Mastodon
Blood Mountain


4.5
superb

Review

by Joe Costa USER (34 Reviews)
September 10th, 2006 | 35 replies | 9,079 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


For most of my formative years, sans my time in 7th grade, I was pretty much allergic to metal. Although back then the meaning has a significantly different meaning for me than it does now, I essentially loathed all extremely heavy music. Back then, my music taste was also quite undeveloped and I had never listened to much beyond the radio and whatever my dad played for me. Unfortunately I went through middle school and the beginning of high school under the notion that metal was nothing more than Slipknot and Korn. Oh how wrong I was. Now I can proudly say that I do enjoy quite a bit of metal, and that I’m decidedly more open minded toward music. Needless to say, it doesn’t take a metal fan to enjoy Mastodon’s latest offering and major-label debut, Blood Mountain.

As with all of Mastodon’s previous releases, the sound has not drastically changed. Their brand of instrumentally driven, progressive-tinged, and grind-enthused metal is still similar to everything else they’ve previously done, just a lot better. The musicianship is tighter than ever, showing that Mastodon is only growing better with age. Guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher lay down plenty of grinding intro riffs, showing an obvious Dillinger Escape Plan influence, while juxtaposing them with Iron Maiden-esque guitar harmonies (see the raucous Crystal Skull for the best example of this). But Hinds and Kelliher are obviously not just out to rip off every influential metal band out there; they combine some of the most diametrically opposite styles in metal and enthuse it with a bit of space-rock experimental wank, as evidenced on Sleeping Giant, an epic sounding, mandolin-tinged spacey exploration of Pink Floyd-esque guitar work and odd sound manipulation.

Of course, you cannot mention Mastodon’s extreme instrumental prowess without mentioning the absolutely bombastic, pants-soiling, and all around kickass drumming of Brann Dailor. He is easily one of the most talented drummers in metal today (outside of death metal of course, they still rain supreme for merely speed alone). Dailor is really the driving force of the group, setting the pace for each song. Bladecatcher is probably the best example of his versatility, where he goes from classic metal ala Judas Priest, to near-grind, all while throwing in some impressive, hard hitting, and high speed fills. Oh, and if the opening drum fill to The Wolf is Loose doesn’t cause cardiac arrest, you are probably a cyborg.

Probably the biggest difference in Blood Mountain and Mastodon’s previous releases is the vocals. Bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders unfortunately had a very stereotypical metal voice on their earlier releases, a combination of a scream and a bark that was almost made Mastodon’s earlier work unlistenable to my precious little punk worshipping ears. Thankfully, Sanders has recognized that his strengths do not lie in the near-roar that plagued tracks like Blood and Thunder on their previous album. Unfortunately for Hinds however, Sanders’ improvement has only made his slight decline in quality even more noticeable. At times, Hinds almost sounds like a whinier Ozzy Osbourne, something that detracts from the quality of the music, but thankfully is a small aspect to get over.

When all is said and done, Mastodon’s third full length has proven that they are one of the most innovative bands in metal today. With their unique blend of grinding traditional metal, with an unparalleled sense of melody (in genre, of course, they certainly aren’t Panic! At the Disco), prog-rock wankery, and some destructive guitar harmonies, Mastodon has been a favorite of the metal underground since their inception. With Blood Mountain, they will more than likely appease fans, both old and new, as well as gain a bit of popularity with what is surely the best album of their career thus far.

Recommended Tracks:
The Wolf is Loose
Sleeping Giant
Bladecatcher
Pendulous Skin




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Drunken Viking
September 10th 2006


1023 Comments


I thought this was released the 12th.

Intransit
September 10th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Probably my favorite review that Ive written, even if it isnt my best. It came together easily. This is released in the UK on the 11th, so its legit as far as Im concerned. Enjoy.

Drunken Viking
September 10th 2006


1023 Comments


Oh alright, because you can't review things that are yet to be released. But good review then, I'll have to pick this up.

Zesty Mordant
September 10th 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

seein' them on Tues. (with Converge). can't wait.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 10th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is going to be criminally overrated. It is a great album though.This Message Edited On 09.11.06

Intransit
September 10th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I wanna see them with Converge and The Bronx, but the closest they are playing is atlanta :sad:

edit to cocaine:lawl beat me to it I suppose. I agree, its pretty great but people will still probably rate it a 5 just for the sake of it. This Message Edited On 09.11.06

Thor
September 11th 2006


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

When I heard this on their MySpace I was really impressed, but I won't rate it until I get it. Great review, too...even if it is early.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 11th 2006


2675 Comments


Well, that's one benefit of living in Europe and not America, heh.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
September 11th 2006


2125 Comments


I liked it when I listened to it on myspace. Good stuff.

loathed
September 11th 2006


174 Comments


Hmm, i've never really got into this guys...where is a good place to start?

anything melodic or so here?

sickjesus
September 11th 2006


163 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I got this today and it\'s not as immediately catchy as most of their other stuff...I think it could be a grower. Even so, it'll be surprising if it turns out to be 'album of the decade' like Metal Hammer think it is.This Message Edited On 09.11.06

Refl
September 11th 2006


43 Comments


Theres some really good tunes here, but the album fades abit towards the end.

Kage
September 11th 2006


1173 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Decent review. You mmake too many generalizations though (Speed = talent;
constantly equating prog rock to wankery, etc.)This Message Edited On 09.11.06

Intransit
September 11th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

[quote=kage]Decent review. You mmake too many generalizations though (Speed = talent;
constantly equating prog rock to wankery, etc.)[/quote]

I didnt mean for it to come off that way. Its not that the majority of prog is wankery, but all of the progressive influence on the album comes in the form of wankery. I also dont remember an occassion when I said merely "they are fast so they are good", but more or less where I mentioned its talented and high speed (especially when talking about the drumming)

Thanks all around to the people who voted/left comments about the review. Much appreciated.

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 11th 2006


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard this on their myspace a week ago. I'd never heard any Mastodon prior to this but it wasn't half bad.

Love the review. :thumb:

Shadows
Moderator
September 11th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know what people are seeing that I'm not, but Mastodon is nothing special at all to me.

Cravinov13
September 11th 2006


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^ Same here SF.

Intransit
September 11th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

hmmm, Im not sure shadows. I personally think they kickass because they have a style that is one of the most unique out there right now. I honestly dont know of a single band that sounds like Mastodon does

Thanks Mike, this is one of the few reviews of mine I really like


Cravinov13
September 11th 2006


3854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They don't sound too much diffrent then some stoner metal too me.

Intransit
September 11th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Im sort of a n00b when it comes to metal, but of all of the stoner metal Ive heard, they kick about 1000x more ass than it.




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