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Mastodon Remission album cover
3.46 | 232 ratings | 13 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crusher Destroyer (2:00)
2. March of the Fire Ants (4:25)
3. Where Strides the Behemoth (2:55)
4. Workhorse (3:45)
5. Ole' Nessie (6:04)
6. Burning Man (2:46)
7. Trainwreck (7:04)
8. Trampled Under Hoof (3:00)
9. Trilobite (6:29)
10. Mother Puncher (3:48)
11. Elephant Man (8:01)

Total Time 50:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Brent Hinds / lead guitar, vocals
- Bill Kelliher / guitar
- Troy Sanders / bass, vocals
- Brann Dailor / drums, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Romano

CD Relapse Records ‎- RR 6583-2 (2002, US)
CD Relapse Records ‎- RR 7215 (2014, US) Remastered by Ed Brooks

2LP Relapse Records ‎- RR 6523-1 (2002, US)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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MASTODON Remission ratings distribution

(232 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MASTODON Remission reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars Remission is the first album from metalcore masters Mastodon. For a debut, it is very assured, but it's far from perfect. Brann Dailor makes this album a worthwhile listen. His work on Crusher Destroyer and Workhorse is some of the finest kitwork ever displayed. The rest of the band has yet to settle into the high musicianship that would reveal itself on Mastodon's next two superb releases, but there are some good solos.

Highlights of the album are Crusher Destroyer, Workhorse, and Where Strides the Behemoth. The rest of the album is sonically pounding but it fails to excite as much as the three Mastodon classics on the disc.

Fans of the heavy stuff have probably heard of Mastodon already, and bashers of metal probably have too. Mastodon, like just about any pog metal band, is love em or hate em. This is a strong debut, but newcomers should start with the other two releases.

Grade: C

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Remission is the debut album from one of the most highly praised metal bands in recent years Mastodon. Like other bands in the genre that lies between hardcore, metal and mathcore itīs taken me a long time to appreciate the music of Mastodon. I have borrowed both Remission, Leviathan and Blood Mountain more than once to see if I could enjoy the music but still didnīt get the idea behind the music. I couldnīt understand that Mastodon was held in such high regard but I guess the time I spend trying to figure out the charm of this band has paid of in the end, as I finally understand why Mastodon is as famous as they are.

The music on Remission is technical metal with lots of hardcore influences which is mostly heard in the vocals though. This is not tech metal like Atheist or Cynic but a more modern anarchistic version. What instantly struck me even when I didnīt like Mastodonīs music much is how great their drummer Brann Dailor is. What a fantastic musician. His drumming style is very busy and insanely fast. His playing is what truly makes Mastodonīs music excellent. Well besides Brann Dailorīs unique and brilliant playing style the music is also very good.

The album consists of two different kinds of songs. Songs like the opener Crusher Destroyer, Where Strides the Behemoth, Burning Man and Mother Puncher are fast and furious technical metal songs while songs like Ole' Nessie, Trainwreck and the beautiful Elephant Man are more heavy songs with acoustic parts. These songs are generally a bit more melodic too.

The musicians are very good and besides the outstanding Brann Dailor there are some great things being played here. Heavy and sharp guitar riffs, distorted hardcore like shouting vocals ( which is actually one of the few weak spots on the album) and a general angry atmosphere. The music is a bit more intricate than your usual metal album.

The production is kind of muddy and dirty but the drums are produced in a way that makes everything stand out anyway. This sound is very powerful.

Remission is an excellent album and even though there are weak spots on the album like the vocals Iīll rate Remission 4 stars. The fourth star is solely for Brann Dailorīs unique drum playing which I just canīt forget is so great.

Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Mastodon - 'Remission' 3.5 stars

Like most of the top acts of any genre of music, the debut album shows potential and promise, but still has a way to go.

Mastodon ditches some of the more amateur influences featured on their debut EP 'Lifesblood' and conjure up more tunes with more contrasts, better structures and plenty of twists. If Brann Dailor's performance didn't impress the listener enough in the prior CD, this one will break whatever the previous opinion was, because he plays even better. It goes without saying, he is clearly number one on this album again. Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher's guitar work is also a huge step up. The thrash influences apparent on the preceding album is nearly void entirely! They are more focused upon complexity and variances in the rhythm section with plenty of complementary melodies that became a primary role in later Mastodon records. The sludge elements are just enough to not become boring, but rather giving the songs an extra edge in terms of keeping them more interesting.

The factor that can always turn fans away completely and never to return is the vocals. They are harsh, but still understandable. Sung in very low registers, but far from being death growls, it is more tolerable then other bands with harsh vocalists.

With that being said, this is a very good album. Some really heavy metal with complex rhythm structures and melodies thrown in over them with time signatures is surely going garnish a prog-metal fan's attention. Once again, Brann Dailor gets an A+ for an unforgettable drum performance.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Very 'eavy.

Being very impressed with Mastodon's latest effort, Crack The Skye I decided to research their back catalog, working backwards from their latest effort before finally arriving here at their debut, which shows the band in a very embryonic form. It's very clear that at this point the band didn't really know where they wanted to take their music, or maybe they did but didn't know quite how to do it. While this problem would be fixed by the time of the release of the magnificent follow-up, Leviathan, this album is a little bit harder to get into.

What's simultaneously interesting and grating about the band at this point is that they're very raw. While their sound is definitely present, there's a certain amount of generic material that sounds like it could have been done by any metal band these days. A number of the tracks are fun and head-bang worthy, but not overly memorable. The band's experimental side that we all know and love had not yet emerged and the result is a lot of thrashy material such as Crusher Destroyer and Mother Puncher.

This is, of course, not to say that the album does not have any moments worth listening to. Indeed, the album is still littered with gems, especially for people who fancy themselves as fans of the band. Where the band's real personality does show there's some magic moments to be had. March Of The Fireants is the second track and the first to really show how technical the band can be on their instruments, but it's not until tracks like Ol' Nessie, Trilobite and Elephant Man where they boys really pull out the impressive stuff, including many interesting riffs and time changes, enough to keep any prog metal head interested.

Perhaps this review is a touch unfair considering that the expectations on the band were so high, but in context it still gives a fitting image for those looking into this band, who have gotten so much attention recently. Remission is good for people who know what to expect from the band, fans who are looking for more than just the three better known albums, and people who like to bang their heads a little bit more than others. Make note that this album is not experimental or groundbreaking like their more recent releases and you'll still have yourself a good time. Overall a 2 out of 5 - for collectors and fans - Good, but far eclipsed by other material from Mastodon.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Remission is the first album of the Atlanta based metal/hard core foursome Mastodon. It is without doubt their fastest, most furious and most unrelenting album, betraying little of the prog and melodious ambitions that they would claim on their later albums. And guess what, it's pretty much my preferred Mastodon release.

The material is harsh, wild, fast-paced and catchy, everything a metalhead is craving for and more. Mastodon occasionally opens up their heavy sound to allow for more ambitious compositions and more attention to the instrumental development. Trainwreck is a great example, and also Trilobite shows them from a more experimental and jazzy side.

The bulk of the album consists of short and aggressive songs with demanding technicalities, especially Brann Dailor must be mentioned for the remorseless attack on his drum kit. I'm sure it will register as over-drumming for many, but given my indulgence for drummers with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, I can't any fault with it. At least not on this album.

For prog-heads, this album isn't the recommended starting point to discover Mastodon, Im' sure you didn't need this review to tell you that. I would advise to travel backwards through Mastodon's catalogue to find out how far you want to go. The musical quality, the drive and the inspiration on this album are undeniable though and make it into an outstanding metal album. 3.5 stars

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Remission' - Mastodon (7/10)

Now one of the most widely acclaimed and celebrated metal bands of the modern era, US progressive sludgemen Mastodon seem to get most of their attention for the three albums that would trail this debut. For one reason or another, it appears as if 'Remission' ducked under the radar for even some of the band's more dedicated fans. This is made very peculiar by the fact that despite it's rough presentation and imperfections, 'Remission' is a relatively enjoyable piece of work.

While I do not consider myself a big fan of this Atlanta-based group, I gained a measure of respect for them after listening to their 2009 opus 'Crack The Skye,' an ambitious concept album that incorperated a hefty dose of psychedelic and progressive influence into their gritty metal sound. 'Remission' shows the band at a much more stripped down and feral state, relying moreso on the power of each guitar riff than anything else. While the fact that the music doesn't have a great deal of depth to the compositions or recording could spell weakness when briefly glanced over, the power to 'Remission' is greatly endearing, to say the least. The music here is driven by crunching riff after riff, backed up by some incredible kitwork by Brann Dailor.

On that note, the drumwork really brings the music alive, it feels at any given moment, Dailor is dishing out something interesting with the drumming. The rest of the musicians don't necessarily stand out for each of their respective instruments, but the instruments are generally well orchestrated. Every once in a while, there is even the signature frenetic guitar lead riffs (that would be heard in greater detail on albums like 'Blood Mountain') here which despite taking part on an album that generally exercises intensity over complexity, still sound pretty great.

The production isn't the best, but it's excusable due to the feral, fiery nature of the music being played. Towards the latter half of the album, the songwriting tends to be slightly less memorable, although the last two tracks ('Mother Puncher' and 'Elephant Man') pick things back up again for a satisfying finale. The highlight of the album is the way in which it starts off, however. The first three songs flow together very smoothly, each filled with great riffs that overstay their welcome, interspersed with some surprisingly technical lead work and growls typical of the sludge metal scene.

Although I haven't been fully convinced by some of the later work of this band, 'Remission' has really caught my interest for it's fantastic riffs, energy and display of aggression. It does feel as if the band would lose a little bit of this flame in following albums, making way for a more progressive and musically ambitious feel. Despite lacking the depth of it's musical successors however, 'Remission' is essential listening for the unwary Mastodon fan. Sludgy, angry grandeur.

Review by siLLy puPPy
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.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Debut full length of the Atlanta's kings of trash-death-technical-prog-metal!!!

This album contains the typical hoarse vocals of Troy Sanders and his saturated bass playing, great and technical guitar playing by Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and the well-known amazing drumming by Brann Dailor and tons of heavy and progressive tracks.

Sadly, the songwriting is not so compelling like in the similar but much better Leviathan or the proggier Crack the Skye, making this record a bit dull in the long term despite some tracks where the band tries to make something differing like the sludge-prog Trilobite and the much more melodic and very interesting Elephant Man.

Best Tracks: March of the Fire Ants (typical Mastodon power), Where Strides the Behemoth (great riffs and a classic in live concerts), Trilobite (one of the most progressive tracks of the album with excellent guitars on it) and Elephant Man (melancholic and meditative guitar work, which shows the band's versatility which would make them great in the future)

Conclusion: this first album of Mastodon is much in the vein of the later Leviathan, but with a songwriting which is not so refined yet and some repetitive ideas which makes the hearing of the album a bit boring in the long term.

So, although Remission is a good tech-metal album with some killer tracks and passages on it, if you are new to Mastodon, I would recommend you to start with one of their later albums!

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

3 stars Mastodon are one of my all time fav bands, so I've decided that my first reviews on this site should cover the discography of the Atlanta masters. Remission is the first full-lenght the band released after two EPs (being Lifesblood actually rather good, and Slick leg a bit meh on my eyes) and a s ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636185) | Posted by eduardico21 | Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Mastodon's first album is in my opinion their heaviest and it got them off on the right foot. Remission is very heavy, with there being no clean vocals and there being lots of very heavy drop A riffs. Fire is a concept on the album, as Mastodon's first four albums have an elemental them going on wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#2455487) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Sunday, October 11, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 6/10 Energetic debut, mixed feelings. Mastodon is one of the strongest names in modern heavy metal, and it is not difficult to identify why, with your sound heavy and full of influences. But what sets it apart from other bands of the genre (which I believe is the main reason why they are h ... (read more)

Report this review (#939014) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars All circles created with intention.... Mastodon's first true album, and what a stomping beast. These guys most certainly fit the title they have bestowed upon themselves. The songs are unholy sludge bombs that wreak havoc and smash everything in sight. This is melodic death metal at its peak ... (read more)

Report this review (#208781) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not their most progressive release, sure. But I'm rating this based on how it makes my loins feel, not on how King Crimson it is. Initially, my review of Mastodon's Remission was harsh...yes, harsh, it was years ago in my pre-sludge metal phase. But the sludgy goodness of Remission is top-quality as ... (read more)

Report this review (#126419) | Posted by Shwang_Shwinga | Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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