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 Ten

1 Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon 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 a little more heavy on the prog than sludge, but they definitely fit the bill of a sludge band, I'm happy to see Mastodon near the top of any category they are associated with because, they are in fact that good.

My favorite sludge metal band, and one of my favorite prog metal bands too!

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2 Melvins Melvins The 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

Influential, genius, weird, heavy, slow, fast, loud, quiet, dark, bright, nerdy, doom, grunge, stoner, metal, punk, rock'n'roll, experimental, hardcore, noise...they're my ultimate intersection in history of rock!

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3 Down Down Down 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

Best band hands fown

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4 Acid Bath Acid Bath Acid 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...

True beauty-

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5 Neurosis Neurosis Neurosis 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.

This should be at the top. - Metalhead1997

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6 Crowbar

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!

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7 Black Label Society Black Label Society Black 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.

They are a awesome band but they aren't sludge metal at all - Sabbath

Not sludge but so damn good.

8 Eyehategod Eyehategod Eyehategod 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.

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

I've been to their hometown before. - Metalhead1997

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9 Baroness Baroness Baroness 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

10 Alice In Chains Alice In Chains Alice 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.

They aren't anything like sludge metal - Sabbath


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The Newcomers

? Pregnant Whale Pain

Severly underrated but an amazing Sludge band. - cjWriter1997

The Contenders

11 High on Fire High on Fire High 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.

Just pure fast tempo heavy sludgyness, love it.

12 Kylesa Kylesa Kylesa 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...

13 Weedeater Weedeater Weedeater 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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14 Corrosion of Conformity Corrosion of Conformity Corrosion 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.

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15 Flipper Flipper Flipper is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1979, continuing in often erratic fashion until the mid-1990s, then reuniting in 2005. The band influenced a number of grunge, punk rock and noise rock bands.

Flipper have such an enthralling sound because of the way the music just seems to slow you down and drudge you up. Also they are really hawt.

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16 Iron 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.

Funny, this reminds me of an American Dad episode where they meet an artist named DJ Iron Monkey on his cruise ship.

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17 Black 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.

18 Buzzoven Buzzoven Buzzoven 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

True Sludge Metal!

Buzzov*en is how it should be spelled. - Metalhead1997

19 Electric Wizard Electric Wizard Electric 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!

Uh, they're doom or stoner. - Metalhead1997

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20 Cult of Luna Cult of Luna Cult of Luna is a Swedish metal band from UmeƄ founded in 1998. They often perform post-metal music similar to the contemporary bands Neurosis and Isis.

Listen to the song To be remembered

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List Stats

900 votes
44 listings
7 years, 295 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Mastodon
2. Black Label Society
3. Baroness
1. Mastodon
2. Neurosis
3. Crowbar
1. Melvins
2. Flipper
3. Acid Bath

View All 6


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