Look Back: Mastodon Make a Masterpiece With “Blood Mountain”
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 21:52:23
Mastodon reissued and re-mastered their 2006 opus Blood Mountain on color vinyl. Listening to it in this format just reaffirms how important and essential of a rock album it is. You’ve got to crank this one on vinyl, and the reissue is downright gorgeous matching the tonal colors with a raw brilliancy.
After successfully navigating the treacherous independent waters and tracking their own “White Whale” with the momentous classic, Leviathan, all eyes turned to the Atlanta four-piece of Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Troy Sanders, and Bill Kelliher as they moved to a major label. Questions from the indie undergrounded abounded. Leviathan was enough to solidify the group as metal’s most important new band, but Blood Mountain would illustrate them as hard rock saviors.
From the moment Brann’s intense drums kick off “The Wolf Is Loose,” an urgency permeates every movement of this juggernaut. The guitars dip in and out of psychedelia and between metallic caverns of buzzing yet hollowed out distortion. The intensity reaches a boiling point as it feels like a chase or a game of cat-and-mouse as Mastodon show they have nothing to prove—they’re just being themselves. That point hammers home on the awesome bridge. Neurosis’ Scott Kelly lends his unmistakable howl to the pummeling and poetically potent “Crystal Skull,” which burns on the way out with a gigantic lead. “Sleeping Giant” is a lumbering behemoth worthy of its moniker, while “Capillarian Crest” remains the most wonderfully weird and wild Mastodon bruiser, a sensory onslaught of sounds and squeals that gives way to more maddening awesomeness during “Circle of Cysquatch” and “Bladecatcher.” Queens of the Stone Age main man Joshua Homme joins Sanders for a cosmically captivating duet where Homme’s dusty desert drone entwines with Sanders’ roar. “Hunters of the Sky” melds a raging six-string crescendo with pounding rhythms as a cavalcade of energy descends during “Hand of Stone.”
The final moments tread from devastation to bliss as “Siberian Divide” slides into the next “elephant man” tune “Pendulous Skin.” Boundaries are all effectively left in a river of blood as their mountain looms.
Blood Mountain reiterated the group’s staying power and also their willingness to raise a middle finger and follow their own muse into another real altogether. They rule that realm now, but this was the moment they became king of the mountain. It’s one of hard rock’s finest moments.
What’s your favorite song from Blood Mountain?
See Brann look back on Leviathan here!
And of course for more go to www.mastodonrocks.com!