Leviathan Review

artist: Mastodon date: 01/12/2011 category: compact discs
Mastodon: Leviathan
Released: Aug 31, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal
Number Of Tracks: 10
The sound on Leviathan seems bottomless and infinite in the best possible way: it's not a dip in the pool; it's a headlong cliff dive into deep waters.
 Sound: 8.6
 Lyrics: 8.1
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Overall rating:
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reviews (9) 39 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Leviathan Reviewed by: Faded Grey, on july 17, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The bands sound in Leviathan is quite impressive. Before I decided to sit down and listen to this opus of an album, I wasn't a Mastodon fan at all. But, this album changed my opinion of the band. The concept of the album is based loosely around lauded book Moby Dick, and also represents the element of Water in the bands line of elementally themed releases.The guitars on the album really compliment the Water based theme of the album. The guitar tone fits really well, and the riffs have a watery, seasick feel to them. The drums of Brann Dailor are amazing as usual, and his Jazz influenced metal style really shines on this album. The overall composition of the songs is impressive; as each song holds it's fair share of tempo changes, and and almost all of the songs have technically skillful instrumental breaks. The songs are generally mixed really well, and have a fair balance going for all the instruments. The vocals are dynamic and over all solid, and vary from track to track. As some tracks tend to be heavier on the melodic singing of Bassist Troy Sanders and Guitarist Brent Hinds. And, some tend to focus more on their roaring growls and screams. The only complaint that I have for the album, is the volume of the vocals, that sometimes tend to be kind of quiet in comparison to the rest of the instrument. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are quite impressive on this album. The whole album maintains relevency to the concepts of water and Moby Dick, lyric-wise. Quite a few of the songs' lyrics have to do with the story of Moby Dick, and have refrences to the story that are quite obvious. As in "Blood and Thunder"'s roaring chorus "White Whale, Holy Grail". Or in "Seabeast" in which the Harpooner Mr. Queequeg is made refrence to "Dear Mr. Queequeg you have been informed your life's been saved". All in all, I'd say the lyrics on this album are out standing, and quite fitting to the motif, and comply to the over all feel of the songs really well. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, I find Leviathan to be an amazing work of Progressive Metal. Conceptually, Musically, and lyrically. Mastodon has truely released an awesome work of music. I'd reccomend fan's of Metal, Hard Rock, and especially Prog, if you can stand heavier music to check out this opus. // 10

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overall: 10
Leviathan Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 30, 2004
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sounding totally different to virtually every other band out there, Mastodon have struck gold with their follow-up to 'Remission', their 2001 debut. In terms of of sound, 'Leviathan' picks up where 'Remission' left off, although the band seem much more confident with their blurring of genres and time signitures within off-kilter song structures. No longer do the band sound like they are "trying" to be different; now all aspects of their unique sound seem to have been perfectly merged into a natural whole. The band take influences from traditional metal and rock acts such as Metallica and Rush, as well as their contempories Neurosis and Clutch, both of whom make guest appearances on 'Leviathan'. Mastodon have also been chosen to support Slipknot and Slayer, along with Hatebreed on the Unholy Alliance European Tour in October 2004, although quite how they fit on that bill and how the "maggots" will react is a total mystery to me! As far as playing ability is concerned, Mastodon are one of the most confident and tight musical units playing today, led by the incredible drumming of former Today is the Day sticksman Brian Dailor, whose skills sound like that of a man possessed. The rhythm section is completed by Bassist/Vocalist Troy Sanders, whose bass playing goes well beyond the standard of most bands, echoing the late Cliff Burton at times. Guitarists Brent Hines and Bill Kelliher both have serious chops, be it thrash metal of Hank Williams country and western riffs. // 10

Lyrics: 'Leviathan' is a concept album based upon Herman Melville's literary masterpiece Moby Dick, telling the story of Captain Ahab's quest for the White Whale. The lyrics are emotive and stirring, bringing to mind Metallica's early work such as 'The Thing That Should Not Be'. In terms of vocal delivery, Sanders and Hines share the majority of the work using vocals equal parts melody, agression and emotion. On the whole the album is less lyrically repetitive and more melodic than 'Remission', with much more vocal experimentation. The guest work by Niel Fallon and Scott Kelly fits well and adds more texture to 2 of the album's best tracks- brutal opener 'Blood and Thunder' and the epic 14-minute 'Hearts Alive'. // 10

Overall Impression: Christ, I love this album! Roll on No3! // 10

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overall: 10
Leviathan Reviewed by: THE KORNMAN, on may 14, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Crisp, clean, full, and ferocious sound. The music is heavy, forceful, and passionate all at once. Leviathan seems to be extremely well-produced. The overall sound quality is great except for the fact that the lyrics are sometimes drowned out by the rest of the music. I am not sure if I just have bad hearing, am not used to hearing real metal, or if I am correct and the vocals are hard to hear. Although the low volume on the vocals bothers me, I still give Leviathan a 5 for sound, simply because of its crisp sound, which is damn good. // 10

Lyrics: Awesome lyrics based on Moby Dick. Once again, the lyrics are hard to hear, but thank God that lyrics can be found in the booklet. If they were not found in the booklet, I would have to search the internet for crappy, inaccurate lyrics. Besides, I am terrible at interpretting lyrics. The lyrics are not too repetitive and fit like a glove on a hand with the music. // 10

Overall Impression: My overall impression is that Mastodon is a musically strong band who really know what they're doing and know just how to do it. I originally heard of Mastodon when I saw them in 2004 in concert with Fear Factory, Sworn Enemy, and Walls Of Jericho. When I first heard Mastodon on stage, I thought they suck some gigantic testicles. After about five minutes of listening to them, I went and bought a Sworn Enemy t-shirt, then went to the bathroom. However, since I felt like I needed to give Mastodon a second chance, I went and bought Leviathan about two days ago (May 10, 2005). Here's a lesson in life: Try to give things second chances. You never know what you might gain from that. Leviathan is a great CD. I have a feeling this band is going to go far and develop even more with each album they release. Awesome songs are Blood And Thunder, Seabeast, Megalodon, Naked Burn, and the 13:39 minute long Hearts Alive. Yes, It's damn good metal. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Leviathan Reviewed by: nacho229, on june 19, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Mastodon is a great band with alot of talent, and they can make some great music. I found out about the CD just browsing through amazon, and bought at my fye store. I'm a big fan of the sludge metal and like the aquatic sound and effects through out the album. Oh yeah! The cover art is awsome too. // 9

Lyrics: This is the lowest point of the album. It doesn't mean it's trash though. I really likes the Moby Dick story through out the album, and fit the aquatic sound very well. Thank god the ltrics came with the album though because some times I couldnt hear what he was saying. I wish he could sing more Ozzy like, like in the song Naked burn, because he can sing well for the musical genre. // 7

Overall Impression: This is one of the best albulms they've made. My favorite songs are "Blood and Thunder", "Megalodon", and "Naked Burn". I like the drums probably the most, but the singing would sometimes get annoying. If some thing awere to happen to it I would buy it again. Although it's not a perfect album it makes you want to see what they will be coming out with next. // 9

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overall: 7.3
Leviathan Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 22, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is a confusing one, very hard to listen to and some of the songs are confusing, messy, and sound out of tune but you keep going back for more. The production is good, not great but it is clear that this band have imeasurable amonts of talent. 'Blood And Thunder' is superb and 'Joseph Merrick' about as far removed from their heavy sound as you can get is a stunning way to end the albumn. Their is a major fusion of influences here, maybe to much at times but their is one thing this albumn definateley is; infectious! // 8

Lyrics: A definate aquatic influence, refereshing to hear a band take acompletely different route lyrically, makes you want to listen rather that hear what is going on. Vocals are a bit out of touch in parts but again strangely this adds to the feel of the albumn and adds to the intrigue their music creates. // 6

Overall Impression: This albumn is not perfect, but it is a very clear indication as to the way metal is going. The sound is big, the music intense, if not a bit messy but after every listen I enjoy it more. This is a must own in my view due to the diversity, don't expect and easy ride, but in the genre of heavy metal why would you want one? // 8

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overall: 1.7
Leviathan Reviewed by: No Seatbelt, on october 08, 2005
1 of 53 people found this review helpful

Sound: My first impression was "I will never get that money back from iTunes, curse me!" The reviews from UG said it was good. Ahh how we are misled at times. The sound is (from the guitars) Green Day, detuned, and slowed down, way way down. Most of the songs sound just like the last. At least 3 have very similar intros. I'd like to share that I do not like this album, but I think Mastodon could have done better. // 1

Lyrics: I don't know any of the lyrics, because they guitar drowns them out. They are (I'm pretty sure) about the whole "Moby Dick" theme which is kind of cool, if you're always sailing the high seas in search of vengeance upon the white whale himself. // 2

Overall Impression: I have all of the songs exept for the last one. The 30 second sample of the last song (called somthing like "Joeseph Merrick") had a cool acoustic bit. In my opinion it is the album's greatest point. That's one song, one. I dislike the sound, but I won't say that Mastodon suck. If it were stolen, I'd smile to myself knowing that the person who stole it would be tormented by this album's crap sound. // 2

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overall: 10
Leviathan Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 27, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: After 2002's Reimission, Mastodon released it's follow up. Some people have been saying Mastodon is overatted, but most of thoes people that have said that haven't herd this album, therefore they should keep their mouths shut. Levithan is a masterpiece, and it is the Master of Puppets of this generation. Songs like Naked Burn, Megalodon, I am Ahab etc. are very technical, and are very different from what you hear from metal today. The Musicanship is incredible, drummer Brann Dailor is one of the greatest drummers of all time. On this album Mastodon mixes jazz drumming, sludgy guitar riffs, a hit of grind, and progressive metal wich sounds a lot sounds a lot like Rush meets Meshuggah. There is no weak song on this album. The record is pure perfection and is one of the greatest albums in history. // 10

Lyrics: This record if you don't know is a concept record, the lyrics are based on the book Moby Dick and it's great concept record at that, it's up there with Abigail, Operation: Mindcrime, Demanufature, etc. // 10

Overall Impression: This record is a masterpiece and I highly recommend it for every metal fan. It's an album that will never be forgotten. Buy or die! // 10

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overall: 10
Leviathan Reviewed by: Fatally Jon, on august 13, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is very raw and crunchy, yet still has that great production quality. A lot of the songs range in tempo, starting a bit slower and slowly building into chaos, or vice versa. This one would have to be my favorite Mastodon album. The music fits right along with the Moby-Dick theme, giving an "epic sea adventure" feel to the entire record. // 10

Lyrics: What's best about Mastodon's lyrics is that they're blended into the music seemlessly, which is especially important with the screamier kind of vocals. Too many of the growls and screams of today's metal feel like they've been awkwardly thrown on top of the guitars, bass, and drum. Most of the time they're overpowering. Mastodon's lyrics on "Leviathan" take an interesting spin on the story of Moby-Dick. One of the most incredible metal songs ever written, "Blood and Thunder", takes on the whale's perspective in lines such as "I think that someone is trying to kill me/Infecting my blood and destroying my mind/No man of the flesh could ever stop me" and "I am completely emersed in darkness/As I turn my body away from the sun". Mastodon knows how to handle lyrics, as well as how to perfectly blend them into each song without them being overpowering. // 10

Overall Impression: As far as Mastodon goes, I am a huge fan of all of their work. "Leviathan" is definitely my favorite album of theirs. The guitar work ranges from blazingly fast to a lower-tempo'ed crunch. If this album were lost, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. This is an album that any fan of rock can easily rock out to, as it's not as alienating as most metal today. Some of the big names like Lamb of God and Trivium can be a turn off to the rock lover, but Mastodon brilliantly bridges the gap between heavy metal and your average rock. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Leviathan Reviewed by: IBuriedPaul, on january 12, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Leviathan is considered Mastodon's first true progressive metal album. This concept album based around the tale of Moby Dick and is a sonic journey that will leave you in a state of awe. Leviathan is an unrelenting assault of sludge riffage, guitar harmonies, and mind numbing tempo changes. The guitar work of Brent and Bill is stellar. These two share a bond and can create absolutely beautiful textures. But what really shines about this album is the drummer. Brann has to be one of the most unusual and interesting drummers of the last decade. He is technical but not to the point of being completely predictable and mechanic. He has a distinct groove and play fills that are absolutely insane. Unlike most of his drummer contemporaries, he doesn't rely on double bass all the time and uses it strategically. The bassist Troy is a great singer, but his bass playing is by-the-book. Brent occasionally lends his vocal ability and sings wonderfully. The band is wise to include his vocals more in subsequent albums. Every track on this album is a delight to listen to. The songs are each unique sounding and the band does not hesitate to delve into other genres such as thrash, southern rock, and psychedelic rock. Stand-out tracks include the opener "Blood And Thunder", "I Am Ahab", "Sea Beast", "Naked Burn" and "Aqua Dementia". // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics match the mood of the music perfectly. They put images in your mind and weave the tale without being overtly blatant. Many of the lyrics are cryptic and will take multiple listens to truly understand them. Troy sings the majority of the vocals on the album. He has a harsh voice that is able to deliver the energy that is unique to sludge. But as said earlier, Brent comes in at the perfect moments to sing the cleaner vocals. The entire band provides backing vocals to really beef up the vocals. It's refreshing to hear a metal band that puts as much effort into it's vocals as the actual unspoken music. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is a very tight album that should satisfy even the most stubborn of metal heads. Mastodon has a very distinguished sound that bloomed with this album. Leviathan was a big step into an even larger world of Progressive Metal. I recommend this album to all my friends who have not been enlightened by discovering this band already. This album has very few weak spots. My only gripe is the lack of keyboards. The last track features some organ work but not enough to satisfy. Fortunately they correct this in their later albums. // 9

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