Mastodon
Call of the Mastodon


3.5
great

Review

by lostforwords USER (35 Reviews)
August 4th, 2012 | 12 replies | 1,178 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A seriously talented band that doesn't organize its fascinating chaos

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Just take a look at the song titles in this compilation; “Call of the Mastodon”, “Deep Sea Creature” “Shadows that Move” “Battle at Sea”, everything implies that Mastodon’s music is huge. In fact it is a force of nature. Combining the epic heaviness of bands like Neurosis, and the adventurous melodic aggression of Metallica, this record often sounds like a concentrated Times of Grace or a ten ton Ride the Lightning. And if the distance among the two seemed impossible to be covered, Mastodon effortlessly created that new hybrid, that combination that would become their trademark ever since.

At times it seems that their songs need no more than a few minutes in order to climax; for example Battle at Sea starts with eerie acoustic guitar, which gradually changes into a menacing melody. A mid tempo mammoth-like riff enters and then steadily the track grows towards a thrashy section with fast guitar parts before collapsing again into the sludgy riff which is essentially the spine of the song. In other occasions, the band uses sharp riffs to create constant intensity, such as in Deep Sea Creature or in Slick Leg, where the lazy opening notes are followed by an amazing riff and fast, blast-beat driven parts.

With Thank you for This and We built this Come Death Mastodon pay a tribute to Dailor’s and Kellither’s past; the noisy aggression and the economy in length (the longer among the two lasts barely over two minutes) are reminiscent of their Today is the Day collaboration, however even these tracks are too dressed up musically to be considered noise metal. Finally there are tracks like Call of the Mastodon or Shadows that Move, where different variants of the same riffs make the listener feel that these tracks are actually much more restrained, but also that Mastodon are indeed capable of successfully containing their madness.

None of the above would have been possible of course if it weren’t for their incredible technical abilities; not only do they occupy one of the best contemporary drummers, Brann Dailor, but also they benefit from a guitar duo that executes perfectly even the fastest riffs, harmonizes almost every guitar lead and adapts to even the oddest time changes. Nevertheless, Sanders’ and Hinds’ vocals are flat in their harshness and can be a little weary.

Call of the Mastodon, the band’s farewell to Relapse and an interesting compilation of their earliest songs, re-recorded and in somewhat alternate versions, only suffers from the strong sense that Mastodon have not their ducks in a row yet. There are occasions where the listener feels that the band needlessly throws too much chaos in very little spaces. However, despite the fact that in this compilation Mastodon clearly exaggerate at times and that there are one or two weaker tracks (such as Welcoming War or Hail to Fire), the band’s artistic ambition was already evident and these 9 tracks actually hint Mastodon’s grandeur, even at this early stage.



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3.4
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Kit Brown (4)
An excellent look into the birth of one of America's most interesting metal bands....


Comments:Add a Comment 
HenchmanOfSanta
August 4th 2012



1656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is bananas. Brann's drumming is at its finest.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2012



4339 Comments


Mastodon was shit until they released blood mountain (atr & that > they are good/excellent


I thought Leviathan was better than Blood mountain, but Crack The Skye remains their best.

Good review, by the way man. POS'd.

Shuyin
August 4th 2012



10432 Comments


great review, but anyways Leviathan is by far tha best Mastodon.

Digging: All the Empires of the World - Sunscraper

lostforwords
August 4th 2012



439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys, I too am torn between Leviathan and Crack the Skye. I just wish the first one had more melodic vocals in it, or the second a little more aggression. It's like, a blend of the two would be the perfect metal album. Two classics in my opinion anyway.

MichaelSnoxall
August 4th 2012



12163 Comments


I don't think the heaviness of Neurosis is comparable to Mastodon. Mastodon are like Pop Rock compared to Neurosis. Anyways, good review, pos.

lostforwords
August 4th 2012



439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Early on Mastodon were really influenced by Neurosis. Check for example Trainwreck from Remission; to me this is the best song Neurosis never wrote

MichaelSnoxall
August 4th 2012



12163 Comments


Just because they're influenced by Neurosis doesn't mean a thing. Scott Kelly is featured on a few of their songs too, but the heaviness of Mastodon is nothing compared to the absolute crushing brutality of Neurosis' master works.

lostforwords
August 4th 2012



439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I see what you're saying, still I think that compared to any thrash or extreme metal act out there Mastodon feel heavier and more epic in an apocalyptic kind of way. To me that's the Neurosis factor.
But sure, Mastodon's heaviness is nothing compared to Neurosis, I just implied that they are greatly influenced by them, especially in the way their music was initially full of build-ups and collapses

FearThyEvil9
August 4th 2012



11356 Comments


great review, but anyways Leviathan is by far tha best Mastodon.

Agreed

InbredJed
August 12th 2012



5240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This review is great, pos for sure. The Neurosis/Metallica correlation describes the essence of their early sound pretty well, but I agree with Paperback, Blood Mountain is where it's at. While I do enjoy the early stuff, Blood Mountain actually transcended and in my mind perfected prog/thrash.

That said, I have often wondered as the years pass and Mastodon embrace thier "pop-punk" more and more, why Scott Kelly allows his name to be associated with them, but the results havent been all bad. After seeing them on the last tour, Crack the Skye has become one of my favourite tracks.

HenchmanOfSanta
August 12th 2012



1656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe because Scott Kelly likes music that is not necessarily similar to his own? Also "pop-punk," really?

InbredJed
August 13th 2012



5240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think Mastodon is "pop-punk" I was just referencing Snoxall. Be that as it may, their albums have become increasingly candy coated (although in some cases more technical) as their career has progressed.



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