Mastodon - Remission
Mastodon are a relativley new metal band from Atlanta, Georgia in the USA. Their lineup includes two former members of Today Is The Day (the guitarist - Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor) Mastodon are one of the newest metal bands, along with bands such as Killswitch Engage, God Forbid, Chimaira, Shadows Fall and Lamb of God to be labelled "the future of metal". This is certainly true with most of these bands as they are currently taking over the trend of nu-metal. In any heavy rock magazine these days, you will undoubtedly see advertisments for these bands, not to mention in guitar, bass and drum magazines, especially US ones.
So how are Mastodon different from all of these new US metal bands? Well, Mastodon play an intersting blend of a few different heavy genres. Namely Grind, Hardcore and of course, Metal. But there is still more to Mastodon than these three genres. The music has a very complex sound to it and some of the music (the drumming especially) sounds very jazz influenced. Some websites, such as allmusic.com have said that Mastodon's sound is "reminiscent of non death metal excursions by Entombed." The album also has a big southern sound all throughout it.
Mastodon released their debut EP, "Lifesblood" in 2001. They went on to release their first album; "Remission" in 2002, which got excellent reviews. Just a few weeks ago, Mastodon released their second album, entitled "Leviathan". "Leviathan" is currently receiving great reviews and is confirming their status as "the future of metal". Mastodon are currently touring with Slayer and Killswitch Engage on the Jagermeister tour.
Guitar/Vocals - Brent Hinds
Bass/Vocals - Troy Sanders
Guitar - Bill Kelliher
Drums - Brann Dailor
Note: I won't be commenting much on the lyrics because I can't understand them
- The song starts out with some strange noise, but then goes straight in to extremely cool, fast and hard hitting intro. The guitar sounds awesome with some hard hitting, crunchy distortion. The drumming is excellent with some great snare work. The song is filled with some tough, metal sounding yells and grunts. The vocals are excellent all throughout the song. The guitars also do some great pinched harmonic leads. The only problem with the song is that it is far too short, coming in at around 1:57, not even 2 minutes long. A great intro to the album, setting the mood for the whole album. A great way to kick it all off.
March Of The Fire Ants
- This track is a bit slower than the previous track. The track starts out with some good and heavy riffing along with some sweet drumming. The vocals come in, screaming as usual. The guitar riffing is good, especially when it is backing up the awesome leads. The drmumer plays some awesome fills in this song and his double bass work is amazingly good. The leads in this song, however are probably the highlight. Everything in this song is a sheer display of talent from the whole band and comes in at an excellent length.
Where Strides The Behemoth
- The song starts out with a dual lead thing on the guitars. The drums and bass then come in and hit really hard. The vocals come in with some of the best screaming heard on the album so far. The vocals are in the vocalist's lower register and sound very "metal". This track is probably one of the albums highlights, especially because of the brutal, hard hitting intro. It's good stuff, everything about it is nearly perfect.
- The song has some of the cleanest sounds you will hear on the record, guitar wise. It starts with just a lead part on guitar and then some jazz influenced drumming. Then it gradually builds up to get heavy, and then the vocals finally come in. This song finishes up as one of the album's heaviest tracks, being fairly slow as well as having extremely heavy guitar parts. The outro consists of some lead guitar parts with some fitting bass work and nice drumming. It's considerably softer than the rest of the song. The parts with vocals anyway. All in all a great song. Plus it has an awesome song title ("Ol'e Nessie"). The slightly too long intro at the start is the only thing that makes it fall short of a perfect 5/5 rating.
- The intro to the song is the most brutal of the album so far. Consisting of some really fast guitar, bass and drum work and some cool lead guitar parts. The guitar solo type things in the song are just amazing, very fast. The riffing is probably the best part of the song, especially the interplay between the two guitarists. Great vocals and drumming as well. The vocals are using some extremly low registers, which just adds to the brutality of the song. Great stuff.
A fairly proggy song. It starts with some clean leads which end up to become distorted. Then it sounds like the song is ending, when in fact the clean part was only the intro. The song turns extremely heavy, although the singer starts singing in his quietest voice yet. His vocals sound scratchy and are still very low but if you listen a few times, in parts it's possible to understand what he's saying. The riffing of this song is great. The part of this song that shines is the work between all members of the band, showing you that they are a team, not just a group of random (though talented) musicians. Nice outro too. The song is extremely long (over 7 minutes in fact) but doesn't really drag too much.
Trampled Under Hoof
- The hard hitting sounds come back in for this track. The drumming in it is great along with the bass work. The guitars use a lot of palm muting and heavy riffing. The vocals are good, very tough sounding grunts and screams. The highlight of this song is definitely the drumming, the drummer just has some really awesome fills along with cymbal work when the song drops back to a softer sound for a little while. Overall, it's a great, hard hitting track. The song ends on another heavy note with some crazy snare work from the drums.
- The song starts out with some clean and lightly distorted guitar parts. Then it goes heavy again with some awesome yells and grunts from the singer. The guitars again use a lot of palm muting and heavy riffing. Then the song goes cleanish again, sounding similar to the beginning of the track. The song continues to change from clean to heavy for a while with some amazing vocals and drumming for a while. Then the outro comes along fairly clean with some light distortion on the guitars and some nice cymbal work from the drummer, no vocals. All in all a great song, possibly one of the best on the album. Also one of the album's longer tracks, at 6:28.
- One of the heaviest intros on the album. It starts out fast and heavy with some awesome guitar, bass and drum work. Then the vocals come in and the track slows down. The vocals have some more excellent grunts and yells. The song stays the same until the abrupt ending. The song is probably one of the coolest on the album. Very fun to listen to.
- The album's instrumental closer is also one of the longest tracks on the album. The song has some clean electric and an acoustic guitar in the start with some great drumming and some of the best bass work on the album. Then one of the guitars starts soloing, which is very cool. This song shows a diversity that many of the metal bands that Mastodon are lumped into the same category with just don't have. A bit under halfway in, the guitars go all heavy again but then cut out while we hear some more guitar soloing, and excellent guitar soloing at that. About 2/3 of the way into the song, all of the music cuts out and we are left with just some strange noise that sounds like wind. There is silence for a few minutes and then some noise comes in that sounds like a storm or something. An absolutely perfect way to close the album, this track conveys most of the moods that were presented during the majority of the album.
This is easily one of the best metal albums released in this decade, people other than metalheads love this album just because it is incredible. It's not exactly a perfect record, but it's a darn good one nonetheless. The vocals fit extremely well with the music and the instruments are all just brilliant. It is quite an agressive record, but it is excellent nonetheless. Recommended for anyone who likes metal as well as people who aren't really metalheads but think they can like some metal. Also reccomended for people who like to hear instruments played well.
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5