“Listen to Mastodon, Mastodon Rocks!’’ RoB MiLz TMO
What comes to mind when you hear the word Mastodon? Doesn’t that just bring to mind an image of one of the biggest and heaviest prehistoric beasts imaginable? Well, paleontologist or not, it’ll certainly conjure up heavy thoughts and earworms, with only of one of the biggest beasts imaginable in the music world to blame...
When Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher joined up with Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders in 2000, chemistry took place...the chemistry that is the same chemistry that ends up being the make-up of any band worthy of legendary status. Which, if they aren’t already at that level they are certainly well on their way down that road...one show at a time, chugging away in their white, Ford Econoline road warrior that they have lovingly deemed the “Fart-Box” (You figure it out).
Now, when it comes to talent, there is one rule that always applies...you either got it or you don’t, period and MASTODON definitely got it. Not only that, but they carry with them the most important trait for any band to be successful and stand the test of time: an original sound. Go ahead and compare them to who you will, RUSH and METALLICA being the most common consensus, it will neither do you good nor will it do the band justice, they have a sound all their own and that’s all there is to it.
With two full lengths and an EP under their belts, every single song they have put out is undeniably awesome, undeniably heavy and of course undeniably MASTODON. However, there are a few minor changes you will notice as you progress through the MASTODON catalogue:
First, the vocals...they don’t really introduce clean vocals until “Leviathan”, so pretty much all harsh here, great but harsh nonetheless. Troy Sanders has one of those voices (clean as well as dirty) that actually seems voiced just for the music, fits perfectly.
Two, the use of samples, which I think are great when bands use them, I really do (ear candy), however you’ll find none on “Leviathan”, but honestly I couldn’t picture “Crusher Destroyer” or “Train Wreck” opening any other way and in the same respect, I couldn’t picture any samples on “Leviathan” either.
Third, of course is the musicianship, which they certainly have grown tighter and have definitely honed their musical “chemistry” with one another since the “Lifesblood” EP, as expected with any band, which is one of the best things about music...watching a band grow and progress.
I believe MASTODON have one of the best futures to look forward to in the Metal scene, I really do. While other bands are skyrocketing to the top of the heap, burning their candles at both ends, MASTODON will sally forth steadily and most importantly consistently, continuing touring to build a lasting fan base which is the only way to truly make it in this game. Not to mention, they really have no competition as they are without a doubt in a league of their own. Listen to MASTODON, MASTODON Rocks! \m/ (Online November 29, 2004)