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240 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harpoons Thrust In the Sky!
I first heard about Mastodon when their debut release "Remission" first came out. So I went onto amazon and listened to a few seconds of each sound clip and to say the most, I wasn't impressed. So I dismissed them as MTV Metalcore garbage solely because they were being pushed in my face with other american groups like Chimaira and Killswitch engage. It was hard not to...
Published on March 12, 2006 by Igar The Terrible

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven, but flashes of brilliance
Disclaimer: This is the first Mastodon I've heard -- have yet to buy "Remission," although it's on my list.

Imagine if Dillinger Escape Plan did a Nirvana cover album. Then imagine that album mating with Therion's "Ho Drakon Ho Megas." At its best, Mastodon's "Leviathan" sounds very much like the offspring of this dizzy little union. The problem is that...
Published on July 15, 2005 by Owen Cunningham

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240 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harpoons Thrust In the Sky!, March 12, 2006
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
I first heard about Mastodon when their debut release "Remission" first came out. So I went onto amazon and listened to a few seconds of each sound clip and to say the most, I wasn't impressed. So I dismissed them as MTV Metalcore garbage solely because they were being pushed in my face with other american groups like Chimaira and Killswitch engage. It was hard not to slap that label on them seeing as I hadn't really heard what they had to offer. Anyway two years later "Leviathan" was released, and the hype for this band began to grow even more. I reluctantly gave in and picked up "Leviathan" after seeing the Video for "Iron Tusk" one night on TV. So after letting "Leviathan" sit in my ears for a while the only thing I can think is "Mastodon, how I've misjudged you!"

I am really glad that bands like this are still kicking around, getting the praise that they deserve. That is, bands that don't easily fit into a single genre category. Bands like this truly are a dying breed in metal today, sure there are some great bands that give out some great death metal, black metal, thrash, etc. but they don't really do anything to help progress metal and give it a new and interesting spin. Bands like Clutch, Mastodon, Absu Strapping Young Lad, Sunn O))) Meshuggah, Opeth, Finntroll...And the list could go on, but the point is that they all bring something refreshing and new to the table.

Now, onto the review of Mastodon's "Leviathan". The Five star rating really is closer to a 4.5. Why is it a 4.5? Well its mostly because of a few little problems that in the end don't make the album suffer enough to deserve a 4, thus the 5 star rating. I'll also give them credit for making metal that almost anyone could like. You could like practically any type of metal or even Rock and still enjoy this. In my opinion Mastodon(along with some other bands mentioned) is the embodiment of metal; its not held down by any negative labels, its easy to get into and enjoy, but its not made for people with an attention span of 2 minutes. *cough* Nu-metal *cough*.

My only beefs with "Leviathan" are: The Production; while it is a definite improvement over "Remission" its just not 100% better.(But once you are bombarded by some of those deadly Riffs, you'll hardly notice.) Another beef I have is "Hearts Alive", its just too long on an album of 3 and 4 minute songs. Im not at all saying that its a bad song, its a great song. Its just if you don't listen to it the album becomes 33minutes long rather then 46. So if you don't like it then your gonna have a shorter album then most people. Again these problems I have are more like the only flaws I could find, and they aren't that big of a deal to me. (Like I said, I enjoy "Hearts Alive" and the production doesn't bother me...It just might bother you.)

Now that the the problems I had with "Leviathan" are over with lets move onto the reason that I like "Leviathan". I'm a Major sucker for a concept album, I just love it when an album follows a theme or story. It makes the whole record seem that much more memorable. The Artwork on the cover and in the booklet is unbelievably good. And Two Big thumbs up to whoever did it.

I don't understand why people don't like the vocals...I guess that they are people that are more used to the vocal styles used in Judas Priest, or Metallica. Please, If you are a fan of metal and do not like the screaming/etc type of vocals try your absolute hardest to like them on this record. As this may be a good "gateway" band for you that may end up leading you onto more unknown and amazing bands and genres of Metal. You're missing out on a ocean of great music, and your missing out on it just because It's not what you are used to. The vocals here really are not that hard to enjoy, They're not death metal screams/growls/grunts so if you don't like those you should enjoy "Leviathan".

The guitars are spectacular and the guys really manage to make up some really unique and original riffs/sounds. Also not to be understated are the drums, they will blow your mind! Brann Dailor is a beast of a drummer. He uses a very un-conventional method of drumming which is more like jazz drumming then the usual blast beat-ridden method. And all the while Troy Sanders beefs up all the riffs with his bass. making them sound all the more heavy and monstrous. So to end this review I'll just mention a few tracks that I thought were the strongest and give a brief description for each.

Some standout tracks are:

.: Iron Tusk :.
An amazing track that is everything metal should be. It has some great, crunching riffs laced throughout it. This has to be my favorite track on the entire album. Apparently this video was banned from being aired on MTV because they had those guys who swing around with hooks through their skin in the video. So todays lesson is that the people working in MTV are complete tools.

.: Blood and Thunder :.
A great opener for the record. It also sports a guest (Vocal) appearance from Neil Fallon of Clutch (2:15 - 2:55)

.: I Am Ahab :.
Very good track with some riffs that sound a bit stoner rockish. A good follow up to Blood and Thunder.

.: Naked Burn :.
GREAT chorus riff on this one, and a great chorus to go along with it; |Saaaaaave your self| |Dooooont wait on me|. It might sound a bit cheesy but it really works.

.: Aqua Dementia :.
Another Track with a vocalist guest appearance (Scott Kelly from Neurosis) The riffs and drum beats that start off the track are very catchy. The lyrics also fit well with the vocals.

.: Hearts Alive :.
The monster track from "Leviathan". It really shows off the great musicianship and songwriting ability that Mastodon is capable of. it also happens to be 13 minutes long so you had better hope you enjoy it to because if you don't you'll find yourself getting to "Joseph Merrick" (the albums intrumental Outro) 13 minutes sooner.

If you found even one sentence of this review remotely interesting, appealing, or helpful please take a second out of your busy day to press the "yes" button next to "Was this review helpful to you?"
Thank you,
-Igar the Terrible
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The John Coltrane of Heavy Metal, January 4, 2005
Marc A. Coignard (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
I title my review this way because of how Mastodon's style of heavy metal reminds me of Coltrane style jazz; chatoic and seamingly without a solid form or tempo, but still with a flow and style that compliment the music genre they belong to in a way no one else has been able to. Considering how long heavy metal has been around its strange to think that few, if any, bands have ever done such an amazing job of going "free form" with their style as Mastodon has done. Not being a student of music it is hard for me to express in words why I came to this conclusion as a way to describe how highly I think of Mastodon's music, but unfortunately words do fail me at this point. I love Mastodon's music and their unique style is quite refreshing and pretty unheard of.

Some fans have complained, or at least commented, that they like this album less than Remission, the band's first LP on Relapse records, because this album is so much more melodic, and the vocals are clearer. Unlike many of these fans, I'm not a metalhead, just a music fan, and the only reason I could see the bands more melodic sound and clearer vocals as being a negative would be if they didn't pull it off well. When you get right down to it, this album sounds ten times better than Remission, both in style and in song quality. The subject matter itself is quite impressive. Mastodon has essentially written a rock opera of sorts; a concetp album based on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." The very idea is odd, to say the least, but the poetic images that Mastodon creates with their words, in addition to the artwork on the album's cover and sleeve, and the epic sound they create all go hand in hand in making this a triumphant and monumental work of Heavy Metal Art. Their first album was more poeitc to me. This album rings out like an Epic Masterpiece, and I can not recomend it enough. It has a beginning, middle, and an ending, and reminds me of listening to a Led Zeppelin album--sure, you can listen to individual songs and they sound great, but playing the album from start to finish only emphasises how incredible each and every song is by throwing it all together in one linear and cohesive composition of work. I can't recomend this album enough.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WHALE., January 8, 2005
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Perhaps no form of music is better suited to the story of _Moby Dick_ than metal. Dealing with whales, ships, water and intangibles like OBSESSION and REVENGE, the subject matter is pretty heavy. Projecting this story, American metal band Mastodon unleashes _Leviathan_. Probably the best thing you can say about it is that it is an epic that creeps up on you. Even listening to it abstractly, one slowly begins to recognize hethe brilliant intuition behind the musical flow. There is a feeling of great satisfaction when the last track plays, a feeling that evades most album creation.

Though resembling their namesake in terms of lumbering heaviness, Mastodon is a dexterous beast, from their brisk and tight metal rhythms to Brann Dailor's fusion-esque drumming. Aggressive vocals are set with the churning waves of hulking riffs, with harmonic subtlety and some stunningly melodic parts without pretense. And they are metal through and through, with scores of meaty, blood-dripping riffs heavy enough to liquefy some heads.

The best song is the climax, "Hearts Alive", which manipulates highly evocative atmospheres to orchestrate the dreadful, unstoppable crush of fate over its 13 minutes, and all with awesome riffs no less. The album is concluded with a somewhat uneasy electric-acoustic instrumental, "Joseph Merrick".

I am reviewing the "deluxe" edition which comes with a bonus DVD featuring live tracks and some cuts from _Leviathan_ mixed in 5.1 surround. The extra musical features will probably be more meaningful to others...I am strictly interested in deluxe edition's amazingly sexy jewel case. If you value the aesthetic side of CD packaging, this is the one to have.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a detailed study of anger, February 3, 2005
Whale Hunter (denver, co United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
I am a middle-aged doctor who grew up listening to Led and Rush. I love records like Floyd's "Meddle" and Zep's "Physical Grafitti." That being said, I picked this record up because it said something about Old School Metal on the cover. I took it home, slid it in the slot, and watched my head get blown off.

These guys are brilliant. They have distilled out the essence of the Moby Dick story--blinding anger and self destructive revenge--and pumped it full of hot, black whale blood. It took me about 20 listenings and the written lyrics to figure out what was going on, but now my old Rush records sound like some Catholic high school senior honors project. This music squeezes juice out of an invisible gland in your gut, making you want to fuggin dive from you boat on the foaming sea and plunge your harpoon into the flesh of this white devil as you are being pulled to your icy, silent grave. And all this on your drive home from the office.

My wife says it's pretty queer to be so into this band that takes an unreadable book from 10th grade and puts it to music. But then I just say, "I think that someone is trying to kill me!!!!!!..." (the brilliant, highly paranoid opening line of the record). That usually quiets her down pretty good. I also think she doesn't like it because when I play it in the basement it makes the children cry, inconsolably. Mainly, I just think she doesn't get it, since women don't hate and destroy with nearly the ambition of men. This is clearly illustrated if you read "Ahab's Wife," a popular chick's book club book about, yes, Captain Ahab's wife.

Break your backs and crack your oars, men

If you wish to prevail!

Isn't that just so friggin' awesome?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtlety Be Thy Name, September 25, 2004
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Remission was perfect. Brutal, intricate, epic, soulful, and even soothing. Mastodon would be foolish to even attempt to make a sequel to such a masterpiece. Thus, a new direction.

Mastodon subtly abbreviates their own sound to great effect, sloughing off much of the progressive, Death circa Sound of Perseverance complexity as well as the doomy stoner rock boom for a sound more distinctly their own. Overall, Leviathan is more concise and direct. Remission displayed pretty much all the technicality you could want, so Leviathan is obviously all about the feel.

Remission had a pretty similar feel throughout. A warm, dark, claustrophobic dirt-floored shack being hit by a freight train and a stampede of bulls at the same time. But Leviathan has much more variety and complexity in the mood it sets. Despite shorter, cleaner songs, Leviathan taps into an entire landscape, with the epic "Hearts Alive" being the best example of grand texture shifts.

Mastodon was ahead of its time with Remission, and it is perhaps too far ahead of its time with Leviathan, now virtually a completely new band. Give this album time and you'll understand the ambition of textures, variety, and feeling it holds. It may not be as shockingly perfect as Remission, but Leviathan is an essential evolution, still deserving at least five stars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smartest album of 2004, July 29, 2005
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Mastodon is very difficult to categorize."Leviathan" is definitely heavy metal...but what kind? These Georgians play music which might appeal to metalcore fans, but they don't play Killswitch Engage-type of riffs, and they're not nearly as melodic as most New Wave of American Heavy Metal bands, so Mastodon are definitely not typical metalcore.

"Leviathan," which Revolver magazine gave 2004's album of the year award to, is very explosive. There are only a few beat changes in this album (there is usually just one drum beat per song), but almost every song is chocked full of crunchy, lumbering, cascading, and occasionally grinding riffs.

Musically, "Leviathan" is not very innovative. Plus, some parts can be quite repetitive; but what adds innovation to this album and makes it constantly interesting is that it mixes brains with the brawn. Musically, this band is like Black Sabbath meets Meshuggah meets Metallica meets Alice in Chains, but they also have a storytelling ability that would make both King Crimson and Cradle of Filth proud.

In case you haven't heard, "Leviathan" is a concept album. Over the course of these ten tracks, Mastodon tell the story of "Moby Dick." The band members got this idea when they flew from Hawaii to London, so, to kill the time, they read Herman Melville's classic. Evidently, the life that is described in that book is very similar to life on the road (life while touring). Plus, somewhere in "Moby Dick," there is a reference to a "sea salt mastodon."

"Blood and Thunder" begins with one of the guitarists playing a catchy, somewhat restrained sounding riff. The drums begin, then the guitars come to full volume. This song then proceeds to turn to groovy guitar playing with a couple of pick slides, and a nice shout-along chorus.
"I Am Ahab" has a beat and guitar riffs which are quite a bit faster than the preceding song. Guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher shoot and rip throughout this song, while Troy belts out some more throaty yells.
"Seabeast" begins with soft strumming, which is followed by a smattering of drums, then the vocals begin. The guitars make a catchy, grooving sound, and are accompanied by some clean backing vocals.
"Island" has more strong guitar riffs and fast drumming. After this song's brief guitar solo, the riffs turn to a fast chugging.
"Megalodon," a song which is about a mastodon (a prehistoric beast), has some more heavy chugging riffs and good, thumping drumming, but this song is different because, about halfway through, there is a light guitar interlude. After this, however, the beat comes back and is even faster than it was before.
"Hearts Alive" begins with light, acoustic sounding guitar strumming and some drumming, but the power chords kick in at around the two minute mark. This song is highlighted by trippy guitar work, ripping, wailing guitar solo, and a couple piercing cries of "Terrified!"

In conclusion, "Leviathan" is a good, fun to listen to metal album with great musicianship, but there's more to this C.D. than that. Some words are audible (i.e. "white whale," "watery grave," "deep blue sea"), but, since the guitars are so loud, singer Troy Sanders' vocals are pushed to the back, and the lyrics are seldom audible. But I encourage you to read and think about the lyrics, because you will probably only realize this is the smartest album of 2004 once you do that. It may take several listens for you to fully absorb and appreciate this album, but once you do, you'll realize this is very great, brilliant, addictive, and an all around gargantuan C.D.!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look into the future of metal, August 12, 2006
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Once every now and then an album comes along that changes the face of a certain genre of music. Leviathan by Mastodon does just that. And the great thing is that they don't necessarily change one type of metal. So many styles of metal are incorporated into one here that Leviathan is hard to classify. There are influences of industrial metal, classic metal, stoner metal, and much more. This album is simply amazing! The music is so simple yet incredibly complex at the same time. Blood and Thunder is one of the best opening tracks ever. A simple yet catchy riff melds into a killer solo. And you just can't beat a chorus that yells "White whale, holy grail!" I would list my favorite tracks, but the fact is the whole album is my "favorite track". Mastodon transitions from heaviness to melody with such ease, it makes the whole album a fun roller coaster ride of different paces of metal. Then, of course, you can't review this album and not mention the 13 minute epic "Hearts Alive". What a song! It's length gives it the ability to take the listener through different stages of music and feels like a separate story all on its own. Brann Dailor has got to be one of the top metal drummers out right now reaching seemingly inhumanly fast speeds. Some people knock the vocals on this album saying that they sound muffled or "pushed back". And some criticize the clean vocals on "Seabeast" and "Naked Burn". The vocals sound great so don't listen to those who like to criticize. There are good albums, there are great albums, and then there is Leviathan. In short, buy this now!

On an end note : Mastodon got nominated for the Ultimate Metal god award on Headbanger's Ball! Give them your vote!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Metal Band and Album in Years, February 11, 2005
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)

If it's one thing I've really gotten sick of it's hearing all the "x band is the next (insert name of really famous metal band here)" comments. Then buying the albums only to find the bands NEVER live up to the hype. Then after seeing a sticker on Mastodon's Leviathan with a critic proclaiming them "the second coming of Metallica... AND Rush". Uh-oh. But, finally, Mastodon has come along and not only lived up to the hype, but blown all the other poseurs out of the collective metal waters with one calculated, unbelievably powerful blast from the blow hole of a great white whale. Before I get to Mastodon's review, a short review on all the bands that DIDN'T live up to the hype. If you just want to read my review of Leviathan, skip ahead.


Killswitch Engage (KSE) is nothing more than a nu-metal band with emo-screamo vocals that have very little talent on their instruments. They craft some really good hooks (mostly vocally), but musically, it's as basic and as BAD as metal gets.

Shadows Fall, is the opposite of KSE with lots of metal chops on their instruments. They also brought back a great, old school thrash sound. But they can't craft great songs. KSE and Shadows Fall should get together and form one band to fix the problems of both.

Lamb of God are really good - combining power, technical ability, and song-writing, but it all had a "been there, done that" feeling. They're nothing spectacular, just good metal.

God Forbid are really good as well. Great technical ability, pretty good song craft with lots of power. Though, once again, a "been there, done that" thing. They're nothing spectacular either, just good metal.

All That Remains are once again, PRETTY GOOD. Sounding a lot like At the Gates' music meets KSE's vocals except neither are as good as the formers.

As I Lay Dying sounds like a mix of the above three bands, only less talented. I like the Christian aspect of them though. Really makes for a different mood.

Stampin' Ground was generic in every possible way. Not one thing to distinguish themselves from the slew of other hardcore bands out there in terms of ability or song writing.

Heaven Shall Burn was perhaps the best of the above lot, offering an equally intense, heavy, technical, and lyrically deep sound, which is something that can't be said for the above mentioned bands. Their song-writing skills need some work, but they're a band that could come into their own quite nicely in the near future.

Avenged Sevenfold is on an even playing field with Heaven Shall Burn, with a slightly more classic metallic type sound. I may give a slight edge to Avenged 7x for the fact that they're slightly better songwriters and have already written several excellent metalcore songs. They're another band that will probably come into their own quite nicely in the future.

Unearth was THE ONLY band that lived up to all the hype. The Stings of Conscience was/is an excellent album and by far succeeds anything else by the above-mentioned bands. A near perfect blend of death metal and hardcore with chops to spare and plenty of songwriting skills, plus the ability to craft excellent metal songs out of the same sounds that from so many other bands sound tired.

The one band I haven't, but really wish I had heard was The Dillinger Escape Plan. I've heard them called the Meshuggah of punk and hardcore and I'm a HUGE Meshuggah fan. Another band is Between the Buried and Me. I've heard a lot of great things about both bands.


Mastodon is a completely different beast all together, combining an entirely unique style of metal consisting of death, thrash, grind, hardcore, and stoner. But they do it in a way that's really chaotic, almost jazz-like in its song structures. That sound comes mostly thanks to Brann Dailor's oft mentioned powerful, stunning, and just downright technically awe-inspiring drumming. The guy is a drum god among men and the air is definitely thin up there where he is. Groove, inventive fills - the guy has it all. He actually resembles a jazz-fusion drummer in style more than a metal drummer. The power behind it is what gives it that metal punch and sound.

The guitars are only less accomplished compared to the maniacal drumming, but the riffs effortlessly shift styles and move and crush with such force, the likes of which I haven't heard on a metal album in ages. On every modern metal album, I always know where the guitars are going and what they're going to sound like next - not so, on Leviathan. Take the excellent opener Blood and Thunder where the guitars start out with just an awesome groove riff that, before you know it, seamlessly leads into a melodic, Maiden-esque dual guitar harmony. Or the excellent, brutal, Cynic-esque "En-gage. Mon-ster." part at the end of Iron Tusk. But Megalodon is definitely the highlight as far as guitars go. The melodic clean lines that soon shift to a more straightforward metal riff that leads into a... southern rock lick? You heard me right. Then it explodes into an excellent strident, speedy, death metal esque riff. Absolute brilliance.

The bass playing is what's so grossly overlooked about this album. Mastodon has such a HUGE - and I do mean HUUUUUUUUUUUGE sound. So much of that is thanks to Troy Sanders' rumbling bass. Without it, the guitars wouldn't have nearly the amount of punch and massiveness they have. While he might not be the most technical bassist in the world, for this style, he's perfect.

The vocals are ALMOST there. Definitely, a much improved shift over Remission's constant beastly shouts. The added styles give the album a lot more depth so that when the distorted, brutal vocals do hit, they hit MUCH harder. There are several other integrated vocal styles that I notice more and more every time I listen to the album. It's really great to see a metal band putting some REAL thought into vocals instead of CONSTANTLY screaming or CONSTANTLY growling or trying to do a mix of both. The shifting styles add such dynamics to the vocals like I've never heard in metalcore before.

The songs themselves are quite excellent but require SEVERAL repeat listens to be able to put all the pieces together. I've said it before that Mastodon is somehow able to pack more music into two minutes than most metal bands can in 10. To first time listeners this may come across as "bad songwriting" or "without hooks or melody", but the songwriting, hooks, and melodies are all there. It just requires several listens to pick them all up.

That said, my personal favorites are the groove-alicious Blood and Thunder. Gotta love that excellent "White whale! Holy Grail!" chorus! Being a guitarist myself, the amazing guitar work in Megalodon is a highlight for me. Naked Burn is perhaps the best written and "hookiest" song on the album, with that uber catchy "Save yourself" chorus and the melodic, flowing guitars. And I'd be remiss if I didn't save the best for last and mention the stunning 13-minute tour de force closer "Hearts Alive". A song that builds up beautifully with some of Mastodon's best clean guitar work and then explodes at precisely the right moments. It settles down and explodes and shifts several times before finally settling into that awesome outro riff and sweeping drums that thrash around like a helpless person in the sea before finally calming and letting the waves take you under. Joseph Merrick (aka "the Elephant Man" for those who don't recognize the name) is a great instrumental but doesn't really fit with the rest of the album. The story ends with Hearts Alive, but you can just look at Merrick as a "bonus track".

Another noteworthy fact about the album is the excellent cohesion. Though most concept albums have cohesion. Leviathan is no exception. The album moves effortlessly between tracks and if you were to listen to any one song out of the context of the album you wouldn't get the full effect. So many concept albums fall apart in the respect that they can't carry the music or story all the way through. But Leviathan has no problem with this. Surprisingly, the first half of the album is actually weaker than the second where EVERYTHING comes together during the last 4 tracks

All in all, I've been thoroughly impressed with Mastodon and this album. I also have Remission, which is really great in its own right as well. Between the two, Remission is the better "straight up metal album". So, if that's what you're looking for, get Remission. Leviathan is a monster, but a refined one. It's a Ride the Lightning to Remission's Kill Em' All. Definitely an album and band worthy of the status of "the second coming of Metallica and Rush" though I'd compare them more to King Crimson in terms of song style rather than Rush (but it was no doubt a nod to the drumming).

Anyway, 4 1/2 instead of 5 stars for the fact that I can't help but think Mastodon has a Master of Puppets up their sleeves for their next album. And for the fact that the vocals aren't quite THERE yet. Much improved over Remission, but not perfect. I can't recommend this album enough. It just gets better and better with every listen. If you're a metal fan, you OWE it to yourself to own this album. Best metal album of 2004 and one of the top 5 best metal albums of the new millennium thus far and DEFINITELY the best new metal band on the block.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars massive, labrynthine, unified in vision, September 16, 2004
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
i've not even bothered trying to stop listening to this album since it's release. i'm not a super scenester when it comes to hardcore, but for my money this is as good as it gets. Unbelievable precision, sick hooks and fills, amazing energy and passion. I purchased the new Lamb of God at the same time with similar high expectations and haven't been able to get into it as much as Leviathan. The oceanic theme recurrs lyrically and musically to devastating effect. If there's a killer one-two punch on the album, it's Naked Burn and Aqua Dementia, though after more than two solid weeks of listening i'm still digging the whole album, front to back, on repeat. I can see how the album might not appeal to the true hardcore or metal enthusiast, as Mastodon does incorporate sounds and styles from all over the heavy music spectrum, and it might be a little confusing to those that expect a certain sound from a hardcore band. so take this, not from a metalhead, but from an all around music lover, BEST HARD ALBUM OF THE DECADE!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastodon Are Better Than Ever, July 23, 2005
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Review by Rahul Chandiok:

Mastodon is quite possibly one of the best American metal bands and has created powerful and meaningful music in the past. Their latest offering, Leviathan, is no different in that it provides brutal and technical metal, along with artistic lyrics that paint an elaborate picture of a harpooning ship run by a deranged captain bent on capturing a giant white whale. Obviously, this concept album is a look into the classic novel "Moby Dick," but Mastodon take that story a step further by offering a musical soundtrack to a relatively old story that is now regaining new life.

The album opens up with Mastodon's unarguably most popular single to date, "Blood And Thunder". The song features a guest appearance from the vocalist of the underground hard rock phenomenon band Clutch, which provides an excellent vocal contrast that makes this song even that much better. "Iron Tusk" is another powerful, pure metal track that features heavy, explosive guitars coupled with an aggressive vocal styling. One might expect the repetitive lyrics concerning Captain Ahab attempting to capture Moby Dick would be a lyrical bore, but Mastodon are able to creatively produce lyrics that are deep and tell an exciting story.

Overall, the album, musically, is slightly more technical than Mastodon's previous offerings which showcase a metal band that intends on broadening their musical spectrum without compromising their original sound. The album alone is worth the price just to hear the classic tracks "Blood And Thunder" and "Iron Tusk". The only downside to the album is that there are a few songs on this album that aren't exactly up to par with what Mastodon has done in the past, as well as the songs that provide an audible joy ride on this album. This is a must have for any fan of the band, but if you're looking for a new metal band to listen to, Mastodon just might be the catch of the day.
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Leviathan by Mastodon (Audio CD - 2004)
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