Mastodon / METAL

Blood Mountain-MASTODON-2006


If anybody says that they liked Mastodon the first time around then they are lying. If anybody says that they sat through all of their albums in one sitting and had no problem doing so, no itching to put on something a bit more low brow, then again, their noses should lengthen out a bit like Pinocchio’s. However, any one who makes an effort and still doesn’t get it after some time is simply no metal head.

Mastodon is one of the better metal ensembles I have heard that hail from this century. In fact, slowly, but surely, the more Blood Mountain sinks into me, the more I am tempted to think that this might be one of the best metal album of the decade, yes, it is THAT good. I have been listening to the album for 2 months now and am still not familiar with all the riff and tempo changes. Call it my inattentiveness or attribute it to the mastery of this band, but that’s what it is, and seldom does any album take that long to assimilate in my ear.

Their biggest achievement is the fact that they have genuinely built up a unique sound, and this is not AMG “unique” that I am talking about here (on AMG, every band is unique). They sound huge, grand without trying to, without the synths, mellotrons and female choir ala Therion etc. They are complex without trying to be, without the constant use of polyrhythms and mind bending time signatures ala Meshuggah, Textures etc.

If Leviathan is taken as the starting point for this band, then Blood Mountain is the next big step. That monster was all about rhythms, this one is all about the rhythm and the melodic lead breaks. The Southern rock influences return in full force on tracks like Crystal Skull which has an awesome Lynyrd-Skynyrd-y solo at the end, only sped up and hard rockitized. That track is so awesome, its beyond belief, what with the harmonies that they bring in through the rhythm and lead guitar. The vocals have changed too. I can actually understand the lyrics and the emphasis is on pitch and key rather than on being harsh and guttural. Better than Leviathan? Definitely.

My only beef with them would be that sometimes it seems that they deliberately want to put the listener off, for example take Bladecatcher, which has a solid intro, but then goes haywire with some weird sound effects, only for a brief moment, but it is off putting, the kind of stuff that makes the normal person say “that’s why I don’t listen to metal.”

To make a long story, short, most of the album consists of similar awesomeness, and to point that out I use, kids, say it……

Recommended Songs -: Crystal Skull, Sleeping Giant, Hunters of the Sky

Baba T

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2 thoughts on “Blood Mountain-MASTODON-2006

  1. Yeah therz no doubt about the fact that this is one of the Best Metal /Prog Metal albums ever made or at-least of the last decade.I got into Mastodon with Crack The Skye which was much easier to get into as it is more proggy & melodious. I have to admit despite being a Metal Head the other 3 albums can be very hard to like instantly. But i stuck with Blood Mountain as i heard a lot of praise about it in Youtube & various Forums & i knew that this was a special band. Now i have to admit after repeated listening to BM,this may just beat CTS as my fav Mastodon album.. its insanely good. The whole album is also sort of a concept album with a story if you listen carefully.But i am surprised you just liked 3 tracks. This album barely has a bad song IMHO , my favorites other than what u mentioned are : This Mortal Soil(Best Intro i have ever heard ),Siberian Divide,Pendelous Skin(what an awesome Bluesy Solo),Colony of Birchmen(Gr8 Rhythm).Thanks for Reviewing this band, hopefully Crack The Skye will Follow soon. Another band i would like you folks to review is Thin Lizzy .

    • Yea i knew about the concept, but since that doesnt count as a reason for me liking the album i didnt mention it. Its about climbing a mountain and meeting strange things like Giants etc. I think there is a peak in some European range named Blood Mountain.

      I didnt like just three tracks. I just thought that those three were the best and most representative of the band and album as a whole.

      As for Thin Lizzy, I have heard some of the usual stuff (Whisky in the Jar, The Boys are Back in Town), they are not on my radar as of now, but I’ll download their whole disco now that you mention it.

      Cheers and thanks for supporting us!! Tell your rock buddies about it!!

      -Baba T

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