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MASTODON

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Mastodon biography
MASTODON was formed in 1999 when Brann Dailor (drums) and Bill Kelliher (guitars),former members of TODAY IS THE DAY and LETHARGY emmigrated to Atlanta from their native Rochester,New York and met Brent Hinds (guitars,vocals) and Troy Sanders (bass,vocals).In 2000 they recorded a demo that is referred to as the "9 song demo",which actually featured the bands first lead singer Eric Saner on vocals.This recording was remastered and released by Relapse Records with the title "Call of the Mastodon" in 2006.After a short time Saner left the band due to personal reasons and MASTODON signed with Relapse in 2001.

The bands first official release was the well received "Lifesblood" EP in 2001,but since then the band has moved away from the music of this release stylistically.In 2002 MASTODON released their first official full-length album "Remission".

2004 heralded the release of Leviathan,a concept album loosely based on Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick.This is the album that steers MASTODON'S music away from the sludge/post-hardcore sound and sees the band experimenting and becoming more progressive.It is impressively well constructed,with each song flowing into the next,giving it a very natural feel.With slower,chunkier riffs,odd-time rhythms,cleaner vocals and a better production,it also contains a bona-fide epic with the 13 minute track "Hearts Alive".This album is literally driven by Dailor's hyperactive,fill-happy jazz/progressive style melded seamlessly with Sanders bass work,Kelliher's and Hinds' intricate and complex riffs and Sander's and Hind's alternating clean and growling vocals to tell the tale.

In 2005 two forthcoming releases were announced,the aforementioned "Call of the Mastodon",and the "The Workhorse Chronicles",a DVD containing interviews and concert footage,including material from the band's early days as a five-piece.Both were released in 2006.This effectively ended MASTODON'S deal with Relapse Records.

In 2006 MASTODON released their third full-length album "Blood Mountain",which was originally planned as one long piece of music,but which later became a collection of individual songs rather than another full blown concept album.The album contains guest appearances from NEUROSIS vocalist Scott Kelly,QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE'S Josh Homme and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of THE MARS VOLTA.

MASTODON'S greatest strength is their ability to explore the progressive and experimental side of the metal coin while keeping t...
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Buy MASTODON Music


Once More 'Round The SunOnce More 'Round The Sun
Warner Bros. 2014
Audio CD$7.48
$6.48 (used)
Crack the Skye [Vinyl]Crack the Skye [Vinyl]
Reprise 2009
Vinyl$14.41
$26.59 (used)
The HunterThe Hunter
Reprise 2011
Audio CD$4.95
$4.84 (used)
Blood MountainBlood Mountain
Reprise / Wea 2006
Audio CD$2.58
$1.58 (used)
LeviathanLeviathan
Relapse 2004
Audio CD$5.87
$4.00 (used)
Remission Deluxe ReissueRemission Deluxe Reissue
MRI 2014
Audio CD$6.00
$5.99 (used)
Call of the Mastodon [Vinyl]Call of the Mastodon [Vinyl]
Relapse 2014
Vinyl$12.35
$25.59 (used)
Live At The Aragon (CD+DVD)Live At The Aragon (CD+DVD)
Reprise 2011
Audio CD$7.98
$4.31 (used)
Mastodon: The Workhorse ChroniclesMastodon: The Workhorse Chronicles
Multiple Formats
Relapse 2006
DVD$7.00
$2.90 (used)
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More places to buy MASTODON music online Buy MASTODON & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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MASTODON shows & tickets


  • Vive Latino 2015 on 13 Mar 2015
  • Mastodon at Teatro Estudio Cavaret, Zapopan on 13 Mar 2015
  • Mastodon on 25 Mar 2015
  • Mastodon at Festival Hall, West Melbourne, Victoria on 27 Mar 2015
  • Mastodon at Big Top Luna Park, Sydney on 28 Mar 2015
  • Mastodon at Eatons Hill Hotel & Function Centre, Eatons Hill, Brisbane, Queensland on 29 Mar 2015
  • Hellfest 2015 on 19 Jun 2015

MASTODON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MASTODON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 133 ratings
Remission
2002
3.87 | 267 ratings
Leviathan
2004
3.74 | 279 ratings
Blood Mountain
2006
4.08 | 492 ratings
Crack the Skye
2009
3.80 | 340 ratings
The Hunter
2011
3.81 | 124 ratings
Once More 'Round the Sun
2014

MASTODON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 30 ratings
Live at the Aragon
2011

MASTODON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.38 | 8 ratings
The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years, 2000 - 2005
2011

MASTODON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 25 ratings
Call Of The Mastodon
2006

MASTODON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.80 | 13 ratings
Lifesblood
2001
3.20 | 11 ratings
Divinations
2009
3.60 | 10 ratings
Oblivion EP
2009
3.04 | 20 ratings
Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly EP
2010
2.48 | 10 ratings
Curl of the Burl
2011
3.67 | 9 ratings
Black Tongue
2011

MASTODON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Once More 'Round the Sun by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 124 ratings

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Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Once More 'Round the Sun" is the 6th full-length studio album by US metal act Mastodon. The album was released through Reprise Records in June 2014. "The Hunter (2011)" proved to be a big success for the band, and they´ve spend a lot of time touring in support of that album, which is part of the reason why there are 3 years between the two albums, but Mastodon have never been a band to release anything unless they are fully satisfied with the material they´ve composed, so they´ve also taken the time necessary to write the best possible material for "Once More 'Round the Sun".

"The Hunter (2011)" featured a less complex and more catchy and straight forward heavy metal sound, than the musical style on the earlier more raw, sludgy, and progressive releases by the band, and that stylistic change is continued and developed upon on "Once More 'Round the Sun". While the music on the album certainly is memorable with catchy choruses and powerful riffs, it´s not simple by any means and mainstream appeal is only present in smaller doses. Mastodon have not completely forgotten their sludgy past either and while the most hard edged tracks on "Once More 'Round the Sun" don´t compare in rawness to earlier material, some tracks are still pretty harsh.

And the variation of the material is one of the things that makes "Once More 'Round the Sun" such a great release. On the album you´ll find both heavy/stoner rockers, darker psychadelic tinged rock/metal tracks, and the above mentioend harsher sludgy tracks (and often all styles are combined). Another great feature is the attention to detail in the songwriting, which is something Mastodon excel in. While the music generally flows naturally and doesn´t sound constructed, these guys have obviously been through every second of music on this release to see if they could do anything different to make it sound better.

All material on the album are as a result well written and intriguing (even the most simple vers/chorus structured tracks are detailed and interesting). The music is well performed too. Great organic interplay between all involved, and the vocals, which on the band´s early releases were a bit more one-dimensional, are now more varied with both clean and raw vocal styles featured in the music. Mastodon have obviously worked a lot on their vocal melodies and how they perform them, because the vocal part of "Once More 'Round the Sun" is more catchy, powerful, and memorable than ever.

The organic sounding production is also a winner and helps bring out the best in the music, so all in all "Once More 'Round the Sun" is a high quality release by Mastodon. With the success of "The Hunter (2011)" I was wondering if Mastodon would strip down their sound and aim for an even more mainstream oriented sound on "Once More 'Round the Sun", but I don´t really think that´s the case. "Once More 'Round the Sun" is equally as adventurous as "The Hunter (2011)" and it´s nice to hear that the band haven´t completely abandoned their progressive ways in search of commercial success, even though the more simple sound on this one and on "The Hunter (2011)" are a far cry in sound and style (not in quality) compared to the more progressive predecessors. Mastodon seemingly insist on not settling or getting too comfortable and I find that greatly charming. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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 Once More 'Round the Sun by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 124 ratings

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Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars For the first few songs on Once More 'Round The Sun, I finally start to understand Mastodon. Over the last decade or so, the Georgian four-piece have basically become one of the metal bands that the masses collectively beat off to. All of their records up to 2011's The Hunter have been praised beyond belief for various reasons, from the intense energy and crushing groove of their early material to the progressive-sludge linings of 2009's Crack the Skye, Mastodon essentially had the metal world (or at least the critics) begging for more. And honestly, I never really got it. I mean, I dig Crack The Skye somewhat, being a big prog nut, but I could never really hear what people were gushing over, it was just a pretty good album that merged two metal genres pretty well. I guess if I focused on the instrumentation solely then it is pretty damn tight, and they certainly have a knack for a good groove, but I never really enjoyed it.

So come 2011 and Mastodon are tired of being Mastodon and (gasp!) decide to go mainstream and accessible. And honestly, I still didn't get it. To me, The Hunter is basically the Mastodon of before with shorter songs and less screaming. The cries of "radio-friendly hard rock!" went straight through me, because "Curl of the Burl" is actually pretty bloody heavy for modern radio. Some people I know went as far as to condemn them to hell - a good friend of mine even saying "that band is basically on the same level as Nickelback to me now". But even "accessible Mastodon" evaded me a bit.

But man, the first three songs on this new album have really clicked with me. They take the 'radio friendly' hooks of The Hunter, and make them better and more memorable, but they have amped up the intensity and intricacy of the instrumentals around them, which honestly heightens both aspects immensely. "Tread Lightly" is [%*!#]ing insane, with Brann Dailor's spastic drumming (one of the best parts of this record, and one of the best performances from this year, even if he does use the same snare fill a lot) and Troy Sanders' rumbling bass keeping the energy up for five straight minutes of intensity. It's here that the intricacy of Mastodon's instrumentals really start to come through, but they're amplified by the insanely catchy hooks. You can't tell seriously me that the vocal chorus of "The Motherload" isn't the catchiest [%*!#]in thing you've heard this year. It's so majestic and fun, but it doesn't compromise complexity for a memorable hook. Lead single "High Road" also has a hell of a chorus, soaring high above the sludgy and tight verses to lift the song up so high. You combine tight grooves, insane playing and proggy riffs with majestic and insanely catchy choruses that make everyone want to sing along and you've got a recipe for whatever the metal equivalent of a 'banger' is.

And then it just floats away. I honestly don't think the term "top-heavy" can be more true here, because the rest of the album just never matches the tight intensity of the opening three. I guess it's kind of hard to construct an album to follow such an explosive beginning, because if you keep going down the same path then the album gets repetitive, and if you change and pull out some songs with different moods, the energy dies and the listener gets bored. It's not all bad though, and the mid-album duo of "Chimes at Midnight" and "Asleep In The Deep" are probably at the same level as the openers, but for different reasons. These two are both more linear tracks, following pretty much the same mood for the whole track, and both are without an extremely definable hook. Of course, the pleb in me really just wants a bitchin chorus to come in and lift it up, and the latter of the two nearly does, but the songs are pretty solid in themselves. The former is a groove-fest, with the entire song being driven by a paced and insanely tight triplet pattern on the guitars. The latter is a slower song, really bringing out Mastodon's influence from stoner rock on this album, with a guitar pattern that reminds me a lot of modern occult-rock bands like Jess and the Ancient Ones.

But the rest of the album really just doesn't hold up, despite having moments. "Ember City" and "Halloween" both have relatively good hooks, but there isn't enough substance outside of the choruses to hold them up. Many of the latter tracks - notably "Aunt Lisa" and "Feast Your Eyes", have riffs that really don't lock into a solid groove and end up sounding like a slop of random notes, and then we have "Diamond In The Witch House", which is honestly just straight-up boring in its nearly 8-minute length, even though longer songs is something I normally lap up. The biggest problem with an album as top-heavy as this is that I want to turn it off as soon as I get to track seven. It's not bad in any way, but it just doesn't hold up its weight throughout. As for how it compared to the Mastodon discography, I can't really say, because as I said at the start, they have really not impressed me to this level in the past. I think that the combination of groove, melody, accessibility and complexity that they showcase in this album's opening quarter is really impressive, though, and even though this may be an 'accessible' album (I mean, I like it, so it must be), there's still a lot for the classic fans to love in here.

7.2

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

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 Once More 'Round the Sun by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 124 ratings

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Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by javajeff

5 stars Ok, so it is not as progressive as Crack the Skye. It is not as raw as Remission. Sure there is more production than other releases, but that is to be understood from their latest offering. I can say that this is a superb collection of songs. Sure there is no 20 minute track, but this album flows so well as one homogeneous piece of music. The band sounds tight, melodic, and unmistakably Mastodon. The amazing musicianship, excellent songwriting and compositions are all prevalent. I gave this many listens prior to rating it because I wanted it to sink in. I find myself enjoying it immensely and listening to it right now. Once More 'Round the Sun may just be their best album yet. But with an amazing catalog, Mastodon proves they can do no wrong.

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 Once More 'Round the Sun by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.81 | 124 ratings

BUY
Once More 'Round the Sun
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars What really can I say about Mastodon. Ever since these guys came out, they have been receiving nothing but praise. I even have seen people describe them as the most important metal band out at the moment...and I have to agree. These guys have been surprising audiences and critics alike for over 10 years now have been wowing pretty much anybody who listens to them.

After the success and absolute madness that was 'Crack The Skye', the band returned to their metal roots with 'The Hunter' but where showing some slight touches towards a more contemporary style. Now they have pretty much gone fully contemporary. Musically the album has the band going towards the light of...popular music. Now don't get me wrong, they aren't doing songs with Avici or Nicki Minaj, but the band are sounding a lot more polished and poppier. The songs definite have a lot more focus on chorus and standard song structures with melodic phrasing. Drummer Brann Dailor's vocals are now way more prominent, which I believe to be a good thing because I think he has a brilliant voice. I have heard a few people criticise Brent's vocals on this album, but I think his vocals are better than ever. Now and then his vocals can be rather hard to interpret, but melodically they sound great. And as always, Troy's vocals are getting better album by album.

Now, this album isn't perfect, I do have some gripes. The first half does slightly eclipse the second half, but I overall don't think there is a bad song on this album. One slight gripe I have is with the production. Now having a lot more noticeable and catchier vocal hooks, I do feel that the vocals are a bit too low in the mix. While I do like Brann's vocals becoming more prominent I feel his drumming is lacking on this album. On albums like 'Leviathan' and 'Blood Mountain', Brann's drumming was almost Keith Moon in nature. On this album, they are pretty normal. Still impressive but nothing mindblowing sadly.

The opening track 'Tread Lightly' is a brilliant opener. An all out riff fest, the song also shows off the vocals from Troy and Brann, with some nice hooks and musical moments throughout.

One of the albums best tracks has to be 'The Motherload.' Having a rather 80's Ozzy Osbourne feel to it, Brann gives off one of his best vocal performances singing a great chorus. Probably the catchiest song on the album and a possible next single.

The album's lead single 'High Road' is the perfect choice. Starting off with a black metal influenced riff, the verses are heavy as hell before the chorus kicks in with a rather anthemic feel behind it. The real moment to shine on this track has to be the guitar solos in the middle 8. The music video for this song is also pretty great too.

'Chimes At Midnight' to me reminds me of previous track 'Black Tongue.' Packed full of kick ass riffs and boasting a brilliant vocal performance from Troy. One of the most interesting instrumental songs on the album and being more focused towards Mastodon's previous sounds.

'Asleep In The Deep' is probably one of the most unique songs the band have made so far. At times the song edges on pop/indie rock sounds before turning into a space rock mammnoth by the end. Some great vocals by Brann and Troy throughout too.

One of the oddest tracks on the album has to be 'Aunt Lisa.' Being rather ecclectic with its arrangements, it has some odd twists and turns, including an ending with female gang vocals.

The final and longest track on the album ''Diamond In The Witch House' is a song which features Scott Kelly from Neurosis. One of the least catchiest songs but musically interesting songs, it truncheons along like a Mastodon would do if they where still walking about today. I do think this sounds too familiar to Kelly's band Neurosis, but it does have some nice moments throughout.

In conclusion, this album pretty much proves the band can't make a bad album. Going into a more mainstream direction can be dangerous territory for certain artists, but Mastodon have been able to 'Tread Lightly' into a more contemporary style while still being true to themselves. Packed full of tunes and opening many doors for the band. Godspeed to them as they continue to make great music.

8.3/10

Genres: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Pop Rock, Sludge, Space Rock

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 2014

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 Blood Mountain by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 279 ratings

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Blood Mountain
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've never been too hot on Queens of the Stone Age, so to detect a glimmer of their influence on Mastodon's Blood Mountain (even before I realised Josh Homme was guesting on Colony of Birchmen) was an unwelcome turn of events. Mastodon's bid at creating a crossover piece which would bridge the gap between the sludge and progressive metal they'd built their sound on and the broader commercial audience the success of Leviathan had brought them tantalisingly close to doesn't quite work, and whilst I can't blame Mastodon for giving it a shot at a mainstream breakthrough, equally I respect the fact that they backed away from this particular stylistic departure when they realised it wasn't quite taking.

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 Remission by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.55 | 133 ratings

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Remission
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars MASTODON make their debut with REMISSION showing the world a new kind of progressive sludge metal that was invented by Neurosis but adds more aggressive elements such as the more frenetic riffing of the dual guitars of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher but the star of this and most MASTODON albums has to be the incredible hyperactive drum playing of Brann Dailor. He alone gives this band a unique sound that I have heard is due to the fact he learned to play with the guitars instead of the bass as most drummers do.

REMISSION is by far the heaviest sounding of any MASTODON album so far. It delivers a brutal sound that matches the intensity of any death metal band like Behemoth or black metal fury as of Emperor but still manages some more low key moments for the sake of diversity. It screams out that it is uncompromising and occasionally when all but the bass fall silent we can hear the true inventor of all this wrath as lead vocalist and bassist Troy Sanders pounds away on the bass like 10 Geddy Lees in unison. He explained that one of the main influences of this album was a place to channel his pain and angst regarding the suicide of his sister during his teenage years.

Although these are fast and furious tracks that lack the progressive tendencies of later albums for the most part it is clear by tracks like "Elephant Man" that MASTODON is toying with the world of progressiveness in their music and clearly show that not only are they interested in taking it on but are more than capable of delivering interesting results that leave the listener wanting to hear where they take the next step in their musical development. Not their best album but a very strong debut nonetheless and only seems slightly inferior because of the extremely strong albums that follow.

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 The Hunter by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.80 | 340 ratings

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The Hunter
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having wrapped up their "four elements"-themed series of albums with Crack the Skye, Mastodon must have been ready for a change, and The Hunter certainly is that. Presenting a more accessible and less overtly technical Mastodon than we've seen in a long time, this is light progresssive metal with stoner and sludge influences that feels a bit like Mastodon on holiday - taking a break from trying to push the boundaries of the genre and simply having a bit of fun with some corny stoner metal material. The end result is a decidedly listenable album which would be a great first choice for anyone just getting into the band.

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 Crack the Skye by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.08 | 492 ratings

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Crack the Skye
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As you might expect from an album named after one of the more obscure 1970s progressive rock bands (Crack the Sky, no "e" on the Sky), this Mastodon album has a certain nostalgic vibe to it - it feels, in fact, like Mastodon taking a stab at making stoner metal, right down to the vocals which sound a lot like Sabotage-era Ozzy Osbourne. (Indeed, if you Crack the Skye do you get a Hole In the Skye?)

Of course, this is stoner metal filtered through Mastodon's distinctive sludgy-prog aesthetic, so this isn't purely an exercise in nostalgia - instead, it's a lightning raid on the past, plundering whatever works best for the purposes of Mastodon's compositional goals and leaving behind what doesn't work for them and in this way advancing their sound even as they pay tribute to their influences.

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 Leviathan by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.87 | 267 ratings

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Leviathan
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mastodon's sludged-out take on the classic Moby Dick take kicks off in brilliant fashion with Blood and Thunder, mashing up technical, complex playing, roaring vocals, and a singalong chant that wouldn't go amiss on one of Marilyn Manson's more enjoyable albums. The combination of the progressive and the accessible into a new and unfamiliar configuration continues throughout the album as we travel with Mastodon in pursuit of the white whale, with the fuzzy guitars of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher unlocking choppy soundscapes reminiscent of the thrashing of the ocean in an enormous storm. It takes a few listens before the layered complexities of the album really begin to reveal themselves, but this is an album which amply rewards patience.

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 Leviathan by MASTODON album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.87 | 267 ratings

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Leviathan
Mastodon Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Knapitatet

5 stars Mastodon was a band that really stood out among the so called "New Wave Of American Heavy Metal" bands of the 00's. While bands like Lamb Of God and Avenged Sevenfold took cues from Pantera and Helmet, Matodon looked back even further, drawing inspiration from the doomy thunder of Black Sabbath and The Melvins. Lead Guitarist Brent Hinds gave the songs a Southern Rock feel with his leads, while every member also acted as a vocalist. So far so good, but how does Mastodon qualify as "Progressive"? Well because they also have their drummer Brann Dailor. He has often spoken about his love for Progressive Rock and with an obvious inspiration from Billy Cobham and Neil Peart, Dailor gives what would otherwise be excellent but straight forward Metal, a Jazzy feel wich actually manages to beat Sean Reinerts drumming on the Cynic album "Focus" as my favorite drum performance in modern Progressive Metal. The album opener "Blood And Thunder" has gone on to be a classic modern Metal song and its no wonder. Dailor comes into it with what sound like a billion snare paradiddles and the pace NEVER relents. You really feel as if you are standing on the ship deck with an insane Captain Ahab and sea spray all around you, as you listen to this track. I can actually say that if you do not like this song then you will not like the rest of the album. "I Am Ahab" continues the assault with a rocking shuffle that reminds me a lot of a cross between Rush and AC/DC(!) The boys in Mastodon knows their heavy stuff but they also know dynamics, something that they show in the following track "Seabeast" a real creepy number, but awesome nonetheless.

"Island", "Iron Tusk" and "Megalodon" are all superb and "Naked Burn" and "Aqua Dementia" gives you a cold chilling feeling, as if adrift on an endless ocean with the White Whale somewhere underneath you, closing in...

"Hearts Alive" is an epic worthy of the name the guitar work is excellent throughout it as the lyrics tell of the helpless protagonist going down with their ship.

Is this a Prog Rock masterpiece or a Metal one? Its got something for everyone. "Crack The Skye" wich is the highest ranked Mastodon album on PA, is in my opinion a "real" Progressive Rock album and comparatively weak sounding IMO. "Leviathan" saw Mastodon infuse the Metal song wich the already were proven masters over, with fresh Progressive elements instead of the other way around and the results were remarkable.

All in all, an excellent album. A true modern classic.

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