I was highly skeptical about the Vista Chino
album (basically the new Josh/Scott Reeder-less version of Kyuss) but damn if it isnt some of the finest straight up rock jams Ive heard in some time, lovely warm, organic tones/production, bit less jammy than Kyuss but a real grower.
Also, one last nod to a band who had a bit of a controversial ending - Thee Plague Of Gentlemen, one of the heaviest live bands I've ever seen, but the frontman had to spoil it by being a kiddie fiddler. Shame really. Rest of the members went on to form Serpentcult, who were also pretty meaty themselves, not to mention the singer was fit as fuck.
FWIW and I could be wrong but I think that dude ended up getting cleared of most of the actual fiddling charges, he did a few months for indecent exposure though. TPoG were pretty good though, I liked the Serpendcult album but they blew when I saw them play.
also, Krik Windstein has left Down to focus on Crowbar, new album due next year.
also, 2 other great sludgy albums I should've mentioned in my post:
High On Fire - the Art of Self Defense (all the first three are sludgy enough to fit the label)
Thorr's Hammer - Dommedagsnatt (another pre-Sunn O))) project, fronted by a pretty 18 year old blond with an unbelievably deep growling voice)