MASTODON — Live At The Aragon (review)

MASTODON — Live At The Aragon album cover Live album · 2011 · Sludge Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
I say this over and over again, for forgive me if you’ve heard this from me before. When it comes to metal live performances, if it is made available in audio and video formats, the great majority of the time I’ll reach for the video version. In the case with this Mastodon release, the user gets both at a good price, so no such decision had to be made. I still gravitate toward the DVD in this set, but just listening to the CD alone, you can feel the energy their performance creates during the atmospheric passages of “The Czar” and the in powerful CTS closer “The Last Baron”.

The live performance suffers the most in the vocal department. Brann Dailor can be excused a little, since I can’t think of a drummer/vocalist off the top of my head that sings near album standards while playing drums. Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds are often off-key and occasionally off time (naturally, not a big problem for the drummer). Despite this, the band manages to put together a very entertaining show. That’s basically the only real noteworthy flaw of the show. In addition to the entire Crack The Skye album, Mastodon performs songs from other albums, including electrifying versions of “Circle of Cysquatch”, “Mother Puncher” and Melvins cover “The Bit”.

As the band performs, visuals are displayed behind them. The main visual aid, “Crack the Skye: The Movie”, is included as a bonus feature on the DVD. I was surprised to hear that the album audio plays over top of it, saving fans the effort in syncing up the audio themselves. Nice touch!!

Putting the whole package into consideration, this is definitely worth any Mastodon fan’s money. I’d say the DVD would rate around 4 on it’s own, and the CD a 3, so 3.5 seems fair here.
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