Mastodon
Blood Mountain


5.0
classic

Review

by YHB USER (9 Reviews)
December 27th, 2006 | 36 replies | 3,736 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album of class that has to thoroughly combed and searched through in order to fully comprehend what this album is.

Picture this: it’s 2004. Metal, while being in a state of health, is lacking the spit, the bile, the bite of decades past: in the '80s, the thrash metal phenomenon took over with Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and most importantly, Metallica. In the '90s, bands like Machine Head, Tool, Dream Theater and Sepultura made their mark with their musical definitive statements. But in our current decade, there was nothing that had truly stamped it’s mark as being a truly great album.

Enter Mastodon.

Leviathan simply came from out of nowhere and provided Mastodon with at least the one truly stellar album they needed to establish themselves as a great band and a brilliant showcase of this decade. So how did they top it? Blood Mountain, in all due respect to Leviathan, has blown everything out of the water.

Blood Mountain kicks off with the pulverising The Wolf is Loose. It doesn’t let up, in both heaviness and quality, and a deceptively simple guitar riff, backed up by a tight rhythm section, is transformed into a true highlight. You can’t help but be disappointed, then, when you can find no other songs of this fashion, other than Circle Cysquatch that really appeal as a truly heavy and devastating song. But fear not, because although Mastodon do these kind of all-out songs well, it’s not what they’re best at.

The previous point is proved after listening to the frankly strange Bladecatcher, an instrumental that you wouldn’t know was an instrumental, with all the weird guitar effects that make it sound as though Troy Sanders (bass/vocals) or Brent Hinds (guitar/vocals) had some kind of facial spasm during the recording of this song. Capillarian Crest soon bounds out of the catchy, simple riffs that make the introduction to introduce the flurry of notes that soon follow, showing the progressive style that Mastodon can integrate so well into their stoner metal-rooted music. Crystal Skull also stands out well, providing more progressively mental highlights, especially when the screeching vocals enter before the solo. Finally, Siberian Divide shows just how well Mastodon meld progressive with stoner metal, with the lush vocals of the verse soon giving way to a harsh chorus, while the guitars of Hinds and Bill Kelliher (guitar/backing vocals) and drums of Dailor provide a beautiful backing section. And the rather rocking Colony of Birchmen, works both in and out of the album’s context, and would be an excellent addition to any hard rock album, with a simple yet catchy riff, accentuated by a beautiful guitar solo and some gorgeous clean vocals that truly make this an album highlight.

And then, Mastodon are able to prove their musical worth through the gentler tones of Sleeping Giant, which show that although they may own the records as a bunch of hairy prog fans rocking out, their more mellowed out approach should most definitely not be ignored. This Mortal Soil is more beautiful than heavy, and Pendulous Skin is a worthy closer of this absolutely storming album. While the guitars are definitely the showcase and focus of these songs, you can’t fault any of the musical talent of the four Georgians on these songs, or on any song from this or their back catalogue.

But, as with any other album, it has its downfalls. Both Hunters of the Sky and Hand of Stone, while not being terrible, can’t match up to both the preceding and following songs. They still work in this context, yet they can’t escape the feeling that they feel bland and uninspired, save for the rather catchy riffs that introduce both songs.

On a more positive note, you couldn’t find more apt musicians of this day and age to create such an album. Not only do Mastodon have the musical talent to make this work, but they also have the song writing ability and vision to make it work, especially Brann Dailor; his style of drumming is practically revered throughout the metal industry, and on that note, Sanders, Kelliher and Hinds are hardly inept at playing their instruments either, putting in a brilliant effort to make this album provide the aural background to their science-fiction/progressive dream.

In closing, you probably couldn’t find a more atmospheric, well-fleshed out album of this quality; every time you listen to it, you’re literally swimming in the atmosphere, and each time you dig in deep at the cracks and walls of what makes this album what it is, you can find out little things about the album you never noticed before, or weren’t paying attention to, and that’s what makes this album so good; it rewards you for continuous listens, and yet it’ll still be able to reach out and show you something you like about metal, even if you only dip your toes into the ocean that is Blood Mountain.

Final verdict: 10/10
An album that deserves to be devoured by music fans, no genres or generations excluded

Recommended tracks:
- The Wolf is Loose
- Sleeping Giant
- Capillarian Crest
- Colony of Birchmen
- This Mortal Soil



Recent reviews by this author
Machine Head Burn My EyesUnearth III: In the Eyes of Fire
Megadeth United AbominationsMachine Head The Blackening
The Ghost of a Thousand This Is Where The Fight BeginsMastodon Remission
user ratings (3066)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
YHB
December 27th 2006


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sorry about the [i] stuff, I thought that would italicase or bolden it. If it's right, it doesn't come up in the preview. If anyone knows how to edit this properly, let me know. Thanks.

TheMisterBungle
December 27th 2006


861 Comments


Do [/i] instead of [i/] to make it work.

mx
Moderator
December 27th 2006


733 Comments


Italics fixed. Great first review.

Tyler
Emeritus
December 27th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review for a brutally average album. Good stuff though. The review, I mean.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2006


2675 Comments


Awesome review. Welcome to the site.

Intransit
December 27th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good first review, but I cant see this album as a classic by any stretch of anything. I never listen to it past the first three tracks anymore.

Thor
December 27th 2006


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review and album. Definitely one of the best albums of the year.

south_of_heaven 11
December 27th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good first review man...except:

[quote=reviewer]Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and most importantly, Metallica.[/quote]

:angry:This Message Edited On 12.27.06

Thor
December 27th 2006


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Early Metallica > Slayer :thumb:

metallicaman8
December 27th 2006


4677 Comments


Early Metallica > Slayer


Correct.

TheMisterBungle
December 27th 2006


861 Comments


No way. Slayer can kick Metallica's ass anyday. This Message Edited On 12.27.06

metallicaman8
December 27th 2006


4677 Comments


No way. Slayer can kick Metallica's ass anyday.


No. Well, nowa days, yes. But back in the eighties, no.

TheMisterBungle
December 27th 2006


861 Comments


Meh. That is debatable.

metallicaman8
December 27th 2006


4677 Comments


Indeed it is. But let's not debate it. I don't want to spoil this fellows first review with a 4 page arguement.

TheMisterBungle
December 27th 2006


861 Comments


Yeah, let's not.
This is a very good review.

Eliminator
December 27th 2006


2067 Comments


This album amazing. You just have to dig deeper to discover how really awesome it really is.

Right?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2006


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Right.

Eliminator
December 27th 2006


2067 Comments


jk opposite comment!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2006


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh you!

south_of_heaven 11
December 27th 2006


5433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

[quote=Thor]Early Metallica > Slayer[/quote]

Based on your ratings...I say you lie!

[quote=Eliminator]This album amazing. You just have to dig deeper to discover how really awesome it really is.[/quote]

Maybe, but I've had the same opinion on this album since the first time I heard it, so yea.This Message Edited On 12.27.06



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