Mastodon
Remission


5.0
classic

Review

by TheSpeedNirvana USER (7 Reviews)
August 9th, 2011 | 25 replies | 5,497 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Brain meets brawn to create a classic metal album

To say Mastodon have come far since their humble beginnings in a basement in Atlanta, is an understatement. Hailed as the “rebirth” of metal in a decade mired with unimaginative, uninspired metalcore bands, Mastodon stand poised their latest album, The Hunter mid-fall, to high expectations. So why not take a look back to 2002 (Yes, it’s been that long, and yes you are that old) to when Mastodon first roared onto the scene from an unlikely place and got our attention with what remains, in my opinion, their strongest release.

What Remission does, from the first track (The aptly named “Crusher Destroyer”) that opens with a T-Rex roar from Jurassic Park, to the last track that fades out with a lonely guitar solo, is blow your mind. For its time, the album probably would have gotten a pass just for not being another breakdown-heavy, metalcore album. Not that there’s anything wrong with a good breakdown. It’s just a predictable formula that got over statured with far too many bands who all must have shopped at the same Hot Topic, looking to cash in on the wave. But what Mastodon did was take a huge gamble and as a result breathed life into sludge metal ( a genera that’s never been known for its marketability), progressive metal, and grunge; with a healthy dose of Black Sabbath-esque riffs and Allman Brother’s-esque duel guitar rhythms thrown in for good measure. And I’ll be damned if it all doesn’t somehow come tighter and sound amazing 9 years later.

The musicianship on this album marks Mastodon at their tightest. Complex guitar rhythms are backed by an ever present, urgent sounding bass, and the phenomenal drumming of Brain Dailor. Individually, everyone knows how to get the most out of their instruments, but together they create a tight, powerful, claustrophobic sound that doesn’t let up. The drumming alone stands out, as it sounds like Dailor is juggling a bag of hammers and yet never seems out of place. The dual-guitar work here wouldn’t be out of place on a Dream Theater album. But make no mistake. The songs, for all their musical complexity, hit hard with brutal, bone-crunching, sludgy goodness.

It’s hard to a pick any single track as a stand out, because the album as a whole maintains a high level of consistency. Nothing is wasted, and nothing feels like a throw away or filler. Not that it all sounds like one loud mess. Just as a song is about to wear thin, the band suddenly kicks your ass with a creative tempo change or a key shift. These little nuances keep the album from ever becoming boring and you’ll want to revisit it again, and again.


Oddly enough, the only weakness of the album are the lyrics which, taken out of context, just sound downright silly. But this doesn’t detract from the listening experience at all. Partially because, hey it’s metal, but mostly because whatever nonsense Brent and Troy are howling about, it sounds pretty dammed awesome. The duel vocal delivery is short, fast, vicious, and like everything else on this album, perfectly executed.


Later on, Mastodon (Mostly just Brent) would out more time into making the lyrics the focus. This would go on to have mixed results. From powerful follow up (Leviathan: Herman Melvin’s epic told in the greatest format) to “Over produced, over thought, seriously it’s about what?” (Crack The Skye AKA “Why Brent should never be left alone with a bong again”) But Remission stands as a testament to all the elements that made Mastodon stand out when metal needed a shot of creativity and a swift kick in the balls; destined to become a classic.



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user ratings (1711)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
August 10th 2011


18202 Comments


lets get some ¶ separation yeah?

Digging: Tragedy - Vengeance

pizzamachine
August 10th 2011


12571 Comments


Paragraphs are a beautiful thing.

RosaParks
August 10th 2011


14890 Comments


don't listen to them. Paragraphs are overrated fuck the system

Tyrael
August 10th 2011


20866 Comments


wall 'o text

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

themetalpig
August 10th 2011


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think Blood Mountain is their weakest album, not Crack The Skye, but hey, each to their own. I do agree that this is their best work. March of the Fire Ants and Mother Puncher are my highlights. Brents solos are fantastic, especially the solo on Elephant Man.

LepreCon
August 10th 2011


4075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah but not a 5

TheSpeedNirvana
August 10th 2011


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Arrgh, my bad. I edited with spaces but I must have screwed up. I'll re-edit and re-post. Should fix any problems

TheSpeedNirvana
August 10th 2011


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Done! Hope that's better, and sorry for any headaches But yeah, the fact that the band has said that The Hunter, will be a more stripped down afair has me all sorts of pumped, as this really was my favorite Mastodon album.

Darkvoid67
August 10th 2011


383 Comments


Good album bt deffo not a five. Review was a'ight I guess

zaruyache
August 10th 2011


6406 Comments


Inb4 guitar solo meme

Digging: CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

rockandmetaljunkie
April 4th 2012


3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review

MMX
April 4th 2012


4810 Comments


Best Mastodon album

rockandmetaljunkie
April 4th 2012


3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not sure if it is their best, but certainly their most aggressive.

Graveyard
April 4th 2012


5728 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this isn't their best

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

stabbler
April 4th 2012


1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's very close to it

Emyay
April 5th 2012


5952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is their worst imo. Leviathan is basically the same album with better vocals, riffs, and song structures. I can't even listen to this whole album. It's pretty hard for me to say which mastodon album is better than the other, except i just know remission sucks compared to the rest. I know a lot of folks love remission and all, but I just don't get it when leviathan is the charizard to remission's charmeleon. They perfected that style with leviathan, and then moved on to weirder more interesting (to them) pastures.

stabbler
April 5th 2012


1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"it's very close to it"

but not as good as leviathan

but better than everything else

OceanMechanic
August 26th 2012


451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If Leviathan didn't have Hearts Alive (which is easily Mastodon's greatest accomplishment), this album would be unquestionably better. But they're sort of equal for me. I don't get what makes Leviathan so much better than this. The vocals and production here are both way better.

Digging: Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Emyay
August 27th 2012


5952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

vocals and production may be better (not sure if i agree though), but everything else is better on leviathan

stabbler
August 27th 2012


1415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i can't pick out the differences in production between this and leviathan



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