by Crocto USER (2 Reviews)
January 15th, 2005 | 44 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Mastodon - Leviathan

Mastodon�s last release Remission blew listeners away with its �math-metal� formula, math-metal meaning music that is so �complex� it can only be expressed in mathematical equations instead of standard musical notation. Honestly, I failed to see the complexity of the music on Leviathan. Sure the drumming is extremely well done and the guitar riffs are loud and fast but it�s definitely not as fast as Dragonforce or technical as Dream Theater. That being said the lack of technical complexity is actually a positive for the band. Instead of getting mired in over-the-top fretboard pyrotechnics they create memorable riffs that are great to headbang along with. On another note all of the songs on Leviathan relate in
some way to Herman Melville�s Moby Dick, which rules.

The overall production values on the CD are very good. The distorted guitars crunch and growl like and the clean passages also sound excellent and vibrant when needed. The issue of technical complexity arises again with the guitars. The riffs and solos on Leviathan are not as technical compared to other metal bands such as Dream Theater. The album opener, �Blood and Thunder� begins with an almost blues rock riff that is actually pretty cool and catchy.

The drums have a good sound as well. In addition, to sounding great the drumming on Leviathan is excellent. Cuts such as �Seabeast� and �Megalondon� have some great fills as well as double-bass sections. The vocals are hit and miss cuts like �Blood and Thunder� the lyrics are clear while on tracks like �Iron Tusk� and �Island� the vocals turn into a hardcore growl and let�s face it no one likes hardcore.

Another problem I heard, this may not be a problem for others, was the lack of guitar solos. The band obviously has loads of talent yet there are only two solos on the entire forty-seven minute CD. The songs with solos on being �Island� and the fourteen minute long epic �Hearts Alive�. �Hearts Alive� starts out slowly but than picks up momentum and turns into a driving riff laden epic song that ends with a great solo and is easily the best cut on the entire CD. Note that Leviathan is sold as a digi-pak so when you plunk down the seventeen odd dollars at Best Buy you�ll get a cool case and a free audio DVD.


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Tangy zizzle
October 16th 2004


You mentioned Dream Theater more than Mastodon, good work...

October 17th 2004


Album Rating: 3.0

I was very happy to see that someone had answered my review request. Unfortunatly, your review hasn't really done anything for me and I'm still confused as to whether I should go and buy it now or should I wait. Your review wasn't really anything to me, sorry man.

Ornery Cephalopod
October 17th 2004


1. Mastodon is in no way "math metal" (granted, they're hard to fit into a genre, but lots of drum fills and uncommon time signatures does not equal math metal)

2. Comparing them to Dragonforce and Dream Theater is pointless, as they are totally different styles than Mastodon (power metal and prog metal, vs. whatever Mastodon is)

3. "The album opener, Blood and Thunder begins with an almost blues rock riff that is actually pretty cool and catchy." -Oh come on now, there's better examples of "blues rock" than a totally non-bluesy metal riff that just happens to not be distorted.

4. "The vocals are hit and miss cuts like Blood and Thunder the lyrics are clear while on tracks like Iron Tusk and Island the vocals turn into a hardcore growl and lets face it no one likes hardcore." -Ok, I know this is pretty subjective, but I disagree, "Blood and Thunder" has the worst vocals on the album. (I heard they're guest vocals from the singer of some other band?) And I'm not a hardcore fan for the most part, but the hardcore comment was just idiotic (I know, it was said in a joking manner (I hope), but I'm in a mood to drop as many plates on dat ass as I can).

5. I abhorred this review. Good day sir.

Distorted Vision
October 17th 2004


Yeah, tha review sort of missed the mark I think. Like Ornery Cephalopod said, there were quite a few points that were pretty irrelevant.

I for one like this album, I haven't heard Remission so I can't compare but it's a very cool album. I'd give it 4/5.

October 17th 2004


Downloaded a couple tracks, wasn't impressed. Remission kills this.

October 17th 2004


Congratulagtions, you've demonstrated to all concerned just how bad a review can get without getting deleted. Good work everyone.

Dancin' Man
October 17th 2004


Album Rating: 4.0

Reviews like this make me want to write one. For an album I've never heard. In broken French. All in caps.

October 17th 2004


Do it! DO IT!!!!

Dancin' Man
October 17th 2004


Album Rating: 4.0

Give me an album and the track titles and times. I will decide the genre and rate each track, in depth.

October 17th 2004



How about doing a review that's already been done, just to rub it in? :p

October 18th 2004



but this album is still very good, for anyone not willing to buy it and want to hear a few tracks first i suggest: Seabeast, Blood and Thunder and Naked Burn

Ornery Cephalopod
October 18th 2004


Remission = Leviathan. Maybe even slightly Leviathan > Remission.

Leviathan took longer to get used to, but seems like it'll have longer staying power among my commonly spun disks.

October 18th 2004


crappy review, great album. i thought this was way better than remission. with remission i felt that most songs started well but then kinda got lost. on leviathan i think the songs have far greater direction with good beginning middle and endings. track 3 in particular is one of the best moments on the album- the bit where it's chugging along at a a decent pace, then breaks into a sort of country/bluegrass riff before going back to the heavy stuff but twice as fast and heavy than before. also the acoustic track at the end is genius.

October 18th 2004


i honestly thought it was ok at best. from what i've read on-line everyone liked this CD and i don't really see why. the drumming as i said was good the guitar riffs are good but other than that the CD is lacking. there are exactly 2 solos the vocals are poor or just flat out boring.

fast fingers and all those who complain about what is review really need to grow up. just because i didn't like "your" band doesn't mean you have to bash me.

some of my comments may have been off topic i'll agree. the hardcore comment was a bit of a joke but not much of one.

in short this review is one guy's opinion of a CD if you don't like it stop complaing that simple.

November 6th 2004


It's sounds like you have read a bunch of reviews, and are comparing alle the reviews you read, with the CD?

Isn't it supposed too be your own opinion? And why trash a whole genre, like hardcore...

Your pittyfull review lacks quite a lot.

And you - instead off being a dick, about the users complaints/remarks/reviews of your review (whatever..) - take it, and use it, so next time you can make an even better review.

Btw - I agree in most of what you have written though..

Cliff Em All
November 25th 2004


This review lacked alot so im going to try to add to what you said.all i can do is give you my honest impression of the cd:

BLOOD AND THUNDER: the first track on leviathan incorporates a good guitar riff with troy's growly kinda lyrics with guest vocalist neil fallon's more clean vocals and the tight drum fills from brann (i think the brann is the drummer)
The song itself is about hunting "the white whale" and it conveys a sense of urgency and danger. 4/5

I AM AHAB:this song's intro is a perfect continuation of blood and thunder.The thing i didnt like about this song is that the lyrics are slightly slower than the music and makes them seem to lag behind but the drums are excellent as usual. terrible songwriting imo, i could have written it. 2/5

SEABEAST: creeepy guitar intro! Much better singing on this one: i think one of the guitarists sings on this track as well as troy, more great drumming, that i have come to expect from this band. At 3:32, there is a massive breakdown that leads out of the song.

ISLAND: an overall good song with more excellent guitar and drums (do i hear an echo?) but one thing really annoyed me. This song is about how life started in iceland and volcanos and fire and all this stuff that sound like its out if dungeons and dragons. this pissed me off because it seems like every band out there is writing about this stuff.(dimmu borgir, children of bodom, amon amarth, the list is endless)still a good song.3/5

IRON TUSK: the one you probably heard on MTV2. average guitars on this one but some of the best drumming ive ever heard. This song is about extinct creatures such as wooly mammoths and megalodons (giant sharks) and features background vocals by bill 4/5

MEGALODON: megalodon has the best riffs on this album imo and what? A SOLO? no not really its more of a solo fill but is still very good and has a very country feel to it. the best things about this song are the intro and outro. the lyrics are actually a little disturbing because they are about being eaten by a savage mermaid 4.5/5

NAKED BURN:This one has the best vocals by far and whoever is singing has a country accent which is pretty rare to hear in music like this. Again a soild breakdown and superb drumming.the least thrashy song on the album, it has an undeniable country feel to not sure but i think the song is about a giant rampaging through a village.very cool theme 4/5

AQUA DEMAMTIA: ...FINALLY, I CAN HEAR THE BASS EASILY!!! The intro to this song kicks so much ***! troy shares the vocals with scott kelly (Neurosis)who adds a thrash influence that makes this song kick that much more ***. in an interview, Troy said its about how if we dont stop dumping Sh*t in te ocean, there will be so much waste and gas and sh*t in it that the ocean will catch fire and we will all die

HEARTS ALIVE: the thirteen and a half minute epic that is so long that ive never listened to the whole song. sorry but i just dont have the patience to listen to it...right now...

JOSEPH MERRICK: jesus christ this song gives me the chills. its an a intrumental incorporating acoustic guitars with electric guitars and bass using some kind of a chorus effect giving it a very watery sound. with solo fills dipersed throughout, this sond is very calm and gives the impression of being lost at sea on a boat like the one on the cover getting smashed by the whale.
its fun to listen to this one when it rains. it is a very nice cap to an otherwise headbangin album 5/5 ( id give a 6/5 if i could)

MASTODON IS:Troy Sanders(bass/lead vocals),Brent Hinds (guitar), Bill Kelliher(guitar/ backup vocals)and Brann Dailor (drums) ( not sure about those, album didnt say)

POSITIVES OF "LEVIATHAN": excellent guitars and drums, a great theme for an album, comes with a dvd and nice paper packaging, and killer album art

NEGATIVES: cant always hear the bass, inconsistent vocals, 10 songs, few solos

I would reccomend this album and going to a Mastodon live show, they're a great live band.

OVERALL:a solid 4.5/5, the best album ive bought since master of puppets and is yet to leave my stereo

well this wasnt intended to be a review, i wrote it just to help with what the original review lacked. Hope i helped.

Dancin' Man
December 11th 2004


Album Rating: 4.0

Because both reviews sucked, I'm writing one right now. Stay tuned.

December 11th 2004


[QUOTE=Cliff Em All]

I AM AHAB: 2/5








JOSEPH MERRICK: 5/5 ( id give a 6/5 if i could)


OVERALL:a solid 4.5/5, the best album ive bought since master of puppets and is yet to leave my stereo
[/QUOTE] :confused: How does that work?

Dancin' Man
December 12th 2004


Album Rating: 4.0

Mastodon is

Bill Kelliher (guitar)

Brann Dailor (drums)

Troy Sanders (vocals/bass)

Brent Hinds (vocals/guitar)


Mastodon is the most solidly metal band there is. No subgenrefication, just metal. Metal their own way. With tons of fills both for guitar and drums, every song is packed with constant variations. Almost every verse sounds like its own break down and the vocals are rarely the focal point of the music. When there are vocals, they take on the role of an instrument fitting with the band rather than the traditional front seat. Every song is packed with melodies contrasted by thumping rhythms and the drums. The drums are perfect. Brann Dailor finds a way to play his comparatively diminutive 6 piece set in such a way that it sounds like one of todays giant drum sets normally found in metal bands. This band fills the void for every metal fan looking for something new. It caters to just about every metal fan. Nu metal fans can appreciate this as can tr00 metal heads. There is really something for everyone. One complaint might be the lack of guitar solos but, much like Tool, Mastodon focuses more on the group sound than the individual making for 10 solid songs.

Blood and Thunder Excellent opener. A solid riff and superb drumming and a chorus that contrasts extremely well with an arpeggio like chord progression. A mini solo/fill is in there and flows into a bridge section with some very snazzy snare work. The drummer, from the pictures Ive seen, does not play on an enormous set like some drummers do yet he makes it sound like he does. The song has an unfortunately standard order but it is short and ends with a great harmonized variation of the main riff.

I Am Ahab A basic riff opens the song and is split by a fast fill/breakdown. This song is packed with breakdown like features. Lots of fills and variations on the same riff in Mastodon fashion. There is a very melodic bridge with more snazzy drum work. A short song prevents this song from getting repetitive.

Seabeast Oh no. The intro is awesome. Slightly dissonant, very melodic and not too fast. Then the song really starts and takes a step back The vocal melody reminds me of 311 and that is a bad thing. This song goes in between awesome melodic sections and terrible verses. The song has another section that is somewhere in between the two in terms of quality but overall this song is ruined by that verse. It has a great outro which tries to save the song, but fails.

Island This is a riff packed song. The drums, yet again, are excellent. There is a superb breakdown that some people might mistake for a solo but the guitar mix really isnt high enough and its just tremolo picking. Excellent song.

Iron Tusk Generally singles suck. This one does not. The riff is simple yet excellent. The vocals are the best on the album and some of the best Ive ever heard. They stand out a bit more on this track and you can really hear the back and forth vocals. The guitars do a nice job of coming together. The drums, again, are awesome. This song really gets you moving. The vocals make me feel paranoid. Excellent work.

Megalodon This song starts with the same sort of melodic guitar part as Seabeast but better. The drums are superb and when the part changes, it gets better. It has an middle eastern flair to it. There is a very interesting country sounding guitar fill that contrasts the song really well. After that there is some more excellent riffage. A very fast paced song. The drumming is less interesting on this song but very fitting. Not as many interesting fills. The guitars do more of the playing the parallel riffing where they play in 3rds I think but am too lazy to figure it out. It sounds good is the point. This song has some great breakdowns. It has a really bluesy feel to it after that solo.

Naked Burn This intro makes me think hyper nu metal. It sort of bounces and does a build with the bass and drums. And its ruined. The vocals and guitars turn whiny and make me think of all those annoying Nirvana moments that make you want to break your stereo. If any song on this album could be classified as nu metal, this is it. There are some great parts but this band should not attempt singing. When they start doing their yell/scream the song becomes awesome. The bass is really audible on this song. This is a great song if you can get over the fairly bad singing. There is some decent singing but nothing to write home about. This song makes me feel like a pirate. When you hear him say The ships arrived it only amplifies that.

Aqua Dementia Intro = perfect. A fast guitar dueling guitar part and awesome drums. Then into a variant riff. The vocals are almost black metal. This song is repetitive and switches back and forth between two parts about 6 times. There are little fills thrown in there and the drums really get to show off here. There is a halftime section in the middle with a great guitar part. The interludes in this song make it into a really great song. The song ends with ocean sounds.

Hearts Alive Begins with ocean sounds. A great riff fades in. It is basically the band jamming on a theme for the first 2 minutes. Good thing its a great theme. Then the beast enters. A blasting semi chromatic riff launches in and then the original theme is layered over that. Vocals. Great vocals. The jam theme comes back with monotone sung vocals. It has that Middle Eastern flair again. This time to vocals dont suck. The song builds and then back to that theme. I think they use a slightly distorted 12 string for the part. The song sounds best when they slam a real in your face chord progression over the main theme. This song has been able to take everything Mastodon does right and turn it into an epic. The drums know when to do a cool fill and the guitars do great variations on their riffs. The vocals are great. And the theme. They keep going back and its great. The best part of it is still when the heavy guitars come in. This is a perfect song. Then, at 7:08 the song takes an interesting turn. New theme with variations and excellent rolling drums. Key changes galore. Then the chords slam in on top of this new theme. This is like two perfect songs back to back. Why that idiot who did the second review never listened to the whole song is beyond me because it easily wins for best song on the album. Then, there is a solo. Its pretty simple but fits perfectly. Theres some basic tapping and then an almost shred section that is very bluesy. And then there is the final riff that just goes and jams itself until the end. Awesome.

Joseph Merrick Reverb and acoustic and tremolo and woah. This song is kickass. One thing Mastodon can do well is make an instrumental that doesnt strike you as being different than their other songs. Its an evil blues rock tune that sounds closer to Radiohead than any other band. The tremolo and the mild distortion are just a great way to close up. I can hear this song being played live while they thank the audience and just talk at you. If there is one thing I wish for, its a sample of someone reading passages from Moby Dick over this song. I would kill for that.

This album easily deserves a 4.5/5 Go buy it now.

December 12th 2004


Fingers wins. I need to get this. Would you say this is better than Remission?

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