It's easy to get carried away with sludge metal. Worshippers at the altar of the riff often find themselves poised at one of two extremes: playing 20-plus minute feedback-laden dirges to half-catatonic audiences or essentially becoming a loud blues-rock band. While neither one of these things is inherently bad, it's nice when a sludge metal band is able to stir the pot (pun absolutely intended) a bit, and Portland, Oregon's Lord Dying does just that. Its latest LP, 2015's "Poisoned Altars," hits a rare sweet spot that blends Crowbar-inspired riffs and vocals with subtle hints of prog-metal that call to mind early Mastodon. It's the sound of an exciting band breathing life into a genre that's in danger of going up in smoke.
Lord Dying will play with Black Fast, Child Bite, The Highest Leviathan, and Monolith on Wednesday, August 31, at The Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Avenue. 9 p.m. $12 over 21; $14 under. bugjar.com; lorddying.bandcamp.com.