(Relapse Records 2004)Mastodon - Leviathan

Only on Relapse can a metal band make an album that revolves around the concept of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" and have it be one of the most artistically captivating albums of the decade. Led by the gravel tinged voice of front man Brent Hinds, Mastodon's sound is as large as the mammoth in which they take their name from.

For someone who has never heard Mastodon before, the opener "Blood and Thunder" is guaranteed to knock you on your ass as Hind's frantic opening line is "I think that someone is trying to kill me" as Bran Dailor's snare and floor toms pop like a bag of Orville Redenbacher in the microwave. But it isn't until "Iron Tusk" where Dailor really flogs your senses alongside a throwdown of arty thrash metal havoc. But the prog-rock textures really set in on "Megalodon", the first track from a metal band that amounts to a Medieval psychedelic mindfuck as is the 13 minute "Hearts Alive". "I Am Ahab" shows off some mammoth (no pun intended) doom metal riffs that at first seem to pantomime the ones of which emit from label mates High on Fire, but Mastodon shines on with their own originality by fusing in some jazzy breakdowns in the rhythms.

"Leviathan" is a huge stepping stone for Mastodon and will no doubt remain a pinnacle of their careers as well as heavy music as a whole.


buy it!