By Ramenshaman 0 Comments
Mastodon is probably my favorite metal band. Their mixture of melodic and heavy songwriting resonates with me. The guitar playing done by both Brent Hines and Bill Kelliher is always heavy and inventive. The drums by Brann Dailor are incredible. With Brann usually playing some very energetic and complex drum parts. The vocals by lead vocalist and bassist, guitarist Brent Hines, and drummer Brann Dailor are also very solid. Overall Mastodon is the full package when it comes to their style of metal, which is usually sludge metal. Today, I will like to take a look at their sophomore album "Leviathan", which was released on August 31, 2004 on Relapse Records. Let's begin.
The album kicks off with probably Mastodon's most recognizable song "Blood and Thunder". The song starts out with that iconic guitar opening and launches straight into the heavy and almost crushing verse. Brann Dailor's drumming is very busy adding to the almost chaotic vibe. Troy Sander's vocals are top notch and the lyrics also add to the songs intensity. The chorus is absolutely fantastic with the group vocals adding a sense of epicness to the whole track. The song's bridge is also fantastic with some very well played dual guitars, Overall this song is one of Mastodon's best and is a great testament not only to this album, but to them as a band.
The album continues the intensity with the tracks "I Am Ahab" and "Seabeast". "I Am Ahab" has one of the best riffs on the entire album with the guitars and drums creating a fantastic rhythm. The vocals are also very solid. The song overall is very intense and doesn't let you go, and the song's length is perfect. The next track "Seabeast" changes things up with the more cleanly sung vocals by Brent Hines. His singing with the instrumental is is very well done. Giving the song a very unique and intense atmosphere. And atmosphere is where this song and album is strongest at. It really does give the vibe of being out at sea searching for a mythical seabeast. The guitar playing is also solid and the drums are solid as well. Just a great song. One of my favorites off the record.
After the very solid, but in my opinion less interesting tracks "Island" and "Iron Tusk" comes track 6 "Magalodon", which is a case where the song name perfectly describes what the song sounds like. The song like a Magalodon is a monster of a song with the drums being my favorite on the entire album. The guitar and bass also lay down some powerful riffs. The song like "Seabeast" has a amazingly intense atmosphere. The vocals are very brutal and go perfectly with the instrumentation. Just give it a listen and I bet your be hooked. Pun not intended.
The next track of note "Aqua Dementia" is another intense and powerful song. The guitar playing is very well played with the opening guitar riff being pretty nutty sounding. The song starts out very fast and almost chaotic and later goes into a slow and intense second half, which leads perfectly into the next song. The drums are also very good, which is to be expected. The vocals are very intense as well. Overall a great song and a highlight from this album.
The album ends with the two tracks "Heart's Alive" and "Joseph Merrick". "Heart's Alive" is probably the albums masterpiece, with it clocking in at a length of 13 minutes. The song is defiantly the albums most intense and slow burning song. With its builds and very well written atmosphere . The instrumental is very well played. With the guitar laying down some very good harmony and heaviness especially by the end of the song. The vocals are also my favorite off the whole album. They really add to the mood and vibe of the song. The song's overall structure is also very impressive . With a length of 13 minutes the song never gets boring, but gets better as the track goes on. Probably my favorite song the whole album. The album ends with the more acoustic sounding instrumental "Joseph Merrick", which is overall a nice and different kind of final track to a otherwise intense and heavy album.
Overall: "Leviathan" is a masterpiece when it comes to modern metal. The album showcases some incredible songwriting and some very technical instrumentation. The albums atmosphere is just one of "Leviathan's" many qualities and I think gives the album its very unique feel. This album is defiantly a sign of great things to come for Mastodon and is also a testament to their talent as a band. I highly recommend this album to anybody who wants to listen to a intense and powerful metal album. It gets my rating of an 9.6/10. One of my favorite albums.
Favorite Tracks: Blood and Thunder, Seabeast, Magalodon, and Aqua Dementia, and Heart's Alive
Least Favorite: Joseph Merrick (If I had to pick one)