Friday, September 01, 2017

FDF Volume 4 Issue 380 - Mastodon - Leviathan

Album – Leviathan
Artist – Mastodon
Key Players – Troy Sanders – bass and vocals. Brent Hinds – Lead guitar and vocals. Bill Kelliher – rhythm guitar. Brann Dailor - drums
Produced By – Mastodon, Matt Bayles

Release Date – August 31, 2004

Overview – This is the second album from Mastodon.  This is a concept album loosely based on Moby Dick.  It did win a few album of the year awards

FDF Comments (aka “The Songs”) – The album is 10 tracks and opens with the powerful “Blood and Thunder”.  The track features Neil Fallon of Clutch as well.  The buzzing and heavy guitars are right along with the growling vocals and “all over the kit” drumming of Dailor.  “I am Ahab” showcases the, already dominant, dual guitar attack while “Seabeast”, although heavy, seems a little more subdued that the first two tracks.  To these ears, the great part is the complexity of this track.  It almost as that “math” feel to it.  Very technical (almost choppy) tempos, but the guitars punch right along with the drums. “Island” might fall in to “what you think heavy metal is”.  The vocals are really growled and the speed of the music is there, yet it all seems to hold together pulling you in to listen for each technical part. “Iron Tusk” has you reaching for your guitar (air or not) to riff along with the guys.  One of the stronger tracks on the album.  “Megalodon” starts off with the softer side of the band, but that does not last long.  The fun, almost country riff, in to the driving tempo has you perk up, and hit the skim back button on your cd player to see just what it was they did.  “Naked Burn” sets up “Aqua Dementia” really well that also features Scott Kelly of Neurosis.  Musically it’s Mastodon, vocally its all Kelly.  A noticeable change. The longest track (13:39) comes in “Hearts Alive”.  The band is in no rush for the first few minutes.  Sort of finding a comfortable spot and looping on a riff then its time to get down to it.  The track is almost exhausting at times, but so interesting.  The tempo changes, the complexity is there, the instrumentation of it all.  Doing lengthier tracks can be hit or miss, but they seem to have got this down pat.  The album ends with the track “Joseph Merrick”.  This is the real name of the individual most commonly known as “The Elephant Man”.  Mastodon closed out their first three records with an instrumental that in some form references him.  The track is a change from what you’d expect.  Organ fills, acoustic guitars and the like.  It’s a great way to exhale after being beaten up for the last 30+ minutes.

Where are they now? – The band is still active both in the studio and on the road.  They released their latest album “Emperor of Sand” in March of 2017

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting off? – Its hard to realty put this in a “forgotten” slot since it is just such a solid record.  The good thing is Mastodon continues to keep releasing interesting (and good/great) records to always keep you interested.  This is a perfect one to start with!

Links, find out more, follow em, buy
Official Site
Mastodon on Facebook
Wiki Page
Buy It!


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