Weedeater – Sixteen Tons (2002)

Weedeater’s Sixteen Tons is a beer and whiskey soaked southern-tinged romp in sludgey doom metal. The guitar tone is literally the audible equivalent of a Louisiana swamp; a thick bog of rumbling riffs and plodding rhythms. I first got into Weedeater when I saw them at Hellfest nearly five years ago (bloody heck) and they were so heavy that I fell asleep. Granted, it was probably the monumental amount of people within the tent who were blazing up on that sunny afternoon that helped push me into festival lethargy, but Weedeater were one hell of a band to be lulling me into sleep.

And I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve always preferred the later stuff (God Luck & Good Speed, Jason…The Dragon) but you can’t fault this earlier album either. The one before it isn’t so heavy but the thick sludgey tunes really come into their own on Sixteen Tons. I suspect that if Electric Wizard came from New Orleans it wouldn’t sound much different to this. Another lovely little thing about Weedeater is when they throw in the odd instrumental that isn’t as heavy or sludgey as the other songs (album closer “Kira May” as an example), which really helps break up the endless mud.

I believe that all Weedeater recordings are now classics of the doom and sludge genres. It doesn’t get much better than this.