Prepare your earholes
Can you go wrong with sludge metal? At its best, it is an enveloping and trippy adventure that takes the listener on a bludgeoning, euphoric, and violent escapade. Overwhelming and engrossing, it can be transcendental and cathartic. Good to smoke a bowl to also. Here are seven new sludge metal bands I’ve been spinning the last few weeks.
A supergroup of sorts, LowFlyingHawks feature Dale Crover (Melvins) and Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle). With some guest vocals from the mighty Buzz Osborne (Melvins). Soothing rather than shredding, the duo create a warm and welcoming sound that is heavy without being oppressive or difficult. Mighty.
Hailing from Barcelona, Ground are another duo consisting of Marcos Cordo (guitars, bass, vocals) and Isaac Malagón (drums, vocals). These boys bring a more confrontational vibe informed by the likes of High on Fire, Sleep, Church of Misery, and Black Cobra. Alternating between molasses slow grooves and more up tempo work, the duo’s strong point is their ability to meld melody into their ferocious noise.
Belfast’s Nomadic Rituals bring a bit more adventure to the table than the two bands featured so far. Sitting somewhere between sludge metal, doom, and space rock, the power trio explore ambiance alongside their pummeling roar. Their ferocity is matched only by their experimentation.
Ten Ton Slug
The thing I love about Galway’s Ten Ton Slug is their seamless mixture of sludge metal and groove metal. It is a sound akin to Pantera if they got stuck in the mud and were fronted by Johan Hegg. Like Ground, these boys have quite a way with a catchy melody. On top of that their live show is ferocious which led them to playing Bloodstock earlier this year. Savagely cool.
Long, slow and exploratory, Hamburg based trio SHAKHTYOR craft a brand of sludge metal that is heavily influenced by the wonderfully meandering nature of post metal. They sport a moody and contemplative sound that aims to both sooth and bludgeon but always with an underlying sense of foreboding. Something wicked this way comes.
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs
Perhaps the weirdest band on the list, Newcastle’s Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs meld a somewhat stoner edge with their sludgy pummel. These boys are somehow bloody awesome and bloody ridiculous at the same time. Their music sounds pretty much like they’re making it up on the spot after a weekend long cocaine bender. Yes. It is that good. Their live show is pretty unforgiving and a little terrifying. Do it. Do them.
Polish quintet Black Tundra are the band on the list that embrace melody the most. Resembling a more sludgy Baroness, these guys sport a kind of melodic stoner sludge approach that is more relaxing than battering. Oh and it’s instrumental!