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Mastodon: RemissionRemission (2002)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Contributed by: FortyMinutesWestFortyMinutesWest
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Damn I love Relapse. Whether it’s The Dillinger Escape Plan, The End, Coalesce, Today Is The Day, Burnt By The Sun, or in this case Mastodon, the label has almost never let me down. I first heard of Mastodon when they scheduled to play here with Avenged Sevenfold, but the show never happened. A few months later as I was checking out a used CD store, I noticed this CD and decided to pick it up.
I had no idea of what to expect, but I was immediately drawn in by Mastodon’s mix of metal, blues, southern rock, and hardcore. The repetitive riffing pulls you in, just in time for the band to switch things up completely. The drumming is brutally relentless and jaw-dropping in terms of technicality. Everyone is the band is amazingly proficient with their instrument, and it shows. But Mastodon doesn’t rely totally on flashiness, even though they could easily blow you away with their technical ability. They use their songwriting skills to construct what ends up being an epic album; I’m sure that sounds cliché, but give this a listen and then see if you disagree. Everything is flawlessly executed, from odd time signatures, to crushing doom metal riffs, to bluesy solos.
That’s not to say that everyone will enjoy this band though. One thing that is bound to turn some people away is the vocals. They’re usually distorted and sometimes sparsely scattered throughout the tracks. The lyrics are almost secondary to the music, and while this doesn’t bother me in the slightest, it’s sure to piss someone off.
This is Mastodon’s first full-length, and already they’re catching the attention of critics and fans. I wouldn’t have expected less from a band that is ex-Today Is The Day. Sometimes bands will try to combine genres, only to fall flat on their faces while making a disjointed record, not in this case. This album is as progressive as it is ballsy, and as catchy as it is heavy. If you like heavy music at all, you owe it to yourself to pick this up as soon as possible.
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