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MASTODON - Remission cover
3.77 | 50 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2002

Filed under Sludge Metal


1. Crusher Destroyer (02:00)
2. March of the Fire Ants (04:25)
3. Where Strides the Behemoth (02:55)
4. Workhorse (03:45)
5. Ol'e Nessie (06:04)
6. Burning Man (02:46)
7. Trainwreck (07:04)
8. Trampled Under Hoof (03:00)
9. Trilobite (06:29)
10. Mother Puncher (03:48)
11. Elephant Man (08:01)

Total Time 50:17

2002 CD Japanese edition:

12. Shadows That Move (03:53)
13. Welcoming War (02:46)
14. We Built This Come Death (02:30)
15. Hail to Fire (02:12)
16. Battle at Sea (04:16)

Total Time 65:54

2005 CD release:

12. Emerald (Thin Lizzy Cover) (03:49)

Total Time 54:06

2003 Bonus DVD:

1. Ol'e Nessie (live)
2. March of the Fire Ants (live)
3. Hail to Fire (live)
4. Where Strides the Behemoth (live)
5. Battle at Sea (live)
6. Mother Puncher (live)
7. Burning Man (live)
8. Workhorse (live)
9. Crusher Destroyer (live)


- Troy Sanders / bass, vocals
- Brent Hinds / guitar, vocals
- Bill Kelliher / guitar, vocals
- Brann Dailor / drums

About this release

CD and 2LP (1100 copies) released 28th May 2002 on Relapse Records (RR 6583-2).

CD released 22nd May 2002 on Ritual Records (HWCY-1097), with 5 bonus tracks. Tracks 12 through 16 taken from the Lifesblood EP.

CD/DVD released 21st October 2003 on Relapse Records (RR 6583-2).

CD released 23rd November 2005 on Relapse Records (YSCY-1020), with bonus track.

CD reissued 2007 on Icarus Music (ICARUS 339) / Irond Records (IROND CD 07-1297).

12" vinyl 2LP reissued 16th February 2010 on Relapse Records (RR 6583):

500 copies - Black vinyl
500 copies - Purple vinyl
500 copies - Gold vinyl
500 copies - Translucent green vinyl

12" vinyl black/purple split 2LP remaster reissued 15th February 2015 on Relapse Records (RR 6583), limited to 1500 copies.

Recorded and mixed at Zero Return, Red Lab and Exocet.
Mastered at Sonorous Mastering Inc. (Tempe, AZ).

Thanks to NecronCommander, The Angry Scotsman, Pekka, Bosh66 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

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: ***
siLLy puPPy
MASTODON make their debut with REMISSION showing the world a new kind of progressive sludge metal that was invented by Neurosis but adds more aggressive elements such as the more frenetic riffing of the dual guitars of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher but the star of this and most MASTODON albums has to be the incredible hyperactive drum playing of Brann Dailor. He alone gives this band a unique sound that I have heard is due to the fact he learned to play with the guitars instead of the bass as most drummers do.

REMISSION is by far the heaviest sounding of any MASTODON album so far. It delivers a brutal sound that matches the intensity of any death metal band like Behemoth or black metal fury as of Emperor but still manages some more low key moments for the sake of diversity. It screams out that it is uncompromising and occasionally when all but the bass fall silent we can hear the true inventor of all this wrath as lead vocalist and bassist Troy Sanders pounds away on the bass like 10 Geddy Lees in unison. He explained that one of the main influences of this album was a place to channel his pain and angst regarding the suicide of his sister during his teenage years.

Although these are fast and furious tracks that lack the progressive tendencies of later albums for the most part it is clear by tracks like “Elephant Man” that MASTODON is toying with the world of progressiveness in their music and clearly show that not only are they interested in taking it on but are more than capable of delivering interesting results that leave the listener wanting to hear where they take the next step in their musical development. Not their best album but a very strong debut nonetheless and only seems slightly inferior because of the extremely strong albums that follow.
Mastodon’s debut album Remission is a very interesting album. Containing many of the band’s finest work, such as the energetic ‘Crusher Destroyer,’ the Kyuss influenced ‘Mother Puncher,’ and the perennial concert favourite ‘March of the Fire Ants.’ There is a lot to enjoy about Remission; from Brann Dailor’s especially fast and complex drumming, to Bill and Brent’s sludgy one minute, extreme the next guitar styles. There are only two downsides on Remission, the first is that it is very brash, and on the faster songs the production and near constant snare drum rolls can become uncomfortable to the listener. The second is that the vocals are muddier, vaguer and lower in the mix than you may expect, a problem which Mastodon reversed on all their subsequent albums. These minor flaws should not be too distracting, and won’t really compromise your enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic album. It would be easy to argue that Remission is Mastodon’s heaviest album, and their least progressive, the majority of the material is very direct and harsh. ‘Trampled Underhoof,’ and ‘Workhorse,’ would fit perfectly in any extreme metal collection while still retaining the trademark Mastodon sound. ‘Ole Nessie,’ and excellent closer ‘Elephant Man,’ are cleaner and provide some diversity, while still displaying the same inspired song writing and virtuosic musicianship that makes the album such a rewarding listen. Songs like ‘Trilobite,’ and ‘Trainwreck,’ mix the two styles successfully and are perfect examples of what Mastodon do well. Slow hypnotic arpeggios in unusual tuning giving way to heavy Neurosis inspired choruses, with many interesting stops along the way. Every fan of Mastodon should check out Remission, especially those from a more Metal than Prog background.
Remission is a heavy, it is brutal and it is a fierce, what Mastodon have done on this album is nothing short of amazing. Song after song on this album are ether intense, claustrophobic or eyescratching violent, it plays on your subconscious and it plays on your adrenaline, because it somehow invokes your primeval and violent subconscious mind.

It is hard to describe one song in particular that makes this album what it is, but I will try to take on three songs

March of the Fire Ants, is intense and brutal it shows the bands skills folding out both as a uncompromising metal band that can melt rocks, but also as kinetic unit who’s minds is so tightly tide up to each other that technical parts goes of like it is a delicate piece of apple cake, with wiped cream on top. this song is like molted rocks and apple cake with wiped cream (solid but also tasty).

Ol'e Nessie - is the beauty and the beast in one song first 3 min is a calm melodic submarine travel on discovery channel the next 3mins are a bumpy ride in a submarine with no air left (claustrophobic). (Trainwreck and Trilobite awoke the same feeling).

the tree headed beast on this album are the heavy trunks of songs, Where Strides the Behemoth, Trampled Under Hoof (underrated song)and Mother Puncher, this songs are so brutal they can lit water, crunch rocks and melt led, with their sludging menacing powers, and intense heat.

So if you like to intense, fierce and claustrophobic music get this album... if not get Crack the Skye.

sold 5 star album
Conor Fynes
'Remission' - Mastodon (7/10)

Now one of the most widely acclaimed and celebrated metal bands of the modern era, US progressive sludgemen Mastodon seem to get most of their attention for the three albums that would trail this debut. For one reason or another, it appears as if 'Remission' ducked under the radar for even some of the band's more dedicated fans. This is made very peculiar by the fact that despite it's rough presentation and imperfections, 'Remission' is quite possibly the band's more enjoyable and rocking outing.

While I do not consider myself a big fan of this Atlanta-based group, I gained a measure of respect for them after listening to their 2009 opus 'Crack The Skye,' an ambitious concept album that incorperated a hefty dose of psychedelic and progressive influence into their gritty metal sound. 'Remission' shows the band at a much more stripped down and feral state, relying moreso on the power of each guitar riff than anything else. While the fact that the music doesn't have a great deal of depth to the compositions or recording could spell weakness when briefly glanced over, the power to 'Remission' is greatly endearing, to say the least. The music here is driven by crunching riff after riff, backed up by some incredible kitwork by Brann Dailor.

On that note, the drumwork really brings the music alive, it feels at any given moment, Dailor is dishing out something interesting with the drumming. The rest of the musicians don't necessarily stand out for each of their respective instruments, but the instruments are generally well orchestrated. Every once in a while, there is even the signature frenetic guitar lead riffs (that would be heard in greater detail on albums like 'Blood Mountain') here which despite taking part on an album that generally exercises intensity over complexity, still sound pretty great.

The production isn't the best, but it's excusable due to the feral, fiery nature of the music being played. Towards the latter half of the album, the songwriting tends to be slightly less memorable, although the last two tracks ('Mother Puncher' and 'Elephant Man') pick things back up again for a satisfying finale. The highlight of the album is the way in which it starts off, however. The first three songs flow together very smoothly, each filled with great riffs that overstay their welcome, interspersed with some surprisingly technical lead work and growls typical of the sludge metal scene.

Although I haven't been fully convinced by some of the later work of this band, 'Remission' has really caught my interest for it's fantastic riffs, energy and display of aggression. It does feel as if the band would lose a little bit of this flame in following albums, making way for a more progressive and musically ambitious feel. Despite lacking the depth of it's musical successors however, 'Remission' is essential listening for the unwary Mastodon fan. Sludgy, angry grandeur.

Members reviews

Ahh, here it is, the genesis of Atlanta's Mastodon, a great, great progressive/sludge metal band, one that I feel has gotten more mature (and better) as time has progressed with albums such as Crack the Skye (2009) and Emperor of Sand(2017). I will talk about that progression as I continue on with these album reviews. With 2002's Remission, we already see a band that has plenty of musical chops to offer but at times it is a bit too frenetic, wild and unhinged (not necessarily a bad thing, haha) for my tastes (keep in mind that my musical tastes are not nearly as frenetic and wild as most metalheads lol). While I do consider myself a metalhead I am more of the old school variety (Maiden, Sabbath, Priest) but that's me getting off topic ha. Anyway, with this recording Mastodon are able to do just enough to keep me interested in what they are doing(could be the melodies and intricate riffs, I don't know ha). Let's how I feel about each individual track shall we??

1) Crusher Destroyer - A brutal, crushing piece of metal music. Hits you like a pile of bricks. Badass. 10/10

2) March of the Fire Ants - A classic metal track in my opinion. Those melodies late in the song brought something that was desperately needed in metal but was in short supply. Anywho, I love this track. Probably my favorite on the entire album. 10/10

3) Where Strides the Behemoth - Yet another brutal track. Nothing wrong with it. I love it, haha. 10/10

4) Workhorse - Another great track but for some reason it is not nearly as captivating as the first three tracks on the album. Not a bad track though. 8/10

5) Ol'e Nessie - A great, great ominous track. I love how dark and foreboding it sounds. It's not as heavy, frenetic or as thunderous as the other tracks on the album but it does a great job at creating a dark atmosphere. It's great. 10/10

6) Burning Man - A decent track but as of the first 6 tracks it is my least favorite. Not bad though. 7/10

7) Trainwreck - Another decent track but to me it is not as great as others on the album. 7/10

8) Trampled Under Hoof - Is the title of the track an homage to Led Zeppelin's Trampled Under Foot?(I don't know but it sounds like it is lol). It's an intense piece of music that I give plenty of credit for but for some reason it's not nearly as captivating as other songs on the album. Good track though. 7/10

9) Trilobite - Now, here we have a very ominous piece of metal music. Everything about it is fantastic. A bit different from the rest of the album but that's what I love it about. The ending where Troy screams out "Shades of 16, you're with me" is bonechilling. It can actually horrify a person. It's great. Probably tied with March of the Fire Ants as my favorite track on the album. 10/10

10) Mother Puncher - A great track that punches you in the gut. I love it too ha. 10/10

11) Elephant Man - An instrumental piece that keeps my attention. It's pretty darn good if you ask me. Solid, solid guitar work from Bill and Brent. Grade A guitar work. 10/10

The music on this album is really, really good but some of it is a bit too harsh and frenetic for my tastes so that's why it gets a lower rating in my book. Also, not enough clean vocals from Troy or Brent on it to give it a higher rating. I mean I have no issues with growls (every once in a while haha) but I usually like my bands to have some kind of melody and harmony or catchy hook to their vocal (you know something I can sing to lol, sounds corny I know but it's still the essence of music to me). Anyway, to me this album is a step in the right direction for Mastodon. A precursor of things to come. Great album. 4 solid stars!! Peace out!!!

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