MASTODON — Blood Mountain (review)

MASTODON — Blood Mountain album cover Album · 2006 · Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
After the massive success of the previous album (2004's Leviathan), Atlanta's Mastodon decided to continue in experimenting with their already distinct sound. What resulted was their most daring and ballsy album yet, 2006's Blood Mountain. On this particular recording, they took things a little bit further than they did on Leviathan as they added proggier and more psychedelic bits to their sound. This one resulted in a mish mash of different sounds and approaches. It is an album that I enjoy quite a bit. Blood Mountain is yet another concept album for Mastodon (Fun tidbit:3 of their first 4 were actually concept albums). The concept deals with the element of earth and it tells a story of a man who journeys to the top of a mountain (Blood Mountain obviously as it is the album title) but the journey is not an easy as he comes across cysquatches, birchmen, etc. Musically, this is also yet another album that continues what I like to call "The Progression" as Mastodon approaches in delivering the vocals in a much clearer and more intelligible manner (it works brilliantly in my opinion). Melodies are more prevalent on the album too and although none of the songs are all that long, there is a lot going on in them. I found them all to be very interesting and refreshing to say the least. Let's how I feel about each individual track shall eh??

1) The Wolf Is Loose - This one begins with Brann hammering the hell out of the drums. It then leads to the belting out of "The hero of the gods, the crossing of the threshold, the belly of the whale, refusal of return (I just love the part). The simplicity and phrasing of the lyrics is sublime. It goes through quite a few changes throughout. It also has a bit of dueling guitars towards the end. Eventually climaxing in a fury. I found the song rather hardcore punk rockish (crossover thrash perhaps??) and thrashy in nature. The whole song is brilliant. I love it. 10/10

2) Crystal Skull - Yet another adventurous but brutal piece of music. It might not even eclipse the 4 minute mark but there is a lot going on in this. A great track in my opinion. "Intooo the blaaack hoole, searching for crystaal." 10/10

3) Sleeping Giant - Mastodon took a leap of faith with this one. It was one of the most spacey and daring songs that they had done up this point. It is also another piece off of this album that I absolutely adore. I especially love the ending when the band is going all out and Troy is essentially speaking the following lyrics out: A vast, calm wilderness. The call to adventure comes. Lead and land atop this rock. Infinite path carved with unrivaled skill. Very odd but that's what I love about it. A really great song. 10/10

4) Capillerian Crest - This one is just ridiculous(in a good way though). Very mathy and very complex. So many different time signature changes. It does not get as bad as some bands though (I am looking at you Dream Theater). A lot is going on in it. Brilliant track. 10/10

5) Circle of Cysquatch - This one begins with that iconic Mastodon riff(If you haven't heard it yet just listen to it) before becoming a furious track. The way the music and vocals are done is just amazing. Yet another song that I love off of this album. I love the mechanical voice part. 10/10

6) Bladecatcher - Although this one is really good and really crazy it is my least favorite track on the album up to this point. 8/10

7) Colony of Birchmen - This one is probably the biggest and most famous song off of the album. It has killer guitar hooks and a very memorable pre-chorus and chorus. Even though it might be a really popular track (nothing wrong with that). I quite enjoy it. 10/10

8) Hunters of the Sky - This one is also really good but probably my second least favorite off of the album (just barely above Bladecatcher). Don't overlook it though. It might get to you (it does just that to me sometimes lol). 8/10

9) Hand of Stone - This one is one of the most underrated Mastodon songs in my opinion. I don't think it gets the credit it deserves. Everything is great about this song. I just love the part after Troy blurts out "The hand matches. The hand that leads the way. To kill the shepherd. Just to see his face. Heed the warning. Ingest the rotten bone. The hand that falters. The hand that turns to stoooneee." Grade A. 10/10

10) This Mortal Soil - I love, love, love this track. My favorite song on the album. Everything about it is awesome. From the trippy beginning, vocals, arrangements to the melodies. The vocals during the initial verses are just amazing in my opinion. Mastodon is not afraid to experiment I tell you. Best track on the album in my opinion. 10/10

11) Siberian Divide - This one is rather foreboding and one that I enjoy a lot too. Brutal but haunting and not so brutal if that makes any sense. 10/10

12) Pendulous Skin - A psychedelic and rather melancholy track. One that was rather unusual for the band(but then again it probably wasn't??). I loved it. However, I could do without the long parts of nothing and then Josh Homme speaking lol. It was a really great track. 9/10

2006's Blood Mountain was yet another album that kept me interested in Mastodon's music. I believe it was the 3rd album (I don't quite remember as a lot has happened in my life since I purchased the album) I got from them after 2011's The Hunter and 2004's Leviathan. In this album they were able to freshen their sound up a bit and make it even more grandiose than before. It definitely continued to steer them in the right direction(remember that this is just my opinion, you might have a different one though). Another great and grandiose album that should be talked about for years to come. It too receives 4.5 solid stars from me!! Peace out!!!
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