Modern stoner metal can be separated into three waves. The first wave began in the early ’90s with bands such as Sleep and Kyuss. Borrowing from Led Zeppelin’s riffing mysticism and the heavy psych of Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, these bands chose to slow their grooves. Instead of headbang, one methodically nods, raises one hand skyward (fingers curled inward as if holding a piece of fruit), and lives within the riff. It’s an escape, a visceral sound of quaking bass and atmospheric feedback, and the stoned appeal only makes sense. Josh Homme has complained about the stereotypical nature of the “stoner” tag when applied to Queens of the Stone Age, but it’s more an aesthetic identifier than any judgment on the music and its listeners. The fact remains: Slow riffs sound good when you’re high. As long as people are getting high (and they most certainly will be), there will be a place for the hypnotic, downtuned chug and songs about motorcycles, mountains, and mysterious women.