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Mastodon - Leviathan CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.88 | 325 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Mastodon's second album was my introduction to the band and it sure wasn't love at first sight. The musical depth has grown since the debut but there are a number of mannerisms that spoil the experience for me. In fact, it wasn't till I heard Blood Mountain that this band started making any sense to me at all. A few years later this still remains my least favourite Mastodon.

This album is a lot of fun for a good 10 minutes. That's how long you will be stunned by its intricate mix of hardcore alternative metal, by its fast paced drumming and busy song writing. But sooner or later you will come to realize that this is just another typical metal album that keeps repeating the same handful of tricks throughout the album. Once you've heard the opening track, you've heard everything that will happen on the album. No variation, no dynamics, no life.

Now, I could have applied that same criticism to the debut as well but somehow that album managed to bring better songwriting, and more importantly, it sounded raw, sincere and packed with intensity. I can't help but finding Leviathan a contrived and prog-wannabe album where Mastodon mistake complication for progressiveness, making each song too busy and indulging a drumming style that can stand as an example of tasteless overplaying. It's so bad that it even annoys me. It ultimately results in a monotonous and tiring album. Only the furious opening tracks and the entrancing second half of Hearts Alive manage to awaken any interest in me.

Another point of criticism goes to the vocals. They fail to convey any strength or poise and sound old, scruffy and tired. Rather like your old nanny with a bad cold then the fearsome vehicle for aggression that they should be.

This might have been Mastodon's commercial breakthrough, but this is the kind of music that tries to impress the listener by fast-paced technicalities and musical overabundance. Unfortunately for Mastodon I'm not easily impressed. Instead, I like to be moved by music. But there's not much here that will move the listener. Yet, a fast back-and-forth moving effect on the heads of metalfans has been observed.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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