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Mastodon - Leviathan CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.88 | 325 ratings

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4 stars Leviathan is the second full length studio album from American experimental metal act Mastodon. Mastodonīs debut album Remission from 2002 was a good surprise for me. I really enjoyed that album even though Mastodonīs music isnīt really my favorite style. You canīt deny good quality music though. Leviathan really cemented Mastodonīs position as one of the most prolific and groundbreaking metal bands in the last 5 - 10 years and I remember reading lots of praising reviews of the album in various magazines. It took me a couple of years to appreciate though.

The music has developed in a more melodic direction since Remission but the heavy riffing and the speed of light fast precision drumming from drum genious Brann Dailor are still present in abundance. Remission wins because of its raw and aggressive style ( There are calmer parts on the album too though) while Leviathan is a more balanced album. Itīs simply more memorable and better written IMO. The influences ranges from post metal, thrash and classic heavy metal to progressive rock and psychadelic moments. Leviathan is more metal than anything else though, so donīt expect the album to sound like progressive rock. The influences from the softer genres are only hinted at.

The album starts with the crushingly heavy Blood and Thunder and the next song I Am Ahab is even more aggressive. Seabeast is a more varied track with some almost melodic singing and thatīs how the album continues all the way. Itīs a really dynamic album and there are no weak songs here. The 13:39 long Hearts Alive is also worth mentioning because of itīs many interesting sections. The mood on the album is great, dark and aggressive.

The musicianship is excellent. The vocals are a mix of aggressive and raw melodic voices. The two guitarists compliment each other well but drummer Brann Dailor take the price here though. What a fantastic musician. Donīt misunderstand me when I praise his fast playing. I donīt mean blast beats when I say fast playing. His fills and his style are so extremely well played and innovative that it is much his effort that Mastodonīs music sounds as good as it does.

The production is excellent. Great clean mix but still crunchy and heavy.

Leviathan is an excellent album and I can fully understand why some people think this is a masterpiece. For me this is a 4 star album and a step up from Remission which by the way also is a great album. Iīll be looking forward to reviewing their next album called Blood Mountain and seing Mastodon live again ( with Slayer, Trivium and Amon Amarth) on the 21th of November 2008 in Copenhagen.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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