MASTODON

Sludge Metal / Progressive Metal / Non-Metal • 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 3.74 | 45 ratings
Remission
Sludge Metal 2002
MASTODON Leviathan album cover 4.20 | 80 ratings
Leviathan
Sludge Metal 2004
MASTODON Blood Mountain album cover 3.91 | 62 ratings
Blood Mountain
Sludge Metal 2006
MASTODON Crack The Skye album cover 4.24 | 90 ratings
Crack The Skye
Sludge Metal 2009
MASTODON The Hunter album cover 4.00 | 61 ratings
The Hunter
Progressive Metal 2011
MASTODON Once More 'Round the Sun album cover 4.02 | 28 ratings
Once More 'Round the Sun
Progressive Metal 2014
MASTODON Emperor of Sand album cover 3.70 | 19 ratings
Emperor of Sand
Progressive Metal 2017

MASTODON EPs & splits

MASTODON Slick Leg album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Slick Leg
Sludge Metal 2001
MASTODON Lifesblood album cover 3.10 | 8 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 Crack The Skye - Abridged album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crack The Skye - Abridged
Sludge Metal 2010
MASTODON Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly EP album cover 3.20 | 9 ratings
Jonah Hex: Revenge Gets Ugly EP
Progressive 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 2.83 | 5 ratings
Cold Dark Place
Progressive Metal 2017

MASTODON live albums

MASTODON Live At The Aragon album cover 3.75 | 8 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 3.67 | 10 ratings
Call Of The Mastodon
Sludge Metal 2006
MASTODON Boxset album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Boxset
Sludge Metal 2008

MASTODON singles (20)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Iron Tusk
Sludge Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Blood & Thunder
Sludge Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Crystal Skull
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Capillarian Crest
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wolf Is Loose
Sludge Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Colony Of Birchmen
Sludge Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sleeping Giant
Sludge Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oblivion
Sludge Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Divinations
Sludge Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Got Paid / The Bit
Sludge Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
3.75 | 2 ratings
Deathbound
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
4.33 | 3 ratings
Black Tongue
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
2.21 | 3 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
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Motherload
Progressive Metal 2014
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Atlanta
Progressive Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
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

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 Leviathan

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 Leviathan

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
Second full-length Mastodon's album and here is where they really showed all their potential, and this original way to understand metal!

The style of the band very well represented in Leviathan. They make thrash metal with a lot of death metal influences, and a very original approaching to stoner rock too, giving constant surprises with groovy and catchy riffs. Like at the end of Seabeast! Being a fan of stoner (I specially love Spiritual Beggars and similar acts), I find this side of Mastodon very attractive.

However, they use not usual rhythms and structures. The songs are surprising, and the tempo is always changing. Not only in the epic Hearts Alive (a 100% progressive metal track) but also in the funny Megalodon, where a country melody is followed by a very fast speed metal section. The complex Aqua Dementia, the intricate verses on Island. This album is a real pleasure for tech metal fans.

The sound of the guitars is a bit odd, but it is great for the music and the concept of the album. They have sometimes a sailor mood, like on the beginning of Megalodon. Is incredible how this band, with these compact and hard compositions, are able to give every song a new texture, making a coherent progression of the history through the album. I also like their acoustics. In Joseph Merrick they made another bizarre song, with this dirty guitars and tired keyboards... However, it is just brilliant!

Brann Dailor, the drummer, also deserves a special mention here. He is just one of the better drummers in metal today. His incredibly fast drumming and his surprising rhythms make the sensation of that you are hearing a jam session by a genius... Every time I listen this album, I discover new things in the work of this man in Leviathan. His sound is a bit ugly, and a bit too high. However, for the speed of his drumming, maybe it is not possible to get a better sound, because the drumsticks of this guy must run at the speed of light!

Best Tracks: Blood and Thunder (obscure, epic and catchy opening...), Seabeast (the final riff is my favorite of the album), Iron Tusk (just love the whole song), Megalodon (it's crazy, and it is wonderful) and of course Hearts Alive (the longer track is of course very progressive, epic and it shows the whole band's potential)

Conclusion: Mastodon is one of the most surprising metal acts appeared in the last years. They have achieved a very original sound, mixing a lot of genres and influences, but mixing them so brilliantly that you will not notice it. They are powerful, refreshing and unique. And Leviathan is their best album to date, surpassing the very good but a bit flawed Blood Mountain.

Very recommended band and album!

My rating: ****

P.S.: this review was originally written for ProgArchives.com and rewritten to be included here.

MASTODON Remission

Album · 2002 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
Debut full length of the Atlanta's kings of trash-death-technical-prog-metal!!!

This album contains the typical hoarse vocals of Troy Sanders and his saturated bass playing, great and technical guitar playing by Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and the well-known amazing drumming by Brann Dailor and tons of heavy and progressive tracks.

Sadly, the songwriting is not so compelling like in the similar but much better Leviathan or the proggier Crack the Skye, making this record a bit dull in the long term despite some tracks where the band tries to make something differing like the sludge-prog Trilobite and the much more melodic and very interesting Elephant Man.

Best Tracks: March of the Fire Ants (typical Mastodon power), Where Strides the Behemoth (great riffs and a classic in live concerts), Trilobite (one of the most progressive tracks of the album with excellent guitars on it) and Elephant Man (melancholic and meditative guitar work, which shows the band's versatility which would make them great in the future)

Conclusion: this first album of Mastodon is much in the vein of the later Leviathan, but with a songwriting which is not so refined yet and some repetitive ideas which makes the hearing of the album a bit boring in the long term.

So, although Remission is a good tech-metal album with some killer tracks and passages on it, if you are new to Mastodon, I would recommend you to start with one of their later albums!

My rating: ***

MASTODON Lifesblood

EP · 2001 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
So, I'll finally start to review the Mastodon's albums, a band that I've followed for years. This little EP, their first official release, is their least worthy work!

Mainly because the true style of the band would be later developed. While in this album the dominant key is death metal, with some trash and stoner rock elements, and a bit of experimentation. Ok, this mixture is the Mastodon's trademark, but in Lifesblood the direction of the tracks is not really clear, and a bit too chaotic. The poor production doesn’t help to improve the sensation these five tracks give. The vocals are poor in comparison with later Mastodon's albums, and they are too synthetized and artificial.

But if you are a Mastodon fan, of course you'll find some interesting things here. Like I found! We Built this Come Death has some of this macabre and odd ambience that Mastodon can give to their songs. The little initial riff of Hail to Fire has the typical sharp and special Mastodon's guitar sound, and Brann Dailor was impressive behind the drumkit. And of course, Battle at Sea is a worthy track, a little Mastodon's classic.

Nevertheless, if you are new to the band, I recommend you start with one of their full-length albums (specially Leviathan or Crack the Skye).

Conclusion: if you are not a Mastodon's fan, you will hardly find anything interesting here. Because this album is maybe too rough, and the later Mastodon's style is almost invisible here and yet to be developed.

So, in my humble opinion, Lifesblood is only recommended for fans and the band’s completionists.

My rating: **

MASTODON Movies Reviews

MASTODON The Workhorse Chronicles: The Early Years 2000-2005

Movie · 2006 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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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