Mastodon

Mastodon – Blood Mountain (c) 2006 Warner Bros. RecordsMastodon, “Blood Mountain;” Scaling the peak. Approximately one minute into Mastodon’s third full length release, “Blood Mountain,” one gets the feeling they aren’t exactly listening to just any old record. From every riff, every transition or seeming lack thereof to every�beat, bass swirl and drum�fill to the�ever changing vocal styles of both Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds, (not to mention guests Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age) all the way down to the immpeccable guitar tones and drum sounds, this is a release to be taken seriously. And that is no accident. Mastodon have themselves claimed this as their greatest work to date, and while they have cultivated a loyal following thus far, they clearly had intentions of raising their proverbial bar, dare I say at the risk of alienating some entry-level fans. At times quite heady, filled with complex timing, intricate guitar work, blazing drums, highly unique lyrics dealing with myriad fantastical creatures and adventures sung in interesting ways,�and even a few “what the hell what was THAT!?” noises, Blood Mountain is certainly a couple of things. First, a finely crafted work of art by highly skilled individuals. Second, one intense son-of-a-bitchin’ ride. Never a dull moment, never a predictable one. As a side-note, upon waiting for the hidden track to kick in, a discussion about how Rob Halford is the most badass gay guy on Earth fired up. Just as I made my final�note about how even the most jock-esque dudes fail to stack up to his merits, Mastodon appeared once more, simply to laugh at my point. -Nick McGarvey�

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