MASTODON

Sludge Metal / Progressive Metal / Non-Metal / Hard Rock • United States
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Mastodon is a progressive metal / sludge metal band from Atlanta in Georgia, formed in 2000.

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Mastodon is one of the new breed of metal bands from the US. They created waves in the metal community with the EP Lifesblood, released in 2001, just over a year after the band's formation in 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The band appeals to fans of both hardcore and extreme metal, while combining elements of progressive music and beyond. Mastodon was first signed to Reptilian Records in 2000, shortly after recording their demo. Soon after this and the release of a little-known EP called "Slick Leg," however, the band was signed to Relapse Records - the label on which Mastodon's most critically acclaimed work was released: Lifesblood, an EP in 2001; Remission, the band's first full length album in 2002 and Leviathan, in 2004. (A concept album based around Herman Melville's classic book, Moby
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MASTODON Discography

MASTODON albums / top albums

MASTODON Remission album cover 3.76 | 49 ratings
Remission
Sludge Metal 2002
MASTODON Leviathan album cover 4.18 | 86 ratings
Leviathan
Sludge Metal 2004
MASTODON Blood Mountain album cover 3.91 | 68 ratings
Blood Mountain
Sludge Metal 2006
MASTODON Crack The Skye album cover 4.26 | 94 ratings
Crack The Skye
Sludge Metal 2009
MASTODON The Hunter album cover 3.99 | 66 ratings
The Hunter
Progressive Metal 2011
MASTODON Once More 'Round the Sun album cover 4.01 | 33 ratings
Once More 'Round the Sun
Progressive Metal 2014
MASTODON Emperor of Sand album cover 3.78 | 24 ratings
Emperor of Sand
Progressive Metal 2017

MASTODON EPs & splits

MASTODON Slick Leg album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Slick Leg
Sludge Metal 2001
MASTODON Lifesblood album cover 3.10 | 9 ratings
Lifesblood
Sludge Metal 2001
MASTODON Mastodon / American Heritage album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mastodon / American Heritage
Sludge Metal 2003
MASTODON Mastodon / High on Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mastodon / High on Fire
Sludge Metal 2003
MASTODON The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine: Two Song Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine: Two Song Sampler
Sludge Metal 2004
MASTODON Mastodon / Avenged Sevenfold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mastodon / Avenged Sevenfold
Sludge Metal 2005
MASTODON Mastodon / Deftones album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mastodon / Deftones
Sludge Metal 2007
MASTODON Oblivion EP album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Oblivion EP
Sludge Metal 2009
MASTODON Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly EP album cover 3.20 | 9 ratings
Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly EP
Progressive Metal 2010
MASTODON Crack The Skye - Abridged album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crack The Skye - Abridged
Sludge Metal 2010
MASTODON Just Got Paid album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Got Paid
Sludge Metal 2011
MASTODON A Spoonful Weighs A Ton album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Spoonful Weighs A Ton
Progressive Metal 2012
MASTODON Feistodon album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Feistodon
Progressive Metal 2012
MASTODON Cold Dark Place album cover 3.08 | 8 ratings
Cold Dark Place
Progressive Metal 2017

MASTODON live albums

MASTODON Live At The Aragon album cover 3.77 | 10 ratings
Live At The Aragon
Sludge Metal 2011
MASTODON Live At Brixton album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Brixton
Sludge Metal 2013

MASTODON demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MASTODON 9 Song Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
9 Song Demo
Sludge Metal 2000
MASTODON Demo 2001 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo 2001
Sludge Metal 2001
MASTODON March of the Fire Ants EP album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
March of the Fire Ants EP
Sludge Metal 2002
MASTODON Leviathan Sampler album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leviathan Sampler
Sludge Metal 2004

MASTODON re-issues & compilations

MASTODON Call Of The Mastodon album cover 3.63 | 11 ratings
Call Of The Mastodon
Sludge Metal 2006
MASTODON Boxset album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Boxset
Sludge Metal 2008
MASTODON Medium Rarities album cover 2.93 | 3 ratings
Medium Rarities
Progressive Metal 2020

MASTODON singles (21)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Iron Tusk
Sludge Metal 2004
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4.25 | 2 ratings
Blood & Thunder
Sludge Metal 2004
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Crystal Skull
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Capillarian Crest
Sludge Metal 2006
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0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wolf Is Loose
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Colony Of Birchmen
Sludge Metal 2007
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Sleeping Giant
Sludge Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oblivion
Sludge Metal 2009
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Divinations
Sludge Metal 2009
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Got Paid / The Bit
Sludge Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Deathbound
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Black Tongue
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
2.50 | 4 ratings
Curl Of The Burl
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dry Bone Valley
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
High Road
Progressive Metal 2014
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0.00 | 0 ratings
The Motherload
Progressive Metal 2014
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Atlanta
Progressive Metal 2015
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Asleep In The Deep
Progressive Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
White Walker
Non-Metal 2016
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Toe To Toes
Progressive Metal 2017
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stairway to Nick John
Hard Rock 2019

MASTODON movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.38 | 4 ratings
The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years 2000-2005
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Unholy Alliance
Sludge Metal 2007

MASTODON Reviews

MASTODON Medium Rarities

Boxset / Compilation · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
As one may expect from the title, the brand new release from Mastodon is a collection of material which is difficult or impossible to obtain, bringing together cover versions, soundtrack contributions, instrumentals, B-sides, and live recordings on one complete package. This means we get the likes of “A Commotion” (Feist), “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton” (The Flaming Lips), and “Orion” (Metallica) while also featuring soundtrack cuts such as “White Walker” (Game of Thrones), “Cut You Up With A Linoleum Knife” (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and “Rufus Lives” (Bill & Ted Face The Music). If that isn’t enough, they also include instrumental versions of “Asleep in the Deep”, “Toe To Toes”, “Jaguar God” and “Halloween”. Given that many of the songs are unavailable elsewhere then this is obviously something that fans are going to be interested in, especially as it includes brand new song “Fallen Torches”, which features guest vocals by long-time friend and collaborator Scott Kelly (Neurosis).

Due to the nature of the music contained within this, it is aimed only at Mastodon diehard fans and those people will really enjoy this, yet in reality this is not something which normal punters will rush out to obtain, and rightly so. There are a few numbers which do stand out musically, but overall this is something which many people will listen to once and then go back to the “normal” releases. Rarities albums sometimes produce a few gems, such as Jethro Tull’s “Jack A Lynn” and “Coronach” which many people were unaware of until they were put out on such a set, but for most people they can be safely passed by until the next new album comes out, and this falls into that bracket. But if you really did want some of those rarer Mastodon songs then now you can do just that.

MASTODON Emperor of Sand

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
On their 2017 release the quartet released a concept storyline where they want us to contemplate the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor Of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?’” “We’re reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.”

Although it may seem that this would lead the album musically into darker territory, it is actually somewhat lighter than its predecessors, still capturing the Mastodon sound but at times it is more akin to hard rock than metal, while sludge is less prominent than previously. Instead they are mixing and blending complex ideas with guitar lines that sometimes have Eastern tinges, while Dailor is producing some of the most melodic vocals of his career. “Steambreather” is a case in point where instead of getting heavier it actually lightens up during the bridge even though Dailor is also blasting around the kit. “Precious Stones” is another fine example of the band playing with light and dark, as while it is lighter for the most part the final bars show the band crunching out the definitive Mastodon sound and then stopping dead.

The subject matter of the album may not be the most pleasant for people to think about, but the music has definitely taken on a less brutal and more melodic aspect while still staying true to their roots. More progressive and less metallic, this is another great release.

MASTODON Once More 'Round the Sun

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
This 2014 album was the sixth from Mastodon, following on some three years from 2011’s acclaimed ‘The Hunter’. Although I originally missed out on the debut, I clearly remember when I was sent their 2004 release ‘Leviathan’ and the impact it had on me. Back then they were in all the music magazines but moving to New Zealand just a few years later meant I lost track of what they were doing and it is only now that I am starting to revisit the catalogue. There are few bands who manage to stay together throughout their career, but the line-up on this one was the same as on the debut (and actually still is today), namely Troy Sanders (bass, vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar, vocals), Bill Kelliher (guitar) and Brann Dailor (drums). Over the years they have become renowned for their attention to detail, and how they mix many forms of metal to create something which is uniquely theirs. This means they can be playing something which is more akin to sludge and then surprise everyone with some incredibly melodic guitar twin harmonies which is totally out of character for what is happening musically yet also fits in perfectly. Then over the top of it all there are the dual lead vocals which add yet more melody to what is an incredibly heavy band.

But they are also not afraid to show what inspires them, and when listening to the title cut, one cannot help but be taken back to the Seventies, although in a far heavier and bass-led fashion. This song also contains samples of Lizzy’s “Cowboy Song”, and one wonders if this was a premonition of things to come given that bassist Sanders was asked to join that band for some live shows five years later. This is progressive metal in that there is a real refusal to accept boundaries or norms, creating music very much on their own terms, no compromise whatsoever yet somehow they create something which is incredibly easy to listen to and enjoy on the very first time of hearing. It is powerful and aggressive, yet with a layer of polish and versatility which belies the force of what is going on underneath. While it may not have the immediate impact of ‘Leviathan’ one can see why this is such highly regarded release and I am certainly glad that I have finally remade my acquaintance with the band.

MASTODON Leviathan

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Atlanta’s MASTODON made quite the thundering debut with 2002’s “Remission,” an album that sounded like a herd of ancient pachyderms rampaging across the Siberian tundra en masse with such force that the very ground below them quaked and split the continents in two. The album introduced a new kind of progressive sludge to the metal universe and excelled at creating murky dark soundscapes that added touches of suffocating atmospheric gloom and doom. The story of MASTODON has been pretty much that it incrementally at a snail’s pace slinked into more accessible stylistic approaches that would de-emphasize the chaotic paranoia and settle into more streamlined even melodic approaches. This trend began all the way back on the group’s second full-length release LEVIATHAN.

It’s more accurate to state that the band made some tradeoffs. While jettisoning the fear porn of the debut, the band instead adopted characteristics of the progressive world and on LEVIATHAN the band’s very first concept album was born which was loosely based on Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick. While taming the wild antics of the debut album, LEVIATHAN by no means slowed things down and continued a rampaging parade of ten sonic attacks of sonic ferocity well intact. Decorated with more progressive compositional workouts and tight consistent instrumental interplay, LEVIATHAN was the album that saw the band taking both the progressive and metal world’s by storm and catapulted the band into the big boys’ club. Laced with the raging angst of hardcore crust punk and the ambitiousness of tech metal wankery, MASTODON hit the scene like a derailed train colliding with an anvil factory.

With the first hard-hitting riffs of “Blood And Thunder,” MASTODON sets the tone for LEVIATHAN that never lets up until the bitter end. Laced with venomous guitar distortion and interchange of Brent Hinds’ and Bill Kelliher’s dual double axe attack, MASTODON takes the timbre-based sinew of sludge metal and coerces it into performing technical gymnastics that subtly sneak in and steer the aggressive assaults into more advanced creatures. The tracks seamlessly blend together with an idiosyncratic series of riffing made all the more outrageous by Brann Dailor’s approach of alternating the lazy slug drumming experience in the Eyehategod school of drumming along with more tech infused jazzy outbursts. Brett Hinds also delivers his madman vocal approach from under the cacophonous din of the relentless tempo drives save the short instrumental contrasts as heard on the intro and subsections of “Seabeast.”

Another interesting factor and what ties the band’s first four albums together is that each one symbolizes one of the four elements of tetralogy. While “Remission” was not a concept album, it was still considered to have the theme of the element of fire. LEVIATHAN therefore not surprisingly represents the water element however the turbulent paths forged throughout this relentless metal madness is more like the Drake’s passage between South America and Antarctica which is known to have the most devastating channels and highest waves on the entire planet. Of interest as well is the stunning artwork on the album cover created by Paul Romano which is a revamped version of Martin Heemskerck’s 16th century interpretation of the “Pharos of Alexandria” as well as the wave representing Hokusai’s “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” It’s also notable that the vinyl edition has a different track listing with “I Am Ahab” and “Island” appearing toward the end of the album, presumably so that the tracks could be spaced out more cozily.

Of the ten tracks on board, “Heart’s Alive” exercises the band’s complete progressive workouts and at 13 and a half minutes runs the gamut of tender arpeggiated sequences to galloping metal fury and a healthy dose of Viking metal mythos as well as NWOBHM sensibilities. While Brent Hinds is the clear lead vocalist of the band, on LEVIATHAN, Neil Fallon picks up the task on the opening “Blood And Thunder” and Scott Kelly likewise on “Aqua Dementia,” but you know what? They all growl alike so it’s unlikely you could tell the difference anyways. “Aqua” also has a cello cameo and the final instrumental features organ by Joseph Merrick who strangely has the track named after him. Some kind of endorsement scheme here? My mind is so suspicious. Back to “Hearts Alive.” Despite it being the longest track it doesn’t seem to make the most of the progressive opportunities and actually becomes a big stagnant, however LEVIATHAN is an outrageously fun romp through the world of stampede style sludge metal with a few progressive candles channeling the spirits of technical wizardry. A great album that continues the band’s unique style.

MASTODON Blood Mountain

Album · 2006 · Sludge Metal
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The Crow
The third Mastodon's full-length effort was their definitive entry into prog!

The outstanding Leviathan had some prog elements, with intricate passages and some long instrumental sections, but it's really far from the complexity of Blood Mountain, where the guys show all their instrumental skills, and the great amount of imagination they have to compose songs. Nevertheless, I think they did not achieve the level of Leviathan.

The style of this album was still a curious mixture between thrash metal, stoner and prog, like the previous one, but Blood Mountain increased the level of prog and psychedelic elements, making the songs more intricate and variated, and even more personal and unique. The problem is that they were not so catchy as the Leviathan killer tracks. The experimentation of this album was commendable, but I think the band did not achieve a real good balance between the immediate killer power of Leviathan and the new attempt to reach a proggier level.

Specially the second half of the album is a bit dull to hear, because some songs like the silly Bladecatcher, the insipid Hunters of the Sky and the not really interesting Hand of Stone, which are under the usual level of the band.

Best Tracks: the first five tracks are splendid and I like Colony of Birchmen and Siberian Divide very much. The rest of the album is not at the same level.

Conclusion: I think that Blood Mountain was some kind of transition album. It had not the power and the catchy style of Leviathan, because the band tried new musical ways in the prog way, but not finding the right balance.

The album has great songs, but some musical ideas didn't work so well, specially in the second half of the album, and the general level is under Leviathan.

My rating: ***

MASTODON Movies Reviews

MASTODON The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years 2000-2005

Movie · 2006 · Sludge Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
The Workhorse Chronicles is a must have for any fan of the band. Period. The DVD contains a huge documentary, their first four music videos and live performances of just about every song the band had written up until the touring for Leviathan. The documentary is incredibly informative, with details on how the band formed, inter band relationships, the witting process, touring, their personal lives and what inspires them. Footage from their old bands, their earliest shows and backstage is mixed with candid interviews to let you in on just about every aspect of the band you could think of.

The dvd displays just what a down to earth collection of musicians Mastodon are, never acting like rock stars and always feeling honored to be where they are. While the dvd is completely serious and professional, fans of the band will already know what a humorous bunch of guys they are and will revel in the joking, sarcasm, unusual dreams and even an interview conducted in the shower.

Then you get the live performances taken from several sources, One concert while the band was still a Five Piece playing material off of the then upcomming LifesBlood EP which is recorded by the audience so isn’t of high audio/visual quality. Another Concert is from The Leviathan Tour is a sold out club, with higher Audio/visual quality and a career spanning track listing. Then there are several professionally recorded one off performances for television with superb sound and looks, With songs like ‘Workhorse,’ and ‘Mother Puncher,’ played to the highest standard with crystal clear audio. Finally the music videos which are welcome. Overall this dvd is a must have; with a superb documentary, four videos and an astonishing 29 live songs.

MASTODON Shouts

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jorgelog94 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
gREAT BAND!!!
Coffin Joe wrote:
more than 2 years ago
My favorite band! This band just gets better & better - and the Crack The Skye just blew me away!

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