Blood Mountain Review

artist: Mastodon date: 06/22/2010 category: compact discs

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Mastodon: Blood Mountain
Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Label: Reprise
Genres: Post-Hardcore, Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Thrash, Grindcore, Death Metal/Black Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 12
The sludgy, raw and fierce Mastodon blurs the line between metal, rock and prog with their major-label debut, Blood Mountain.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (9) 79 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 14, 2006
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok, so on Sept. 12, 2006 a piece of magnificent art was released by 4 men. Their names are Tory Sanders, Bill Kelliher, Brann Dailor and Brent Hinds. It is the most amazing metal masterpiece to come out in decades. This is an amazing, captivating, brutal and beautiful thrill ride that every fan of Mastodon and metal in general should take. I've had it 2 days and already it's my favourite album ever. Being the huge fan that I am, it's not surprising that I along with many others should be blown away with the general calmness that this record gives you. Brent's vocals are more clear and amazing than ever(Troy remarked that they had improved on Leviathan). But this album surpasses that. The heavy songs are Mastodon in feel and sound. Before I got the entire thing, I had only heard The Wolf is Loose, Crystal Skull and Capillarian Crest. I've come to love the entire CD. Some of the tracks that really move me are This Mortal Soil, for the beautiful acoustic and solo intro and Colony of Birchmen for Brent's captivating chorus vocals. This album has so many ranges, you'll forget it's Mastodon. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics have vastly improved over Leviathan, not just in content, but meaning as well. Again the lyrics of Colony of Birchmen hit home for me, as well as some of the more aggressive tunes. Troy and Brent are again the perfect mix of a vocal team, the high and low combination of one singing, one shouting makes for a more clear and viable sound overall. Great improvement for both. Sometimes the music and the lyrics and the music don't add up, but the music speaks for itself. // 10

Overall Impression: I'll say it one more time, this is a perfect album in every sense. Amazing job by Mastodon and this will be a hard act to follow. Many props to them for such a powerful record and all the time and effort they put in, it was well worth it. If this CD were stolen or lost, although I'd guard it with my life, I'd get another without thinking. It's one of those CD's you rush out to get the day it's released. I know I did. Guest vocals by Josh Homme and others help solidify the highs of Blood Mountain, as I'm a fan of Queens Of The Stone Age as well. I just have to say, this is a simply goddamn good album. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 13, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ok so first off, Mastodon has probably one of the most unique sounds in metal today. It has everything you need, but all wrapped in a progressive tone. This album is a clear progression from Leviathan. The difference between the two is that this album has a lot more to it. There isn't a song like Blood And Thunder, where you can listen to it once and it will immediately kick your ass. But there are definitely amazing guitar riffs that will, but right after it will go into something completely different. The guitars are just one of the many highlights to this album. Songs like Capillarian Crest just destroy you. It's a complete mindf--k. Imagine Megalodon on acid, and then you have this song. My favorite songs have to be, Circle Cysquatch and The Wolf Is Loose. They both almost sound like a symphony. Huge epic songs. There are quite a few slow songs such as: Sleeping Giant, Colony Of Birchmen, This Mortal Soil, and Pendelous Skin. Each one different from one another. All of this is wrapped up in some of the most amazing drumming in music today. Brann Dailor is extremely creative. Crystal skulls stands out for me the most. Starting off with 50 second tribal drum intro. Fans of the band will easily enjoy this. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics for Mastodon is a love/hate relationship. Some might think that the lyrics are a bit comicish. But that doesn't matter at all, because once Brent and Troy start to sing and yell, it will completely put you in a trance. There is quite a bit of singing in this album. Almost every song has some sort of actual singing. So fans of the yelling might be put off. But I enjoy it very much. It's very different from what they have been doing. There are also a lot of guest singers on here. Josh Homme from QOTSA singing on Colony of Birchmen, Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Marst Volta singing on The Siberian Divide, and Scott Kelley from Neurosis singing on Crystal Skull. Cedric's is the most interesting. You wouldn't even be able to tell it is him. Each of them add interesting bits to their respective songs. // 9

Overall Impression: This album is simply incredible. I would hope all Mastodon fans would pick it up and fans of metal in general. It will have a bit for everyone. The songs are huge. Each with a sound unlike anything else out right now. This is probably my favorite release of this year next to Tool's 10,000 days. Go buy it! // 10

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overall: 9.7
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: Chardo, on october 13, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: thedudeguy, on february 23, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Amazing, that's one way to put it. Everytime I listen to this record, I find something new and interesting. Whether it's a cool vocal harmony, or an acoustic riff I missed. It pure greatness. Brann is a drum god, the next Neil Pert! His jazz influenced drumming helps this masterpiece become even more unique. Brent and Bill's guitar work is very good as usual. They know how to make a riff come alive. Troy handles the bass duties very well on this album. He knows when to play, and when not to. He brings a very cool aspect to the band, it's agressive, but intelligent. The way they bridge prog rock, hard rock, and heavy metal is flawless. It's worth a listen. // 10

Lyrics: I love the vocals, they're odd, interesting, and very cool. The first track, "The Wolf Is Loose", starts off with shout and brutal screaming. Then Troy adds in this very interesting vocal part, it sounds raspy, but angry, very interesting. Then you have a song like "Sleeping Giant", the vocals are very sorrowful, but beautiful and powerful at the same time. Then you have that cool outro with the spoken words. Another interesting track vocal wise is Capillarian Crest, Brent utalizes the higher pitched screams, but he doesn't get carried away and makes the insane. Then you have this very cool chorus line, thing, where they harmonize and sound like they're frantic (the capillarian, gone away, part). The vocals on Colony of Birchmen are very well done aswell. I love how Brent and Josh Homme harmonize together, especially during the gone away, my hearts gone away, part. The lyrics are great, I love the themes they use, and all of those creatures! Very creative. // 10

Overall Impression: Best of 06, hands down. Compare it to other artists, you can't, no one has done this in recent years, creating such a mind bending story and being able to play their instuments as well. My personal favorites are: Wolf Is Loose, Crystal Skull, Sleeping Giant, Colony Of Birchmen, This Mortal Soil, Siberian Divide. But overall, the whole album is stellar. // 10

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overall: 9
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 04, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: This being my first real introduction to Mastodon, besides their impressive cover of Metallica's Orion, I was very impressed, and a bit put off at the beginning, but that soon faded. I'll start off by saying that Mastodon is the most original band I've heard to date. I can almost guarantee that we'll never hear anything like Mastodon. The riffs and melodies they put together may sound a bit awkward at first, not really fitting into the time structure, but after giving it a listen a few more times, you can really see where the band is taking the music, if you catch my drift. The vocals are pounding and intense on some songs (The Wolf is Loose, Crystal Skull) But as the album progresses, they move more into the realm of ethereal and haunting vocals (Colony of Birchmen). // 10

Lyrics: Generally, I don't listen to music for the lyrics. When I really took a second look at this CD and paid what attention I could to the lyrics, I think they fit perfectly with the music. Colony of Birchmen(my favorite song on the CD, close with Crystal Skull) Really shows the band's skill by slowly increasing the strength of the instruments, all the while the lyrics are becoming more and more dark, ending with a ripping guitar solo, just after the singer says "Take it now." Masterful, is all I can say. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I prefer more straight-edge metal, the classic thrash stuff. I dabble in prog and such, and this is a great addition to my small group of prog metal. It's a bit awkward at first, because you can't really tell where the time is, particularly on Capillarian Crest(still a great song) but after a couple listens through, things start falling in place and you get a good feel for the music. The one thing I don't like on the album is on the song Circle of Cysquatch, the goofy vocal effect that comes in about a minute and a half through. It brings to mind the(what I think is) terrible remix of For Whom the Bell Tolls that was on the Spawn video game soundtrack. Still, a great album, worthy of anyone's $15. // 9

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overall: 8.7
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: johnnyblack, on august 22, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I sit down and press the play button, not knowing what to expect? At first I here only the hollow of the speaker, then in a blast of image and sound I hear Mastodon! At first the tracks whent by with nothing sparking intrest, but then I press repeat and start to hear the record clear now. At first glance the album seems scary or unknown like the monster in the closet, but when you start to look at it again it only wants to be friends, that's what this albums like. // 9

Lyrics: First and formost this not a lyrics album but a musical artist for musical artist album. The guitar, bass, and drums create the tone or place the artist wants you to imagine, Mastodon pulls this of just as well as thay did on thare other albums and creates meny tones of feeling. The lyrics aid to help create that tone and state of being if not effect driven vox then deep gut vox and all of this makes a great sound. // 7

Overall Impression: If the album does not stick the frist time around then give it another try because you would be missing out on great music. You can't expect to love to death do us part every track but you can expect to take something away from it's melting pot of sounds. In closeing thoughts I would like to say that this is a great album but it would not be true it does lack at times but makes up for it in shear madness and trueness an that's what music is about madness and trueness. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: F-ing Hostile, on march 17, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound and music of Mastodon's Blood Mountain is very unique and awesome. It combines elements of groove metal, stoner metal, and progressive metal. The story is described by Troy Sanders (bass/vocals) "It's about climbing up a mountain and the different things that can happen to you when you're stranded on a mountain, in the woods, and you're lost. You're starving, hallucinating, running into strange creatures. You're being hunted. It's about that whole struggle." I love the style of Mastodon uses in Blood Mountain, there's a lot of nice sludgy and groovy riffs, and the drummer really pounds on his snare a lot, and not in an annoying way. The vocals sound really good in this album also, and it's chop full of groovy bass lines. // 10

Lyrics: Well, I don't pay attention to how well thought out the lyrics are usually in any album I listen to, but they sound great with the music. The lyrics sound great from both singers, the singing and yelling sound really good in this album, I'm not going to say that either of them are the most amazingly skilled singers, because they're not, but they sound damn good at what they do, although it does get annoying when they go overboard with the vocal effects (BladeCatcher). // 9

Overall Impression: I think it easily compares just as good if not better than every other Mastodon album, Blood Mountain and Leviathan are a tie with me. The most impressive songs are, Colony of Birchman, The Wolf is Loose, Crystal Skull, Capillarian Crest, Hunters of the Sky and This Mortal Soil. I love everything about it, the guitar melodys, the drumming style, the basslines, and the vocals, I don't really hate anything about it. If it were stolen or lost I'd buy it again for sure. // 10

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overall: 10
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: Riffomatic_5000, on june 04, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I tell you, this CD really did surprise me. Not once before buying this did I think this CD would turn me into a huge Mastodon fan, but it did. I had listened and even bought some of Mastadon's older stuff, but most of that can't even compare to Blood Mountain. Actually, Remission comes back to mind, once in a while, but it still can't add up to the pure face bludgeoning that is Blood Mountain. The album starts out with the catchy and ripping "The Wolf Is Loose". When I bought this CD, I had a friend with me. I did not think he would really enjoy the band, but I put the CD in anyways. As soon as the blazing fast drum roll came through my speakers, I knew that we were in for a wild ride. He quickly said "This is awesome". Yes, indeed it was. As soon as Hinds and Kelliher hit their first note on the guitar, it's gold. Their whole technique and sound just screams brilliance! As soon as "The Wolf Is Loose" ends, "Crystal Skull" then breaks in. It starts out with a very exotic tribal drum intro and then breaks into an awesome riff followed by the brilliant vocals of Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders. Other songs such as The Sleeping Giant, Capillarian Crest, Circle of Cysquatch, Bladecatcher, Colony Of Birchmen, Hunters Of The Sky, Hand Of Stone, This Mortal Soil, Siberian Divide, and Pendulous Skin continue to show off the sheer brilliance and originality of this band. Brent Hinds really surprised me on this one. Him and Kelliher's riffs are catchy and all-in-all awesome sounding. Where Hinds really shines is in songs like Capillarion Crest, Crystal Skull, Bladecatcher, and Colony Of Birchmen. He will mesmerize you with his blazing fast chickin' pickin' and flat-out killer solo's. Actually, Hinds is not the only shining star on this album; Brann Dailor amazes with his fast and technical drumming. These guys always keep up a pretty fast pace, and he does more than keep up. His phenomenal drumming is part of Mastodon's signature sound, and he is one of the many reasons why this album really stands out to me. My favorite songs on this CD are: The Wolf Is Loose, The Sleeping Giant, Capillarian Crest, Bladecatcher, Colony Of Birchmen, and This Mortal Soil. I actually love every song, but these are my absolute favorties. // 10

Lyrics: Okay, most everyone that knows Mastodon and their members knows that Brent Hinds tends to get his lyrical ideas, well, from lighting up a joint and going to town on it. He has admitted it in many interviews, and it really shows in the trippy lyrics. I, personally, enjoy Mastodon's insane and adventurous lyrics. I believe the whole premise is, from what Brent Hinds has said in interviews, is about a man having to climb this great mountain to place a crystal skull at the alter at the top of the mountain. As he journey's up the mountaintop, he encounter's many weird things, such as a Cysquatch (One of Mastodons' crazy concoctions) and a forest of man-eating tree's. Yes, it's very weird stuff, but interesting, nontheless. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is a masterpiece, in my eyes. They probably couldn't have done better if they'd tried. It's just that friggin' good. From the break-out, ear bludgeoning "The Wolf Is Loose", to the mesmerizing and southern sounding "Pendulous Skin", this album excels in all categories. I usually don't write reviews unless the album truly is worth it, and trust me, this one is. This album has boosted Mastodon up on my list of favorite bands, and they've really seemed to inspire me with their abstract form of Metal. Yes, there are a lot of people who wouldn't consider them to be "teh br00talz!", but that doesn't matter when your are this creative and original. This album gets a 10 in all categories from me. Seriously, if you are even thinking about purchasing this album, don't even waste your time thinking about it! Trust me, you won't be sorry. Oh, and heck yea I would buy this album again if I lost it, because it is worth having in my collection. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Blood Mountain Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on june 22, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Every once in awhile, a band comes out of seemingly nowhere and changes the entire way you look at music. I mean, I always knew about Mastodon, but their first two albums, Remission And Leviathan, just never did it for me. I thought the overall concept of their work was very goofy and reserved for nerdy kids who are all about mythological and fantasy-like figures. It just didn't make sense to me. Unbeknownst to me, I was missing out on one of the best progressive metal bands in years. I picked Blood Mountain up recently out of impulse while doing my monthly perusal of CDs and boy was I pleased. Stylistically, it shows how much Mastodon has progressed since their debut and sophomore effort. Their first albums showed elements of metalcore, sludgey/stoner rock, and even pays homage to their southern rock roots. Blood Mountain is a more mature, defined record. I really don't think this record can be characterized by any generic metal sub-genre, though the closest way I can describe it is technical metalcore. Instrumentally, it is unanimously their most accomplished album. Brann Dailor is one of the most entertaining drummers out there and his interpretation of jazzy metal astounded me on this album. The guitar work is stunning as well. Crunchy, distorted riffs, with technically insane tremolo picking, accompanied by juicy jazz licks? What more could you possibly ask for? Vocals have never been the band's prowess, but the emphasis on clean vocals just further bring attention to how much better everything else is. In short, the sound rocks like a rock album should. Top notch. // 9

Lyrics: The only reason I am rating this lower than everything else is because of the actual singing itself. The singing is an acquired taste, but if you listen to what is going on and see the concept in this record, you will overlook those vocals very quickly. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I can tell you how awesome the lyrics are. Blood Mountain is said to represent the "Earth" element. I haven't entirely figured out the main idea of the concept but I do know this album is about the main character (presumably one of the band members) who is on a quest for the "Crystal Skull" (a track from the album). He hopes to place this skull at the top of Blood Mountain. The Crystal Skull will help the owner of it achieve the next step in human evolution, which is why it's desired. During his journey, the main character comes in contact with "Cysquatch", which is a one-eyed monster who can see deep into the future. He warns the main character of the dangers he is facing on his journey and the rest of the album chronicles the events of his journey. It's such an epic concept and I really don't see why anyone couldn't enjoy it. // 7

Overall Impression: One of the best albums I have heard in years. Rock music needs a band like Mastodon that puts music traditions in check from time to time. They're so inventive and different, which is I guess the reason that draws me into their material. This is definitely their most powerful work to date, so if you're looking to get into Mastodon, I would suggest giving this album a spin. "Sleeping Giant" and "Bladecatcher" are definitely the high points on the album to me. I love how these guys just manhandle music. They just transform music into a circus, yet it's so enjoyable. I don't know how much more I can say. I guess you will have to listen to it and see for yourself. // 9

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