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Mastodon - Blood Mountain CD (album) cover

BLOOD MOUNTAIN

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.74 | 279 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Blood Mountain is the third full-length studio album by American experimental metal act Mastodon. Mastodon left Relapse Records after the huge success of their second full-length studio album Leviathan (2004) and signed a major record deal with Reprise Records ( A subsidary to Warner Music Group Company). A decision to move from a smaller company ( which tends to focus on the artistic side of music) and into the big league ( which tends to focus first on making money and then if you´re lucky on artistic values) always creates lots of speculations. I think many a fan was worried about the prospects of how Blood Mountain would sound like when it was released. With the high quality material on this album I´m sure none were disappointed. This is one of the rare cases were artistic values and commercial interests go hand in hand.

The music on Blood Mountain is a natural progression from the music on Leviathan. The style is still experimental metal with elements from both thrash metal, hardcore, post metal, psychadelic rock and progressive rock. The vocals are a mix of shouting angry type vocals and clean rough singing. The latter style is more used on Blood Mountain than it was on Leviathan giving the album a more melodic edge. This is still furious, fast played, complex and aggressive music though. Blood Mountain is just a more varied affair than anything Mastodon had done before. Just listen to the strange processed vocals on the song Bladecatcher or the psychadelic rock singing in closing track Pendulous Skin. The album took some time to sink in for me though. After being blown away by the powerful opening trio of songs The Wolf Is Loose, Crystal Skull and Sleeping Giant I found myself having a hard time remembering other songs from the album ( with exceptions like Bladecatcher of course). I´ve listened and listened to find details to hang on to ( and there are many), hooks I could remember or just a memorable song line. After listening to Blood Mountain many times I´ve succeeded in my quest. For some people this is an easily accessible album but not for me. But the click that came when I finally got it, was so rewarding that I wouldn´t have been without my long journey. I enjoy musical challenges and this is certainly one.

The musicianship is excellent. Powerful, fast as hell and complex drumming, sharp yet melodic guitar riffing and vocals that match. The vocals are the weak point though if I have to make one complaint.

The production by Matt Bayles and Mastodon is powerful and intense. A professional and well sounding production.

Blood Mountain is another great album by Mastodon. With this album they cemented their position as one of the most respected and successful experimental metal acts in the last ten years and a 4 star rating is well deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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