Mastodon are currently, in my opinion, one of the only metal bands breaking new ground within the scene. They combine crushingly heavy riffs with intricate song structures and concept album themes. Their third offering and second major release, 'Leviathan', is an exceptional album blending all of the aforementioned. Now, I was annoyed with myself when I accidentally rated this album as a 0.5 and I have decided to clear up any issues by typing up this review. I hope you find it interesting in some way.
What is good about the album?
There are several very good things to be said about 'Leviathan'. For starters, there are several pleasing tracks to be heard and some wonderful guitar wizardry courtesy of Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds. Troy Sanders who also plays bass on th3e album contributes some excellent vocals on nearly every track and the drumming of Brann Dailor is utterly fantastic. The standout tracks on this album have to be Blood And Thunder, Seabeast, Iron Tusk, Aqua Dementia, Hearts Alive and Joseph Merrick. When you consider that is six out of the ten tracks on the CD, that is a pretty good feat in itself.
The album's concept is based on the Herman Melville novel 'Moby Dick', and many of the song titles and their lyrics relate to this concept. In all, it is a really cool concept to write an album on and Mastodon have succeeded in doing a grand job. However, the real standout point here that cannot go unmentioned is the epic 14-minute long 'Hearts Alive'. The song boasts some marvellous riffs, well thought-out lyrics, brutal riffs and a monstrous solo.
What is not so good about the album?
Well, there are a couple of annoying tracks that need mentioning. 'I Am Ahab' is not a particularly bad song but it just riles me for some reason. Perhaps it is because I just have not got a clue what the lyrics are about. It is a good thing it is a short track. Another annoying track is 'Naked Burn'. It starts off okay but the vocals are awful when they come in. 'Island' is crushingly heavy but sort of fades and becomes a little boring. Some listeners may also be put off by the fact that it is hard to hear what Troy Sanders is actually singing bevause he is drowned out just a little by the instruments and he is yelling his socks off. Others may be put off by the main concept of the album and the fact it is based on a book about a whale. I must admit I was slightly apprehensive about it but you can really get into it if you are willing to.
Overall, 'Leviathan' is a rip-roaring album (hence it's perfect score) and it is one of the most ambitious, progressive metal albums you are ver likely to buy this decade. And there are six killer tracks on the CD so it is definitely good value for money.
Hope you enjoyed this review. I will hopefully be writing more in the future.
Blood And Thunder 5/5
I Am Ahab 4/5
Iron Tusk 5/5
Naked Burn 3.5/5
Aqua Dementia 5/5
Hearts Alive 5/5
Joseph Merrick 5/5