The American South is a brutal place. The heat, the humidity. The swamps, alligators, poisonous snakes, and spiders. The goddamn bob cats. And that's to make no mention of its dark history, which includes slavery; brutal violence between numerous Native American tribes and European invaders settlers; the savagery of the Civil War; rebels and racist gangs murdering, harassing, and suppressing African Americans for generations; the Trail of Tears; the Hatfields and McCoys; and Hurricane Katrina. Add to that the neo-Gothic aesthetic of New Orleans, and you've got yourself the perfect elements for the furnace in which some of the best American metal bands were formed. Behold: the greatest metal bands from the South.
The best Southern metal bands count among their ranks some of the best – and most influential – metal bands from anywhere in the world. The NOLA scene, soaked in the swampy waters of the bayou, pumps out slow, titanic riffs that might cave your head in, and it has produced some of the heaviest Southern bands like sludge masters Down, Crowbar, and Eyehategod. Georgia is no slouch, having churned out some of the best psychedelic and stoner metal you'll ever hear compliments of Mastodon, Baroness, and Kylesa.
And that's just the surface of the murky, ominous waters of Southern American metal bands. Scroll down to scope out the best heavy bands from the South.