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Doom Metal

Inspired largely by the lumbering dirges and stoned, paranoid darkness of Black Sabbath, doom metal is one of the very few heavy metal subgenres to prize feel and mood more than flashy technique (though the latter can certainly be present). Even more indebted to Sabbath than most metal, doom metal is extremely slow, sludgy, and creepy, feeling so heavy it can barely move; its deliberate pace and murky guitars are meant to evoke (what else?) a sense of impending doom. The movement began to take shape in the mid-'80s, as underground bands like the SST label's Saint Vitus, the critically acclaimed Trouble, and Sweden's Candlemass attracted cult audiences for their out-of-fashion, Sabbath-dominated sounds. Trouble and Cathedral helped bring doom metal to a wider (though not mainstream) metal audience during the early '90s, and doom's monolithic darkness quickly made it appealing to a variety of tastes. Doom metal was one of the formative influences on the retro-obsessed stoner metal movement of the '90s, and it was not uncommon for bands to find favor in both camps. Another dominant strain of '90s doom metal -- pioneered by British bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Anathema -- fused Sabbath heaviness with the sounds and sensibilities of goth-metal, plus occasional touches of death metal; the results were sorrowful, gloomy epics. The '90s also birthed a unique doom metal scene centered in New Orleans; the sound of bands like Crowbar and Eyehategod was often described as "sludge metal" because of their heavy debt to early Seattle grunge bands like the Melvins and Soundgarden. Several doom metal bands incorporated progressive tendencies, though this approach was much less widespread.