Tuesday, May 23, 2006

HELLVILLE

So this pick will be a little more obvious and mainstream but that doesn't take away from the chaos, or beards for that matter. It's Mastodon time.

Praise, praise, praise and more praise plus indie to major label jump has pretty much summed up the last two years for this band. Well the 'praise' part has been going on for longer than that but trust me when I say that it's all deserved. These guys are exciting.

Despite their pretty short recording career(2 full lengths, 1 ep)everything from the production to the songs themselves has in some way created a unique sound and structure that separates this band from most of what else is out there. Let's just say that their placement in the Relapse family was well suited. However sometimes certain leaps must be made and it's understandable that they were swiped by Warner.

If you haven't heard Leviathan you're really missing something. It's important to note that thematic albums can walk a fine line between failing miserably or being really great. More often than not most fail with miserable albums and the bands regret poor decisions and lame content. Here we have a record that's so committed to it's theme and so genuine that's it's not so much trying to convince you as it is laughing at you if you're not interested. The thing is that in order for this scheme to work it has to also come from not only the music but also the artwork and the band. So, if you were at home thinking about recording an album about Captain Ahab and his struggles with the Sea and Moby Dick, take a look in the mirror and think to yourself if it's something you can actually pull off. Seen pictures of Mastodon? They look like they could have been on the boat chasing that damn whale. In other words, they pulled it off.

How does a record become a classic? I'm not asking as if I have the answer but I do think that it helps when you can wear something out, take time away from it, and through time crave it again. Then, once you hear it again after a bit of a breakup you're reminded of how much it
RULES.

Blood & Thunder: I know, I know, another obvious choice, trust me it wasn't easy. Here's something to think about though, Blizzard of Oz's I Don't Know, Master of Puppets' Battery, Radiohead's Airbag, whenever these first songs kick off it's like 'YES!', it just hits you and this first song from Leviathan has the same effect. And let's not forget the drums of course. Braan Dailor is one of those drummers that would make me self conscious as a song writer and probably struggle to come up with material that will be intriguing enough to keep this guy interested. If you want to learn a JazzMetalDrumline style, here's your teacher.

I really wanted to post Iron Tusk because it's like pancakes and bacon but I don't want to over do it. Listen to Blood & Thunder, take a break and then listen to Iron Tusk on the Mastodon MYSPACE.

Sidenote: Blood Mountain is supposed to be coming out this summer. I'm excited. Also, Neil Fallon does some vocals on Blood & Thunder. This is noteworthy because I think Neil Fallon is a championship whale wrestler.

4 comments:

Metal Mark said...

I saw Mastodon headline at a club last year and they exceptional. One of the heaviest bands I have ever seen live and all kinds of energy.

Paul said...

No doubt, I'm jealous. Looks like i'll have to settle for seeing them on that big Slayer package tour this summer. Great lineup but I'd prefer to see them on a smaller stage.

essteeyou said...

They were effin good when I saw them.

Maiden last summer, Slayer this summer. God damn.

Their music scares the seagulls - watch out for bird shit.

Paul said...

Well, looks like i'm the odd man out. Maiden and Mastodon last summer, thanks for reminding me. Not sure why I missed that one. The lack of excuse defaults me to just being a loser.

Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, Slayer and Mastodon is a pretty good deal though. July 4th, lookout. A Slayer post will be in order.