Tag Archives: bill kelliher

Mastodon @ Starland Ballroom (2/10/2007)

I had only caught Mastodon once before but really loved what they were all about so I made sure that my weekend of Metal with my friends would be complete by getting to their show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ tonight. Sadly, a last minute snafu/miscommunication had me unable to take photos at the gig but report on it we did and to read this item just continue past their logo below.

Logo - Mastodon

Artist: Mastodon
Venue: Starland Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Converge, Priestess
Date: 2/10/2007
Label: Warner Music Group

When you listen to what Mastodon has done musically with their debut release “Leviathan” and then follow the progression along to their major label release “Blood Mountain”, you will find that they are unlike most Metal bands that are on the scene today. Obviously they are heavy as their name implies powerful giants from ancient times but there is nothing “Old School” about them. In a world of Extreme and Black meets Death Metal we find Mastodon changing the mix by offering up elements akin to Fusion and Jazz. The resulting mix gives the listener Metal music that is both technical and avant-garde which gets twisted around into new blends of aggressive music. Tonight the band would be playing a sold out gig at Sayreville NJ’s Starland Ballroom, and given this was the only vicinity show for me I just had to make sure we brought some level of coverage to the readers. I headed to the venue from Upstate New York with SoT’s Pete Pardo and I think we clocked about eighty miles from door to door by the time we arrived. After some initial confusion with entry we eventually made our way inside. Priestess and Converge would be direct support for the show but we would sadly miss anything that Priestess would be playing. Instead we would be in place at the exact time that Converge would be hitting the stage and at first I looked forward to this since I had heard several good things about them from fans of the Metalcore genre. To be quite honest, they just didn’t do it for me and while energetic on the stage were coming off as if they were playing one long song. Every riff seemed the same and the singer was just not as original as others I had seen of late. Some of the crowd loved them, and others were not. My section kept hoping that each song was the last and as they progressed I hungered more and more for Mastodon music. Perhaps they are better on recording than I was able to appreciate at this gig. We shall see if they are on a bill I attend again.
Continue reading Mastodon @ Starland Ballroom (2/10/2007)

“Blood Mountain” by Mastodon

Artist: Mastodon
Title: “Blood Mountain”
Label: Warner Brothers
Release Date: 9/12/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

With the Relapse Records release of “Leviathan”, Mastodon proved they were a band capable of breaking ground when others fear to even try. “Leviathan” would be an album that was as monstrous in sound as it was in name. The epic release was based on the Melville novel “Moby Dick” and with it the group took strong footing in a Metal scene that was blossoming once again after many years of being stagnant. The group’s move to Warner Bros. led to some to believe that the major signing would come at the sacrifice of some of the artistic integrity that made Mastodon special in the first place. They worried that a new recording would have them find a different Mastodon from what they experienced previously. The assumption would be correct as on “Blood Mountain” Mastodon brings to light just how much change one can offer the listener without sacrificing any of their impact, their musical prowess and overall delivery. “Blood Mountain” is a surprise right off the bat with wilder than ever drum patterns by Brann Dailor who is holding the riffs of Brent Hinds together as the other members pummel and reshape the style of the band. Dailor stands out in particular all over the record and makes the level of play demonstrated a thrill ride that is best experienced loud. Technically exciting, this is an album that pushes the limits of the genre by daring to become almost a Progressive/Experimental endeavor based on the amount of unique rhythms and styles that are delivered here. You will find this most prevalent in songs like “Capillarian Crest” and “Cycle Of Cysquatch” which are among the best offerings on the album as well. Don’t expect the sheer brutality that you found on “Leviathan” as its not here, but instead “Blood Mountain” offers the listener five times the musical exposition and shows that the group possesses advanced musical skills. The level of technical display shows advances in musical growth and I feel this will raise Mastodons level of appeal in the minds of fans of more Extreme Technical Metal. The use of Progressive elements will help raise the musical minds of listeners who love the Metal but as years go on might find themselves needing areas of change.
Continue reading “Blood Mountain” by Mastodon