Sound — 10
Mastodon have become a fitting part of what we call modern "prog-rock", though it really doesn't matter once you've had a good listen to this album. The contrast of not only tones but syles between the members (notably Brann Dailor on drums, and Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds on guitars) is what gives the album it's appeal. The guitar work jumps from sporatic to sludging to down south chicken picking in an oddly natural way, and is accented by great bass lines and some crazy Randy Rhoads "polka dot" drums. The production is very tight and sounds extremely well thought out, without losing the raw intensity of the band. The sheer technical ability of the band is worth the 13 dollars Canandian that I paid for the album (twice over). Give one listen to Capillarian Crest, Circle of Cysquatch or Colony of Birchmen and you'll understand.
Lyrics — 9
In the case of Mastodon, the lyrics are really good within the context of the music. This is kind of unsual, since most bands that deal with this kind of lyricism get slapped with a "power metal" badge and cast off. In this particular situation this is not the case. Also, Troy Sanders fits in a good niche between the growl and the singing. If still not convinced, guest singers Cedric Bixler Zavala (Mars Volta), Josh Homme (QOTSA), and Scott Kelly seemingly fill the void.
Overall Impression — 10
I haven't heard anybody that is really that close to the sound that Mastodon has made for themselves. I will say it is not for all people, but it in my opinion is a good step for metal music. Capillarian Crest is one of my favorites right now and why not. It kicks your ass and it feels good! These guys are great musicians who give a shit about music, and in my opinion handed out a great metal album that is worth being in any metal heads collection. Enough said.