What is one sludge album that is excellent? I mean truly excellent. Is there one?
Everyone praises eyehategod up and down. I don't get it. They sound like a faux intense Black Sabbath imitator with annoying vocals. I must be too shallow and pedantic to "get" it.
Seems like you get it just fine. They have a couple of decent riffs here and there but overall your post is an accurate enough description. Due to the combined problems of nearly all late 90s onwards metal being crap and a massive influx of fans who could not tell the difference between a good song and a bad one, any band that came out with something that sounded like it may have potential (or aped the past) got a lot of attention. Some of these bands have become fake `classics` which no one will remember in 20 years.
Metal seems to attract a particular breed of hipster nerd with liberal politics, high intelligence and subsequently, a need to categorize and systemize. They also have a high openness to experience, which translates into being novelty seekers. They want that next new, or old undiscovered metal gem (or even genre). They will give you pages and pages of opinions that are utterly meaningless, and as a result of this meaninglessness a number of them hold the position that musical quality (and therefore opinion) is entirely subjective. Metal fans are its worst enemy, no joke, no hyperbole.
My experience with fans of Sludge hold this to be true. Sludge is just outside of the acceptance territory for someone like your average slayer fan, but just inside the crust /alt culture /big city vegan pothead demographic. One way or another, the genre is passed off as artsy. Their other tastes always include modern black metal where it's 20 minutes of dissonant feminine riffs. The ones that feel like the band is on the verge of an emotional breakdown that never becomes. If it did, it would at least give the bands some credibility for nothing other than showing a bit of purpose.
I suppose the biggest thing for me, is that when I hear Sludge, it's immediately repulsive. I don't do heroin, I don't have piercings all over my face and dick and I don't work graveyard shirts. That's what the culture feels like when I hear that crap. Depressed and angry failures.