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Stoner Metal Bands You Need to Listen to

Stoner metal may take many forms across the genre of rock and metal, but there remain certain bands that stand atop the rest as distinct, as memorable, as the best.

By Ray ShikinamiPublished 6 years ago 6 min read
Image via Bongzilla

The metal lifestyle is all about breaking the taboo, of indulgence and vivacity--so it only makes sense that stoner metal bands are so successful. While it may be hard to pin down stoner metal as a subgenre, it is easy to see what music is influenced by cannabis by reading up on the bands behind the scenes.

Stoner metal may take many forms across the genre of rock and metal, but there remain certain bands that stand atop the rest as distinct, as memorable, as the best--and here are fifteen of them.

Regarded by some as one of the core stoner metal bands around, Sleep has been around since the early 90s. Much of their music is inspired by mysticism and mysteries.

This stoner metal band dishes out some very murky rifts that are at once both thrilling and expansive. If you are open to expanding your horizons while listening, you may feel yourself become lost in the music, and, in turn, feel the expansive horizon of sound unloaded upon you.

Mastodon has a little more of a mainstream rock feel than pure doom or death metal, like much of the rest of this list of stoner metal bands. This makes them a little more accessible to most people just getting into the genre.

But make no mistake about them. That vibe does not make Mastodon a bad band. Far from it. They're awesome.

Heavy guitar rifts. Intense drum-play. Badass lyrics. Playing one song in the car will turn a drawl through traffic jams feel like a Mad Max-esque rush.

If you are like me, then you like fantasy-inspired metal. Nothing brings you back to those nights as an edgy teen first discovering Dungeons and Dragons quite like that. Thankfully, stoner metal bands have a lot of fantasy inspiration to draw upon, as indicated by The Sword.

The Sword is pretty well-known. They've toured with Lamb of God and Metallica. Rolling Stone has featured them. These guys are pretty famous, but why does that mean you should listen?

Well, because they're awesome. If you like metal at all, The Sword has some intense music you owe it to yourself to listen to.

This UK group has an incredibly dark vibe to it. While not always the fastest music, it has a darkness to it that can be a little overwhelming. As far as stoner metal bands go, this can be a bad trip. At one moment, almost soothing. At the next, drowning you in heavy tunes and intense vibes.

This music may contain some Satanic elements. And, at times, it really does sound as though you are taking an earful of Hell.

This lesser known stoner metal band is a newer fixture on the scene, but has established itself as having an incredibly psychedelic, ambient tone. The music can be at once haunting, chilling, and, all at once, a little energizing.

While it's certainly not for everyone, the psychedelic music is perfect at putting you into a unique headspace as only few bands can do.

This bad-ass death metal band almost sounds like a parody of a stoner metal band. Though it may be hard to hear the lyrics as they are growled out over the intense guitar rifts and harsh pounding of the drums, a lot of them read almost as satire.

Dark themes. Dark beats. Perfect for those up for some intense tunes to boil your blood and make you scream into the night.

Also, this band obviously pays tribute to Cannibal Corpse. I advise you to listen to them first to better appreciate Cannabis Corpse.

Love bass guitar? Love stoner metal? Then Bongzilla is one band you need to put on your radar. This mash-up of psychedelic tunes and doom metal, Bongzilla has been outspoken throughout their run in favor of the legalization of weed.

With some harsh vocals and some bad-ass bass guitar rifts, this is one stoner metal band you have to listen to if you are looking for some cool metal to enjoy.

As the name implies, this is a stoner metal band. The heavy percussion and guitar rifts - particularly the bass - defines the loud, in-your-face style this metal band brings to the forefront. Drum fans in particular will love the intense percussion throughout.

The bass as well finally gets a chance to shine with this one. It has such a cool rhythm to it, too, which really grants the band its own unique, awesome sound.

Of note, it also features vocalist/bassist Dave "Dixie" Collins. Mr. Collins hails from the band Bongzilla, which you may remember as our prior selection.

This intense stoner metal band has remained a source of inspiration for metal bands to follow in their footsteps. Since their appearance in the 80s, they have transitioned from hardcore punk band to straight-up heavy metal.

They boast tons of studio albums, and tons of hardcore albums. The band remains a fixture of the stoner metal scene, offering a great hybrid of punk and metal aesthetics that proved to influence those who followed in their footsteps.

This intense, dark stoner metal band presents songs that primarily lack vocals. They present a far more ambient style that spirals into madness and intensity that compounds upon itself, growing more and more powerful every beat.

This is ideal for the kind of ambient background noise. You can listen to this on low while working on anything - playing video games, surfing the web, anything.

But, it is heavy. It is weighty. And it is a little intense.

Debuting back in the late 70s, this stoner metal band is one of the earliest doom metal groups to ever form. The music can come across as ambient, long, and dark, but still possesses an intensity that can both boil blood and intimidate.

The lyrics and music is reminiscent of Black Sabbath, which makes sense, as they are contemporaries of each other. If you're craving people who sound like Ozzy, check out Saint Vitus.

Funk metal. Blues plus punk rock.

Clutch may seem like a combination of odd inspirations, but what would you expect from a stoner metal band this successful? Would you really expect a normal combination of inspirations?

Clutch incorporates the rhythm of the blues with the instruments of a punk-rock band. It is at once psychedelic, jazzy, and head-bangingly intense. Clutch is unique blend of influences that must be heard to be understood.

Starting off as a typical doom metal band, Orange Goblin has incorporated more punk rock elements over the years to become a unique flavor in the world of stoner metal.

The intense guitar rifts and lyrics possess at times a melodic quality that really carries the music onward as you blaze through their collection of music while doing just about anything you want. This is pretty badass metal.

An incredibly mainstream stoner metal band, you have no doubt heard this band before. They have a distinct style to their metal, that, while it isn't as heavy as the doom metal scene, makes it incredibly distinct in all senses from other bands.

This unique sound has given the band longevity and popularity among both metalheads, stoners, and just casual people looking to rock.

What were you expecting? That we made a stoner metal band list without including THE stoner metal band?

They need no introduction. Even those unfamiliar with one of the original metal bands knows who Ozzy Osborne is. This band is almost inseparable from the stoner scene.

They remain among the best metal bands ever formed. Ever. Stoner or otherwise.

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About the Creator

Ray Shikinami

Freelance writer between jobs. Will write for food.

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