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Mastodon - Blood Mountain CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.73 | 353 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars The record can be described in one word: primal. It is seems to be about beasts, savagery, totemic symbolism, shamanic incantations, lycanthropy, and man's struggle against nature. So it is a concept album, with something vaguely like a main character, and something vaguely like a plot. The lyrics usually don't have a meter or rhyme, and come out in a 'stream of consciousness'. They're not amazing, but they're effectively affective.

The guest musicians reveal a lot about Mastodon: the vocalist of Neurosis, two members of TMV, and Josh Homme (King of the Desert, Lord of Hemp and 'Shroom). Mastodon is not firmly in the progressive camp. It is a metal band, influenced by progressive, hardcore, sludge, and groove metal. High-testosterone riffs interweave with psychedelic passages (the main character is starving and hallucinating). Occasionally Mastodon goes melodic, and you can even sense the smallest bit of country twang in a few songs.

As everyone knows, the instrumentation is mind-blowing. A friend of mine described his progress on learning the Colony of Birchmen guitar solo thusly: It's really f***ing hard. And of course, Mastodon's drummer has been elevated to musical godhood.

The music hits you at the gut level. Every track is entertaining, and the riffage entices you to rock out.

I wish the rating system was not so esoteric; but this album is not going to be every prog fan's cup o' tea, and so it deserves a 3. Fans of tech/extreme and even experimental/post metal should buy it. It offers a bit to psychedelic fans, too. There's some stuff that folks from the American South can appreciate (Mastodon's members acknowledge their love of some country music). But the music is not entirely made from the prog-rock palette, and thus I give it a 3 in the best possible sense of the number.

Hirgwath | 3/5 |


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