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LIFESBLOOD

Mastodon

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars So, I'll finally start to review the Mastodon's albums, a band that I've followed for years... This little EP, their first official release, is their least worthy work!

Mainly because the true style of the band would be later developed... While in this album the dominant key is death metal, with some trash and stoner rock elements, and a bit of experimentation. Ok, this mixture is the Mastodon's trademark, but in Lifesblood the direction of the tracks is not really clear, and a bit too caothic. The poor production don't help to improve the sensation this 5 tracks give. The vocals are really poor in comparition with later Mastodon's albums, and they are too synthetised and artificial.

But if you are a Mastodon fan, of course you'll find some interesting things here... Like I find. We Built this Come Death has some of this macabre and odd ambience that Mastodon can give to their songs. The little initial riff of Hail to Fire has the typical sharp and special Mastodon''s guitar sound, and Brann Dailor was impressive behing the drumkit yet... And of course, Battle at Sea is a really worthy track, a little Mastodon's classic.

Nevertheless, if you are new to the band, I recommend you to start with one of their full lenght albums (specially Leviathan or Blood Mountain).

Conclusion: if you are not a Mastodon's fan, you will hardly find anything interesting here... Because this album is maybe too rough, too death metal, and the later Mastodon's style is almost invisible here. I'm not speaking in terms of prog (are Mastodon really prog?), but in terms of quality and the original and unique sound that Mastodon give to their music in albums like the great Leviathan. So in my humble opinion, Lifesblood is only recommended for fans and completionists.

My rating: **1/2

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#174112)
Posted Monday, June 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Mastodon - Lifesblood 2.5

A typical debut EP.

It happens for nearly all bands to put out an immature debut EP, and Mastodon is no different. I think it is better than most efforts though since it already contained a nice new taste of metal, the only lackluster would be the result of some unfulfilling influences such as death metal and trash, however they weren't the abundance. The abundance would mostly be a straight 'metal' sound and some of the nice twists, tempo and time changes that Mastodon would conjure up on further releases.

One thing to take note of would be the virtuoso drummer Brann Dailor. Besides Buddy Guy, Brann can rip up a small drum set like no other, but can keep a nice simple beat, meaning he is not an over-indulgent musician. The guitarists take a lot of influence from classic rock artists, the largest being ACDC, as stated in interviews. They're the type that just likes to plug in and jam, and at this stage, it sounds just like that.

On later releases, the nice hard rock jams will still be there, but the band will open up quite a bit too nice experimentations and conjure up some strong sections and wonderful melodies. If there is one thing that this EP showed, would be promise.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#175928)
Posted Wednesday, July 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Lifesblood is the debut EP from US experimental metal act Mastodon. Released before their debut album Remission, Lifesblood was the first taste of Mastodonīs unique sound.

The music is very raw and brutal but still with some clever moments that show where Mastodon would be a few years down the line. The first four songs are pretty short and direct brutal metal tracks while the last song Battle at Sea shows Mastodonīs more varied approach. Itīs also the longest track on Lifesblood with its 4:16 minutes playing time. Iīve read several places that the music on Lifesblood was death metal, but thatīs far from the truth IMO. Mastodon incorporates elements from many genres such as Thrash, hardcore, psychadelic and progressive rock, traditional heavy metal and very little death metal ( thereīs a riff in Welcoming War where I think it sounds a bit like death metal, but thatīs an exception)

The musicianship is excellent and as the case also is on later releases from the band, Brann Dailorīs drumming means everything for Mastodonīs sound. He is the very definition of Mastodonīs sound IMO. One of the best drummers in modern metal. The vocals are allright but they would get much better on later releases.

The production is a bit too raw IMO, but on the other hand it fits the music well.

Lifesblood is a great start for Mastodon. It put them on the metal map right away and itīs been going their way ever since which is of course deserved as they have been making better and better albums all the time. Lifesblood is a really good EP that doesnīt quite reach excellent and a 3 star rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#189459)
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team
4 stars Progressive death sludge, anyone? Yeah? Then check out LIFESBLOOD, the very first release by MASTODON. This is the first official release preceding 'Remission' by a year but like that debut LP it's a massive molten heap of hot, sludgy brutality. This EP only contains five tracks that are just shy of the 16 minute mark, but this little beast does not disappoint, that is if you love your metal fast, brutal and raw. Think Behemoth meets Neurosis here, only with the progressive leanings of a much more sophisticated band like early Atheist. While the the vocals are brutal, growly and tortured, the music is equally brutal but sophisticated and unrelenting and most of all shows MASTODON with a unique progressive style of metal from the very first track.

Like many, i didn't hear this one until after all the full-length albums. I never hold out any hopes for these early releases but i have to admit that with MASTODON it's the early brutal beasts that rock my world the most. Brann Dailor is the star here showing us from the start that he is one of the fastest technical drummers in the universe. He claims his playing was developed from playing with the guitars instead of the bass as most metal bands tend to. Whatever the case, wow! I can hardly ignore the excellent guitar and bass work of the rest of the band. Every player is top notch and the passion pits are flowing here living up to the name of the giant extinct mammal after which they are named.

While this EP isn't essential, i would argue that the tracks on it are. They are also available these days on the 'Call Of The MASTODON' compilation albeit without the movie track samplings that begin the tracks on the original, which has become quite the rare collectible only having been produced limited numbers. If you love MASTODON at their most aggressive and unpolished then you will love this one. I swear this even blows 'Remission' away. Not even close to as polished as the later works but satisfying for its raw beastly brutality nonetheless. LIFESBLOOD is an excellent slice of progressive death sludge metal in my world.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1430199)
Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | Review Permalink

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