SelfDevouringSnake Posted April 20, 2011 Share Posted April 20, 2011 Mastodon is a recent metal band that I absolutely love. They have four studio albums with another in production, and their work just seems to get better and better with each release. I'd cite Mastodon as the best American metal band since Pantera. Metal has always offered me plenty of interesting listening material, although I'd be hard-pressed to call myself a "metalhead", I would not hesitate to speak about Mastodon's tremendous talent. Mastodon, formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1999, consists of: * Troy Sanders - vocalist/bassist. The frontman, I suppose (or at least he tends to be in the center at live shows). One of Mastodon's two lead vocalists, usually doing low, harsh vocals. Impressive, primarily fingerstyle and highly technical bass-playing, although between the twin guitar approach and the insane drumming, the bass can seem like sonic filler (what else is new though?). * Brent Hinds - vocalist/guitarist. The band's other primary singer. His voice is a little sharper than Sanders', but like him he does harsh vocals as well as clean ones. Hinds usually does the solos, but he doubles the rhythm guitar when appropriate. His advanced hybrid picking technique lends a more tasteful flavor to the band than a purely alternate picking shredder could. * Bill Kelliher - vocalist/guitarist. Kelliher handles most of the riffs. He is capable of way advanced playing, and it shows, but he always sticks to the rhythm section while still providing killer technical riffing. Also does backing vocals. * Brann Dailor - vocalist/drummer. An excellent, jazzy and (like the rest of the band) highly technical drummer. Always keeps a solid groove even when doing the most technical drumming. Lead vocals on "Oblivion" (from Crack the Skye). Mastodon's had a well-deserved rise to fame. They released their first album, Remission, in 2002. To date, I feel it is their heaviest record, but it's also their least innovative and diverse sonically. It demonstrates their roots: extreme sludge metal with a lot of technical/progressive influence for good measure. It does a fantastic job striking a balance between technicality and syncopation. A lot of killer riffs. My only real complaint would be the vocals: way too harsh. It is loosely based on the element of fire (the elemental theme would be done better in their next three). Their second album, Leviathan (2004), was the perfect follow-up. Like Remission, it was clearly extreme metal, but it was also more creative and somehow more intense. The first of the elemental albums to use a story to map out the music, Leviathan (the "water" album) is based on Moby-Dick. Blood Mountain (2006), their "earth" album, was similar, but with more instrumental experimentation. I consider it equal to Leviathan. But their greatest album is 2009's Crack the Skye (based on air). While still rooted in extreme metal, it takes their experimentation to a level nearing '70s prog rock (except more exciting). Between all this, they've done loads of touring. I couldn't be more excited to hear that they're making a new album. Dailor has stated that what they currently have is a return to their roots with an ultra heavy-Zeppelin groove (http://www.noisecreep.com/2011/04/11/mastodon-brann-dailor-interview-new-album/). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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