Review

MASTODON Live At The Aragon

Live album · 2011 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Kingcrimsonprog
For fans of Mastodon this DVD will surely be a delight. Finally, a pro shot DVD of an entire concert is available, with full quality sound and editing. This is something fans have been eagerly awaiting for a long time now.

Mastodon’s Previous DVD The Workhorse Chronicles featured a wealth of live content from various periods in their career but none on the scale and of the quality available here, its great to see the band on a large stage absolutely in control, fully confident and completely delivering on every promise their music made from as far back as the Lifesblood EP, this DVD is a perfect culmination of the hard work and dedication documented on their previous DVD and shows a band deservedly fulfilling their potential.

On the subject of track listing, the band opens with the entire Crack The Skye album and follows up with a selection of heavier numbers gathered from all their studio albums to date. The tracks in question are “Circle Of Cysquatch,” “Aqua Dementia,” “Where Strides The Behemoth,” and “Mother Puncher,” before closing with the Melvins cover “The Bit.”

The track listing may not be to your particular tastes as many key songs such as ‘Blood and Thunder,’ ‘March of the Fire Ants’ and ‘Sleeping Giant,’ are absent but do not let this hamper your enjoyment of the set.

In terms of performance the band are on fire, delivering the complex and proggier music form Crack The Skye, supplemented by keyboard player Derek Mitchka with the same power and authority they put into the heavier and more furious material from Remission and Leviathan, Troy even does a formidable Scott Kelly impression on the tracks ‘Crack The Skye,’ and ‘Aqua Dementia.’

The band’s playing is of superb quality and importantly, the vocals are very good live. If you saw the Mastodon segment of the Unholy Alliance DVD and thought that the vocals were poor live then know that no such issue exists on this recording, everyone is on top form and with drummer Brann Dailor joining in for much more than just his allotted section on ‘Oblivion.’.

A concert performed well musically, even in situations of excellent staging and lighting is nothing if the camerawork, editing, picture and sound are poor quality. Rest assured that Live At The Aragon is of very high quality in all four departments and that no issues on any account can be fairly levelled against it.

As is the custom nowadays, you also get the concert on CD to enjoy in the car or rip to you mp3 player so you aren’t tethered to a television if you want to hear it.

In addition, the DVD features a strong and interesting feature called Crack The Skye the movie, which is not a documentary as you may expect, but in fact an extended music video of very high quality that the band performed in front of while on stage. Not a reason in itself to get the set but a welcome extra.

Finally to the smallest details; The box, DVD menus and booklet artwork are all in fitting with the ever present Mastodon style, although without the trademark gold coloured spine, this time the spine is black with gold text, although that will help separate the fact that it is primarily a DVD I suppose.

Overall I highly recommend this DVD. Put simply, if you like Mastodon, you’ll like this
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