Mastodon - Blood Mountain - 2006 - Warner Bros Records
1. The Wolf Is Loose 2. Crystal Skull 3. Sleeping Giant 4. Capillarian Crest 5. Circle Of Cysquatch 6. Bladecatcher 7. The Colony Of Birchmen 8. Hunters Of The Sky 9. Hand Of Stone 10. This Mortal Soil 11. The Siberian Divide 12. Pendulous Skin
Mastodon is a truly unique band. Their first release (Lifesblood EP) revealed a band that wasnít going to copy other bands. When their first full-length (Remission) was released no one had any longer doubts about this band. Remission was a raw album influenced by Voivod. Mastodon was the combination of sludge (Isis, Pelican) and progressive (The Dillinger Escape Plan). Their second full length, Leviathan, was the natural evolution of the band. Mastodon released a concept album based on ďMoby DickĒ. The result was one of the best releases of 2004. Now, Warner Records signed them and they are releasing their third album entitled Blood Mountain.
Although I was surprised with Mastodon evolution in this album, I must say that I kind of expected something like this to happen. In their new album, Mastodon leave behind their Voivod influences (partly), and are influenced by one of the greatest bands in heavy metal, Iron Maiden. Although I am not a big fan of Iron Maiden, this album reminded them and made me hear again their first albums. Also on this album Mastodon have some important guests, like: Scott Kelly from Neurosis, Joshua Homme of Kyuss and Cedric Bixler-Zavala from The Mars Volta.
The music is more complex than in Leviathan or Remission. The band performs as always: Brann Dailor (drummer) plays faster and far more complex (yes I know that you canít believe it but itís true). Kelliher and Hinds on the guitars are amazing playing more solos than in the previous albums and Troy Sanders...well heís just Troy Sanders with his amazing vocals and his usual style. Also Hinds is now the second vocalist. The vocals are shared equally between him and Sanders, and although I didnít liked Hinds voice that much I canít imagine anyone else singing his lyrics. Also the production of this album is good although it could be better.
The result of all these things is a pure heavy metal album. Mastodon has changed from their sludge days with their Voivod influences and they have created one of the best heavy metal albums of the last years. The first time I heard I was disappointed, the second I thought that it was nothing special but from the third time and after I believe itís one of the best releases of 2006.