Review Summary: Blood Mountain is not just a good album it’s a modern masterpiece of contemporary heavy metal a synthesis for the whole metal genre and an album by which all other metal albums will be judged for years to come.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Mastodons last album Leviathan. This wasn’t because I didn’t like it, because I did, but because it paled in significance when put next to Mastodons first album Remission.
When Leviathan was released I was hoping it would be a continuation of Remission rather than the huge diversion away from that albums sound it was. I do love it when bands change their style and are continually pushing themselves but for some reason I just didn’t get it, so it is with great relief I can tell you that Blood Mountain is the follow up I was so desperately hoping for. It contains all the best parts of Leviathan and Remission to make it the best Mastodon album released so far.
Blood Mountain is easily the metal album of 2006 and also probably of the last decade. It combines everything that is great about ‘metal’ right now while using the backdrop of the 70’s experimental progressive rock movement to push the band into new territories and setting a benchmark for the whole of heavy metal to reach.
The album kicks off with the mighty 1,2,3,4 punch of ‘The Wolf is Loose’, ‘Crystal Skull’, ‘Sleeping Giant’ and the awe inspiring progressive rock masterpiece that is ‘Capillarian Crest.’ In fact there is not a single bad song on the album, every song is a masterpiece, every song is different and none of them ever become repetitive or boring.
Particular note needs to be made on the huge shift in dynamics and song structures, which renders it completely different from both Leviathan and Remission. Rather than rely heavily on the progressive sludge or mathematical complexity that was evident on both Remission and Leviathan, Blood Mountain manages to throw both aspects into each song and in turn the songs feel more direct, more precise and more like songs. The albums sounds exciting, it twists it turns it changes tempo and the song structures disappear only to reappear somewhere you’d never thought possible. Blood Mountain invigorates and challenges the listener at all times and because of this the record sounds massive, just like Mastodons band name suggests.
Blood Mountain is the bands Master of Puppets. But even though Mastodon has the hype, the major label and the media behind them, I still feel Blood Mountain may be a little bit ‘out there’ for mainstream taste. However every music fan of any genre should not overlook this album because it is ‘metal’ no this album should be appreciated by everybody.
In the last three years ‘metal’ has had a massive resurgence and Mastodon are leading the way just like Metallica were in the 80’s. I also suspect Mastodon will lead the way for heavy metal for many years to come. Blood Mountain is not just a good album it’s a modern masterpiece of contemporary heavy metal a synthesis for the whole metal genre and an album by which all other metal albums will be judged for years to come.
This is my first review for the site, hope you enjoyed reading it.