13 Incredible Bands Similar To Mastodon

Written by Dan Farrant

In the world of heavy metal, few bands have made as much of an impact as Mastodon. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the band has been shaking the music scene since 2000 with their sludge metal, progressive rock, and psychedelic sound.

For those of you who want more music akin to Mastodon’s distinct style, this article is for you. In this post, we’re going to take a look at 13 incredible bands like Mastodon. Let’s get started.

Mastodon by Adam Kliczek (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. Baroness

Beginning this list is Baroness. Hailing from Savannah, Georgia, this band has been releasing head-banging music since 2007. Blending progressive elements with sludge and heavy metal influences, they have drawn comparisons to other bands like Mastodon, Red Fang, and Kylesa.

They debuted with Red Album in 2007. They followed this up with four more color-themed albums over the years that further refined their sound and received widespread praise.

Tragically, the band was involved in a severe bus accident while touring for the Yellow & Green album in 2012, leading to the departure of bassist Summer Welch and drummer Allen Blickle.

Despite the setback, Baroness continued to forge ahead. Surprisingly, their latest work is not color-titled. Still in progress, Stone is set to be released in September of 2023.

2. High On Fire

Hailing from Oakland, California, High on Fire has made a name for themselves as a powerful force in the American heavy metal music scene. With their blend of aggressive riffs and intense melodies, they have earned comparisons to other respected metal bands like Mastodon.

High on Fire’s connection with Mastodon goes beyond musical similarities, though; both bands have gone on a tour together, along with Dethklok and Converge, back in 2009.

Mastodon fans interested in checking High on Fire’s discography can’t go wrong with Luminiferous, Snakes for the Divine, and Electric Messiah.

3. The Sword

Hailing from Austin, Texas, The Sword is a heavy metal band that has gained widespread recognition for their doom and stoner metal sound. Often compared to Mastodon in terms of style, The Sword’s music incorporates elements of psychedelic rock and arty hard rock.

Formed in 2003, The Sword quickly made an impact with their debut album, Age of Winters, featuring kick-ass stoner anthems laced with powerful riffs reminiscent of bands like Mastodon.

Unfortunately for fans, The Sword announced their disbandment in 2018 through vocalist/guitarist John. Despite their breakup, they remain highly influential among modern heavy metal bands.

4. Kylesa

Another band that falls into the same category as Mastodon is Kylesa. This heavy music group hails from Savannah, Georgia, and has been releasing music since 2001.

Some of their most acclaimed works include albums like Time Will Fuse Its Worth in 2006, Static Tensions in 2009, and Spiral Shadow in 2010. Sadly, in 2016, following the release of their seventh studio album, Exhausting Fire, Kylesa announced they’d be going on an indefinite hiatus.

Despite this change, Kylesa’s influence continues in the heavy metal scene. Their work has made them trailblazers in their field. They’ve amassed a dedicated fan base, evident from their strong social media presence.

5. Opeth

A prominent Swedish prog metal band, Opeth formed in 1990 by vocalist David Isberg. Mikael Åkerfeldt, who would later become the band’s primary songwriter and longest-serving member, joined shortly after.

With 13 studio albums, four live DVDs, and four live albums under their belt, Opeth has become one of the most influential bands in the heavy metal genre.

One of the band’s most notable achievements is their album Damnation, which won the Swedish Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2003. This was a significant milestone, given the album’s departure from the band’s heavier sound in favor of a more melodic style.

Despite several lineup changes over the years, Opeth remains strong in creating music, with Åkerfeldt its driving creative force.

6. Neurosis

In 1985, guitarist Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, and drummer Jason Roeder got together to form the highly influential band called Neurosis.

The band was initially associated with the hardcore punk scene, but over time, they started incorporating elements of doom metal, sludge metal, and industrial music, creating a sound described as post-metal or atmospheric sludge that highly impacted Mastodon and countless other metal bands that followed.

Though much of their earlier albums did not chart, this did not stop them from gaining a loyal following. However, in 2007, Given to the Rising became their first charting work, peaking at #31 on Billboard‘s Heatseekers Albums chart. Their releases after this all landed on the US charts, a testament to their popularity and appeal.

7. Gojira

French metal band Gojira has captivated audiences with their heavy and progressive music since 1996. Originally founded as Godzilla, the band shifted focus to Gojira in 2001 after facing legal issues due to the iconic monster-inspired name.

Their newest album release Fortitude (2021), is actually their greatest work, landing at the #2 spot on France’s chart and #12 on Billboard 200. With memorable tracks like “Another World” and “Amazonia,” it’s no wonder this album received high praise from critics and listeners alike.

Fans of Mastodon or anyone looking for similar bands should definitely check out Gojira! They offer a sound that is both familiar and refreshing, combining epic guitar riffs with intricate drumming patterns that create a truly unique listening experience.

8. Isis

Post-metal band Isis was formed in 1997 and hailed from Boston—their music incorporated elements of experimental rock, progressive rock, and heavy metal.

Isis rose to prominence with their third full-length album, Oceanic, in 2002. This album marked a turning point in their musical style, featuring more melodic and progressive elements.

In 2010, after releasing five studio albums, Isis announced their decision to disband, stating that they had done everything they wanted to do as a band. Their final show took place in Montreal, where they had played their first show.

Although Isis is no longer active, they remain one of the most influential bands within the post-metal genre today.

9. Tool

Our next rock band, Tool, formed in 1990 in Los Angeles, California. The band’s original lineup includes Maynard James Keenan (vocals), Adam Jones (guitars), Danny Carey (drums), and Paul D’Amour (bass), who Justin Chancellor later replaced.

Tool’s music straddles the line between heavy metal and progressive rock. Their second album, Ænima, released in 1996, marked a shift towards a more progressive sound. It was a commercial success, reaching multi-Platinum status and winning the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1998.

After taking a break in 2006, Tool returned in with their fifth studio album, Fear Inoculum, in 2019. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and received widespread critical acclaim.

10. Between The Buried And Me

North Carolina–based prog metal band Between the Buried and Me was formed in 2000 with Tommy Giles Rogers Jr., Paul Waggoner, and Dan Briggs its members.

The band started as a more traditional metalcore act but quickly began to incorporate elements from a wide range of genres, including progressive rock, jazz fusion, and death metal, into their music.

Their breakthrough came with Alaska, which was released in 2005. The album marked a shift in their musical style towards a more progressive sound, featuring longer compositions and more diverse influences.

Since then, Between the Buried and Me has continued to push the boundaries of progressive metal with their subsequent releases. Their eighth album, Coma Ecliptic (2015), reached #12 on the Billboard 200, making it their highest-charting album to date.

Despite their evolution, the band has retained their heavy sound. As of 2023, they continue to produce new music and tour, much to the delight of their dedicated fan base.

11. Converge

Formed in 1990 in Salem, Massachusetts, Converge‘s music is rooted in hardcore punk and metal, but they have consistently pushed the boundaries of these genres throughout their career.

They are often credited as pioneers of the metalcore genre due to their fusion of extreme metal and hardcore punk. However, their sound has evolved to incorporate post-hardcore, mathcore, and experimental rock, making them one of the most distinctive bands in heavy music.

Converge gained recognition in the underground music scene with their early releases, but it was their fourth album, Jane Doe, in 2001 that received high praise even though it did not chart. Following this, Converge continued to release critically acclaimed albums.

Throughout their career, Converge has had a significant impact on the heavy music scene. They’ve been awarded Metal/Hardcore Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards consecutively from 2012 to 2014. Today, they continue their legacy and still produce music.

12. Cult Of Luna

Swedish post-metal band Cult of Luna has been likened to contemporaries Neurosis and Isis. They have become known as the dominant force in post-metal since their inception in 1998.

After debuting in 2001 with an eponymous album, Cult of Luna’s discography has become diverse and expansive. One of their most notable releases is The Long Road North, which came out in February 2022. This album, like their previous works, received praise for its rich storytelling and vast sonic landscape.

Cult of Luna continues to push its boundaries and influence a new generation of bands with their unconventional song structures and prog metal sound.

13. Intronaut

We conclude with Intronaut, a Los Angeles, California, progressive metal band formed in 2004. They are celebrated for their sound that mixes elements of prog rock, jazz fusion, and sludge metal.

Often, their songs feature a balance of heavy, aggressive sections with more melodic moments, creating a dynamic listening experience that has become a hallmark of their style.

The band’s debut album, Void, was released in 2006 and introduced the world to this style. However, it was subsequent albums like Habitual Levitations (2013) and The Direction of Last Things (2015) that solidified their place in the progressive metal landscape, both of which peaked in the top 10 of the Heatseekers chart.

Today, Intronaut continues to be a prominent figure in the progressive metal scene. And with the release of their latest album, Fluid Existential Inversions (2020), they show commitment to their work.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Mastodon

As you have read, from sludge metal masters Baroness and Kylesa to heavy hitters High on Fire and Gojira, there is no shortage of alternative metal options for fans looking for Mastodon-esque sounds.

We hope you were able to find new songs and albums within this post that has enriched your playlist.

Our list is far from complete, though, so if there are bands you believe should be included here, let us know so we can add them!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.