hair. Their don't care what you think attitude has always pulled me towards them they do what they want and they shine like Gods doing it.

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

One of the originators!

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3Acid BathAcid Bath was a seminal American sludge metal band from Houma, Louisiana that was active from 1991 to 1997. Acid Bath combined doom metal roots with influences from black metal, death metal, gothic rock, blues, folk, and country.

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.

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4DownDown is an American heavy metal supergroup that formed in 1991 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist Phil Anselmo, guitarist Pepper Keenan, guitarist Bobby Landgraf, bassist Pat Bruders, and drummer Jimmy Bower.

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
5NeurosisNeurosis is a post-metal band, based in Oakland, California. They formed in 1985 as a hardcore punk band, and their sound progressed towards a doom metal style that also included influences from dark ambient and industrial music as well as incorporating elements of folk music.

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
6BaronessBaroness is an American heavy metal band from Savannah, Georgia whose original members grew up together in Lexington, Virginia.

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

7Crowbar

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

Crowbar. That is all.

V2 Comments
8EyehategodEyehategod is an American sludge metal band from New Orleans that formed in 1988. They have become one of the most well known bands to emerge from the NOLA metal scene.

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.

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

Mastodon are not sludge

V7 Comments
9Black Label SocietyBlack Label Society is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1998 by Zakk Wylde.

Not Sludge Metal, they do have some decent music though.

V1 Comment
10Alice In ChainsAlice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

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.

Decent band, but NOT sludge metal!

Sludge factory

V3 Comments

The Contenders

11High on FireHigh on Fire is an American heavy metal band from Oakland, California, that was formed in 1998. Matt Pike, the band's frontman and founder, also plays guitar for the influential stoner doom band Sleep.

Excellent band. Give them a listen, if you like it heavy.

V1 Comment
12KylesaKylesa is an American sludge metal band that was formed in Savannah, Georgia. Their music incorporates experimentalism with heavy riffs, drop-tuned guitars and elements of psychedelic rock.

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...

13BuzzovenBuzzoven is a sludge metal band from North Carolina, formed in 1990. The band was known for being one of the founders of the sludge genre along with NOLA's Eyehategod and Acid Bath, and also for their out-of-control and violent live shows.

Pure southern hate. Will always love them - Terroredneck

V1 Comment
14WeedeaterWeedeater are a stoner metal band formed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1998. The group's most recent album, Goliathan, was released on May 19th, 2015.

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

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15FlipperV2 Comments
16Iron 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.

What can I say. They're just a killer band

Bam! Pure angry sludge that pounds you right in the face.

V1 Comment
17Black 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.

One of the most exciting live concerts I've ever seen.

18Black FlagBlack Flag was an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of ...read more.

This is hardcore punk. that could not be any further from sludge metal

19Electric WizardElectric Wizard are an English doom metal band from Dorset, England. The band formed in 1993 and have recorded eight full length albums, two of which are now considered to be genre landmarks.

Great band, but not Sludge Metal. They are Stoner Metal, learn the difference kids!

What! Electric wizard is THE stoner metal band!

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

Oh yeah electric wizard is super stoney sludge.

V2 Comments
20Corrosion of ConformityCorrosion of Conformity is an American heavy metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina formed in 1982. For almost the majority of its existence, the band has consisted of guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean, drummer Reed Mullin and vocalist and rhythm guitarist Pepper Keenan.

Where is Pepper and Co.? Corrosion of Conformity

Why is this band only at No. 20? It should be at least in the top 10.

V2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 2 Dec 2016

700 votes
42 listings
6 years, 210 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Mastodon
2. Black Label Society
3. Baroness
ryanrimmel
1. Melvins
2. Flipper
3. Acid Bath
latortugaswag
1. Alice In Chains
2. Black Label Society
3. Melvins
erkecha21

WRemix
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