Stoner Metal

Stoner metal is a form of heavy music genre and characterized by slow tempos, down-tuned guitars and a thick, fuzzy sound.

The name of the genre comes from its association with marijuana use—many musicians who play stoner rock or metal are avid pot smokers. But that isn’t always the case.


Hard rock bands such as Black Sabbath and Deep Purple helped pioneer heavy metal in the 1970s with their dark lyrics, distorted guitars and fast tempos. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that bands, such as Kyuss, began experimenting with slower tempos (which would become a staple of stoner metal).

Similar Subgenres

Stoner metal is a genre that similar with several subgenres: stoner rock, stoner doom and sludge metal. Desert rock is another popular rock subgenre that has been gaining popularity in recent years—but not as much as its brethren.


The stoner metal genre features a heavy, distorted guitar sound; thick and low bass notes; and a slow tempo for the drums. Almost always, vocals are “screaming” or “growling” rather than sung.


Themes of stoner metal lyrics vary from song to song, but there are some common themes that appear in many songs. These include:


Drugs and drug culture



The genre has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that stoner metal really began to take off. Some of the most notable artists include:


Electric Wizard

High on Fire

Famous Albums

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

Sleep – Dopesmoker (2003)

Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (2000)


Now that you know all about stoner metal, it’s time to get out there and listen to some music! If you’re looking for a place to start, we recommend checking out Kyuss’ Blues For the Red Sun or Sleep’s Dopesmoker.

In addition to being an interesting genre of music, stoner metal has had a huge impact on other genres as well.

In fact, when it comes down to it: if you’ve ever listened to any kind of rock music in your life, whether it is punk or pop–there’s probably some traceable connection between those genres and stoner metal somewhere along the line!

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