Mastodon - Leviathan review
|Release date:||August 2004|
01. Blood And Thunder
02. I Am Ahab
05. Iron Tusk
07. Naked Burn
08. Aqua Dementia
09. Hearts Alive
10. Joseph Merrick
Everything comes in due time... Here is finally the long-awaited follow-up to their great debut Remission, released back in 2002. Two long years of intensive touring across the USA (mainly) have obviously sharpened their thirst for songwriting and their will to devastate our poor mistreated eardrums. Let's kill the suspense right now: this new offering, Leviathan, is far better than the aforementioned Remission. More varied also.
The first impression is that this album is quieter, but it soons proves to be nothing but a mere impression given by the fact that the vocals are more varied and less annoying than before. There is still this typical hardcore screaming, but the singer (couldn't figure out which one it is) masters his vocal chords much better now, and shows amazingly extended abilities when it comes to clean and almost charming singing. One word about the drums: the revelation of Remission is confirmed. Brann Dailor is a drum-hero. I hope that bands which, in the future, will try and cover Mastodon's songs, will have courageous drummers. There's a good ton of talent in this guy.
We now come to the core of Leviathan. Pardon me if I tell a load of bullshit in the following paragraph, but me poor Froggy not understand what they be saying. So for my atrophied comprehension, this album would be a concept based on Melville's Moby Dick. But I'm not sure at all. Whatever...
I am amazed at how unique Mastodon's music is. It is a blend of genres that seem as far from each other as possible (thrash, hardcore and stoner), but it goes like clockwork, without being messy, repetitive or annoying. On one song you think you're hearing a band a la Down ('Blood And Thunder', which is the successor of 'March Of The Fire Ants', the killer track of Remission), on the other it sounds like Neurosis ('Aqua Dementia', with guest appearance of Scott Kelly of Neurosis), in the middle you have bits a la The Dillinger Escapa Plan ('Megalodon'), some noisy hardcore ('Island') and even melodic passages like 'Seabeast( or 'Naked Burn' (two of the best songs, they are easy when it comes to being melodic).
Lots of influences as you see, but in the end all that remains is Mastodon, a band that sounds like no other, a band that despite bringing a good dose of complexity manages to remain groovy and catchy. I am now struck by a stupid thought: I have just noticed that Mastodon is probably one of the most talented bands of its generation. And Leviathan is one of the best albums I have heard so far in 2004. Deeply original.
Highlights: Blood And Thunder, Seabeast, Naked Burn, Aqua Dementia and the epic Hearts Alive
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