Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and drummer Brann Dailor. Their musical style features progressive concepts and unique instrumentation. All four members participate in vocals, creating a unique blend of singing styles and voices.
Mastodon has released six studio albums, as well as a number of other records. The band’s debut album, Remission, released in 2002, garnered significant critical acclaim for its unique sound. Mastodon’s second full-length release, Leviathan, is a concept album based on the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Three magazines awarded the record Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer. The song “Colony of Birchmen” from the band’s 2006 third album, Blood Mountain, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2007. Blood Mountain was followed in 2009 by Crack the Skye, and in 2011 by The Hunter, which achieved major commercial success in the United States, debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. The Hunter features the song “Curl of the Burl“, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance in 2012. Mastodon’s 2014 album, Once More ‘Round the Sun, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and features the band’s third Grammy-nominated song, “High Road“. The band’s seventh album, Emperor of Sand, will be released on March 31, 2017.
Leviathan is the second album by American heavy metal band Mastodon, released in 2004 by Relapse Records. The album is the group’s first concept album and is loosely based on the Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick, and the songs “Iron Tusk”, “Blood and Thunder”, “I Am Ahab” and “Seabeast” were released as singles. Three magazines awarded it Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer. In 2009 and 2015 MetalSucks named Leviathan the best metal album of the 21st century.
Blood And Thunder—-Aggressive right from the onset, the music is layered and comes at you from all directions. All the different vocals coming at you gives a nice variance to the sound of the band. This is brutal instrumentally…the guitars are loaded with a fuzz that is pleasant but not overwhelming. The clarity that comes back and forth on the song gives it such a huge feel. The pace is fast…but well constructed….a damn good listen.
I Am Ahab—-Magically melding from one track to the other, this delivers the same intensity as the first. The vocal difference gives the element of surprise…almost like hearing a new band on every song. This is a huge wall of drums and blistering bass guitar….but the clarity of the leads keep the melody flowing. This is fantastic
Seabeast—-Toning things down a bit in speed but not intensity, you are gain surprised by a whole new vocal style introducing the song. The soaring guitars remind me of the best days of Metal….melodic and clear. The drums are heavy…..a great rhythm section here. The ‘clean’ vocal is fantastic. No fault here.
Island—-Full of static and instant aggression, this track is kind of a free for all…..the music comes at you from every direction and the vocal is here and there. The drums stand out as on every track and the slight squeal of the bass playing is fantastic. This is speedy…aggressive and filled with energy. I love all the vocal switch offs….you will never get bored by this band.
Iron Tusk—-Coming at you with a delightful bass heavy melody line, you can almost feel the story as it progresses on this quasi-conceptual record. The drum, combined with the bass playing gives off a slight psychedelic feel here…but you are never with out the clarity of the guitars emerging and freshening everything up…..this is extraordinary..
Megalodon—-Again, adding a nice variance with a slowed down introduction and much clearer guitars, the song none the less still punches a nice power….especially as it progresses. The vocals come at you fast and varied….making me love this band all over again. I love how the leads just soar mid track and then are interrupted by the galloping bass and heavy drums. This is incredible.
Naked Burn—-Leaning much more to a pure Alternative Metal sound, this track is one of my favorite moments on this recording. While still keeping well withing the Metal realm of definition, the vocal and the switch ups musically make it very Alternative Radio friendly. The clear guitar chords are almost CRISP…but you never lose the feel of the rest of the release….such a fantastic talent.
Aqua Dementia—-A heavy lead off and a brutal vocal that carries a bit of a demented sound, the anger and venom is contagious….and it all seems to fit magically together with the entire release. This is such a talented band…you can’t deny the schizo manner of the songs…but they all come together in a magical way to create a fantastic congealed release.
Hearts Alive—-This song has so many movements and so many minutes to it!!!! It just seems like an entire record all in itself. I don’t understand how one goes about constructing something like this….but indeed it was done. The movements are like acts in a play…..I sit here amazed!!!!
Joseph Merrick—-Ending this release just as highly regarded as it began, the band has taken the listener on quite an epic journey…..supplemented my musical variance……fantastic vocal and the ability to transport you from your headphones into the middle of a scary and lone ocean. This was a magical moment in musical history….who can really say Metal is not alive and well?
***** out of 5