Monday, September 25, 2006

Mastodon - Blood Mountain

Blood Mountain

Remember Leviathan? Yeah, that Mastodon album that came out two years ago that did so well as to elicit a write up in The New York Times? I remember it too. I remember being quite impressed.

But here's the thing see. Is it possible to put out and album that's just simply too good? Meaning, one that's nearly impossible to follow up? That's how I feel with Blood Mountain. Everything that Leviathan did, this does better, except for possibly the biggest of factors: surprise. Sonically, Blood Mountain is just as good, if not better. The production is crisp and perhaps a hair better. With age comes wisdom, so two years after Leviathan, it makes sense that their level of play is higher. Almost every aspect is upped. But it's what you expect. And that's the rub. Leviathan seemed to come out of nowhere. Blood Mountain on the otherhand comes from those dudes Mastodon (they're known by name now) who you expect to put out a solid album. See what I'm drivin' at?

I guess that sounds like a bummer of a beginning, so let me get this out of the way–the album is good. Is very good. Is super good. The rock is there. Crunchy breakdowns abound, and lots of bluesy-fretboard noodling, sounding more and more like they've done their fair share of listening to Clutch as of late. So do not walk away from this thinking "yeah, I liked Leviathan, but apparently Blood Mountain isn't as good." You'd be wrong.

"The Wolf Is Loose" opens up with a flurry of drum clacks and then you're off. An up-tempo, classic-sounding Mastodon song erupts. They have a sound all their own, and you know it when you hear it. At the 2:04 mark, you're treated to some dual-guitar scale work, true metal style. Next comes "Crystal Skull" which opens with some of the coolest riff-drum pairing I've heard in a while before slipping into a sludgy verse riff. "Circle of Cysquatch" is my standout, due simply to the breakdown. The middle passage has some tweaked out vocal effects, but as soon as they're done, serious headbanging must commence. I defy you to hear this riff and not find your head slowly nodding to and fro. It's impossible.

So, there you have it. My brief take on Blood Mountain, Mastodon's worthy follow-up. I don't think this album will find as much acceptance as Leviathan did. For those not into metal but ventured to dip their toes into the power-chord infested waters of the genre when Leviathan came out, Blood Mountain will probably seem a bit less intriguing. Again, probably because it's not new/different/surprising this time around. But for those that like a good metal record every now and again, Blood Mountain can be found at your local record shop of choice.

Check it out if you like: Metal, good metal, metal
Listen to a sample here: Mastodon's Myspace page has 3 songs from Blood Mountain


Blogger theother1 said...

my fists are clenched in anticpation..

the best is, "I defy you to hear this riff and not find your head slowly nodding to and fro. It's impossible."

it fucking kills me.

9:52 AM  
Blogger mixed said...

But it's true! You'll see...when I bring the album down.

10:01 AM  

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