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Mastodon - Blood Mountain CD (album) cover

BLOOD MOUNTAIN

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.76 | 253 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ok, it didn't work. So let's go back to the traditional format.

Last year this album was mentioned in a lot of posts in the forum as one of the best albums of 2006, and some even heralded it as a masterpiece of prog-metal. Of course I felt compelled to buy the record to see if the music lived up to the hype. I already had experienced a disappointment with the choice for Album of The Year, so my fears about this particular album weren't completely unfounded. And then I heard it.

First, let me say it right away: if you listen to music from a certain perspective, this actually could be heralded as a masterpiece. This is metal, really hard, heavy, violent metal, but played with the utmost precision and with excellent technical skills. We hear echoes of bands like Messhugah and Death here and there, and that would be a good way to describe the music: a mix between technical metal (with just hints of death metal) and of that violent, hammering music that Messhugah delivers, but with a lot of original elements. There are also hardcore influences here, for sure, and even some industrial-metal sounds (which for me isn't too good). The music, extremely violent at times, does never lose precision nor coherence, and it's easy to tell each song from the other. There are a few (in caps: A FEW) moments of something resembling melody in the album, and there are bits where the singer actually sings. The guitar playing is very interesting, as is the drumming which never lets us down. I can see why the bad is here in PA, as there are a lot of instrumental passages, songs connect with the others with a smooth, rational flow, but that's about it.

If you like more melodic, tuneful metal, then BLOOD MOUNTAIN can't be heralded as a masterpiece, as the violence crushes everything in its wake, melody one of the biggest casualties of this musical war. As I said before, another one of the elements that I don't particularly like are those that remind me of hardcore and industrial metal, as I pretty much can't stand any of the two genres.

About the progressiveness, this is not the place to discuss such matters, but let me say that this is one of those albums where, one second you can find arguments in favor of its being categorized as prog, the next minute you can come up with 5 other reasons as to why Mastodon isn't prog. I don't have an answer myself but I have a saying in the rating I give to any album I review, so, in that light, I would say that Mastodon's latest is NOT a masterpiece, but if you look at it from a different point of view, it CERTAINLY CAN BE. Let me clarify that: for violent, ultra-heavy music, this IS a masterpiece, as everything works so perfectly and there's even room for some actual music here and there; but for rock music in general, and for what I think and like, this is too violent and there's not enough melody.

3 stars. I can't go higher, but I also can't go lower.

Recommended for: Fans of extreme metal with "brains", fans of violent metal, fans of Messhugah, and open-minded prog-rock fans that can withstand a vicious musical attack.

Not recommended: People that like melodic music and who can't stand extreme noise and a relentless attack on their eardrums.

.if you listen to this album, blood won't be coming from a mountain, but from your ears.

The T | 3/5 |

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