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Mastodon - Leviathan (Cover Artwork)

Mastodon

Mastodon: LeviathanLeviathan (2004)
Relapse Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: BJRBJR
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When you hear the name Mastodon, you think of a gigantic pre-historic creature that roamed the earth during the Ice Age. It is only logical then that a heavy metal band would harness the pure, raw energy of a beast such as the mastodon. The band was inspired to write a concept album based on Herman .
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When you hear the name Mastodon, you think of a gigantic pre-historic creature that roamed the earth during the Ice Age. It is only logical then that a heavy metal band would harness the pure, raw energy of a beast such as the mastodon. The band was inspired to write a concept album based on Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. Guitarist Bill Kelliher read the second page, which had a line referring to the whale as a "sea-salt mastodon," and saw it as a sign for the concept of the album.

On the record's strongest tracks ("Blood And Thunder," "Aqua Dementia," "Iron Tusk," and "Naked Burn",) the constant machine gun style drumming of Brann Dailor (arguably one of the fastest and best drummers in rock music today) pounds away and after one listen left me speechless. Vocalist/bassist Troy Saunders' roar and guitarist/vocalist Brent Hind's wail have contrasting styles that make Leviathan unlike other metal albums, and more like a metal-infused prog-rock album (i.e. Queens Of The Stone Age). Guest vocalists Neil Fallon (Clutch) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis) offer vocal support on "Blood And Thunder" and "Aqua Dementia," respectively. The guitar work on this album is nothing but genius as Mastodon's two axe slingers grind out power chord after power chord and add pedal effects that include a country riff on "Megalodon."

The album's one blemish is the brutal, 13-minute long track "Hearts Alive," which probably could have been shortened to add another possibly vicious track to Leviathan's all-star roster of metal songs. If fans were expecting an album more similar to Remission (the band's critically acclaimed 2002 release), this record might slightly disappoint you, as Mastodon trades a more metal sound for a more free-flowing hard rock sound. A new addition to the album is the instrumental track "Joseph Merrick," where guitarist Brent Hind showcases his roots in Southern rock with his beautiful acoustic style playing.

The sea concept of the album is reinforced with a reference to Moby Dick character Mr. Queequeg on "Seabeast," where Hind howls "Dear Mr. Queequeg you have been informed your life's been saved / You are not a black-hearted vicious mess so it has been claimed." I heartily look forward to the followup to this record, which sadly will not be on Relapse but for Warner Music Group. Yet Mastodon promises that they are not out to please major record label execs with a more mainstream album, but to please their fans and themselves. So you can be sure for another masterpiece from this Atlanta quartet.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
LaredoKid (January 26, 2007)

Nothing like Slayer you fucking meat head,if anything more like old school Metallica.Even at that,they are not the next Metallica,but the first Mastodon.A classic,do yourself a favor and get it.

Anonymous (August 31, 2005)

this album came out so long ago, way to strike when the iron's hot. that said, i fucking dig this record. metal for metallers who like metal the way 80's metal slayer metal only matters.

shut the fuck up already--it's a good record, on it's own terms, period.

Anonymous (August 30, 2005)

after seeing both these guys and pelican in one year, i feel pretty fucking complete. to whomever said these guys are boring live, you should probably go see them live.
-jeremy

Anonymous (August 30, 2005)

Remission is better but any Mastodon album is better than what's out there today.

Ramo
()

Anonymous (August 30, 2005)

Dante is stupid.

-Zackass

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

rkl = giant queer

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

I have played the shit out of this record. One of those records that makes your jaw hang open. They are technically brilliant but without being self-indulgant. The play astoundingly heavy riffs without relying on repetition. They strike a perfect balance between grinding heaviness, blues/country rock sludge, progressive rock grandeur and explosive dynamic release. fucking awesome.

etwiels88 (August 29, 2005)

I leave it up to your imagination of what I was going to give

stevejonestherealbones (August 29, 2005)

score is for people who say "score is for.." but dont leave a score

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

threechordsandthetruth (August 29, 2005)

I sometimes wonder why the staff of PN allow comments, they are around 90% flaming of the band, reviewer, or past commenters.

etwiels88 (August 29, 2005)

Cancer is boring. At least he was creative.

Score is for Multiple Sclewhatever

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

"score is for jesse and his inevitable blandness. i hope you get Multiple Sclerosis."

Um, I have multiple sclerosis. The fact you would wish a disease on anyone is really terrible. An the fact you picked a disease that you think you could get away with. If you said you wished he got cancer there would be more of an uproar. But you took a lesser known disease. You sir disgust me.

the_other_scott (August 29, 2005)

maybe i'm wrong, but i feel like mastadon is metal for people who liked metal before it got all cheesy and tight-panced

sfbarker (August 29, 2005)

Mastodon destroyed anal cavities at Ozzfest when I saw them. The only American band to bring the brutal edge that the Swedish folks did. This is one of the bands that matter right now, if you don't think so, you're a bitter old fuck that cries nightly because Metallica has become a lounge band...grow up and accept the new age...

Mr_Pink (August 29, 2005)

I HATE noodle-wank metal-metalcore-AndrewLloydWebberCore. But this kicks ass. Seriously.

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

hahahah, jesse is pathetic. i just read a story he wrote and posted on his deviant art page, "pagan idol worship." seriously the most pathetic, predictable lovey-dovey childhood recollection story i've ever read. give up, man. you talk tough in your reviews, but when it comes down to attempting to write something of value, you fail miserably
.

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

hahahah, jesse is pathetic. i just read a story he wrote and posted on his deviant art page, "pagan idol worship." seriously the most pathetic, predictable lovey-dovey childhood recollection story i've ever read. give up, man. you talk tough in your reviews, but when it comes down to attempting to write something of value, you fail miserable.

Sirens (August 29, 2005)

"Close to the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. This is the only metal band out there that matters right now."

uh lords.

Anonymous (August 29, 2005)

jesse, you are dumb enough and predictable enough to not surprise anyone by listening to high on fire.

score is for jesse and his inevitable blandness. i hope you get Multiple Sclerosis.

Jesse (August 29, 2005)

Every time I listen to this, it just makes me want to listen to High On Fire even more. This is definitely their worst album. It's way too close to radio metal. Besides, I don't want to listen to whatever super tech thing someone can do. I like my metal straightforward, like Motorhead, Slayer, High On Fire, etc.

rkl (August 28, 2005)

inneundoandexceedinglylongpretentioushandle: mastodon consists of generic vocals and generic riffs. if you think its the only metal band in existence today that "matters," youre probably a child, as thats an incredibly childish thing to say.

if im wrong, why dont you try telling me why im wrong, instead of just tossing out insults? i know itll take a bit of mental exertion, but turn off the cartoons and put down the strawberry milk, and im sure you can think of something.

manifesto (August 28, 2005)

"Overrated metal. If you like 80's metal in the Metallica sense more than Slayer, you'll love it. I prefer the Slayer, so..."

I prefer Slayer over Metallica too, but "Leviathan" is an exceptional record by a very original, talented and fucking great band.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

great record.... i saw them live back in march and their drummer hates his drum kit...

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Man, this album is fucking fantastic, although the vocals take a while to get used to.

Hearts Alive is one of my favourite tracks, even if it is 13 and a half minutes long. And the bluegrass solo in Megalodon? Genius.

InnuendoAndOutTheOther (August 28, 2005)

Mastodon - Leviathan
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-28 08:02:32

"Overrated metal. "

Close to the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. This is the only metal band out there that matters right now.

you must be 14, because this is metal for high school kids that dont know any better.

dear rkl,
thinking this album is for 14 year old kids is the dumbest shit I've ever heard...you need to go back to school or just quit
thanks
InnuendoAndOutTheOther

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Boring.

They're good musicians, but it's boring. And they're boring live.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

"Mastodon - Leviathan
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-28 08:02:32

"Overrated metal. "

Close to the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. This is the only metal band out there that matters right now.

you must be 14, because this is metal for high school kids that dont know any better."

before i graduated i only new 3 kids other than me who listened to mastadon, every one else in high school listens to slipknot, so i think there is a difference.

rkl (August 28, 2005)

Mastodon - Leviathan
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-28 08:02:32

"Overrated metal. "

Close to the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. This is the only metal band out there that matters right now.

you must be 14, because this is metal for high school kids that dont know any better.

Dante3000 (August 28, 2005)

One of the greatest metal release of that year. Just fucking amazing musicians. Blows my mind to hear the shit they do. The production could be helped though. And if anyone wants a copy I still think I have one I can burn you, simply because this is an awesome album everyone should hear.
-Dante

benz (August 28, 2005)

This CD is good. It's not as great as everyone would have you believe, nothing really new or anything, but it's still better than almost all other metal CDs released recently.

-benz

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Good CD. Some of the choruses (especially "Blood And Thunders' ") are a little generic though.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

The song "Iron Tusk" will melt you face off

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

"Overrated metal. "

Close to the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site. This is the only metal band out there that matters right now.

WILL, Thanks for being an idiot and for cheapening this site even further.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

One of my favorite metal cds. I don't really own many but I must say that this cd rips

-Ninja

Sally_Field (August 28, 2005)

Mastodon.. yes.

Jesse (August 28, 2005)

It's allright. I like their older stuff a bit better. This is kind of boring to me at times.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

These guys and neurosis are fucking amazing, there is nothing really bad to say about this cd.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Overrated metal. If you like 80's metal in the Metallica sense more than Slayer, you'll love it. I prefer the Slayer, so...

-Will

stevejonestherealbones (August 28, 2005)

i kinda want this. but i think i need to hear it end to end before i commit

- jones

gladimnotemo (August 28, 2005)

I want this.

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

ed go

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

holy shit what took so long for this to be reviewd. i got it 10 months agp

Anonymous (August 28, 2005)

Yes

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