Artist: Mastodon Title: “Stairway To Nick John” (Single) Label: Warner Music Group Release Date: 5/17/2019 Genre: Hard Rock Rating: 5/5
Back in September 2018, Mastodon longtime manager Nick John lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and during his funeral the band paid a tribute to their friend by covering the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway To Heaven”. The track was sung by the band’s drummer Brann Dailor and the recording of this happening made its way around the Internet before being professionally recorded and released for this years Record Store Day. Now having listened to their stunning version of the track which is called “Stairway To Nick John” in his honor, I just wanted to throw together some thoughts about their take on such a classic number during such a terrible time. Continue reading “Stairway To Nick John” (Single) by Mastodon→
The snow is coming down if you are wondering how things are doing over on the East Coast side of the nexus but we don’t care since it doesn’t seem too bad and we’ve lots of provisions for both the cat and myself here at the Metal Media Command HQ. I’m also being kept busy as the touring announcements keep on coming and are lining out some late Spring into Summer activity with a co-headlining tour to end all co-headlining tours. Yes, Coheed and Cambria will team up with Mastodon and you can read all about it down below.
The Press Release:
Today modern progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria and heavy rock titans Mastodon announced The Unheavenly Skye Tour across North America. The 26-city trek will see the bands performing across a range of venues from theatres to larger outdoor amphitheaters this summer. Coheed and Cambria will be performing in support of their new album, THE UNHEAVENLY CREATURES, while Mastodon announced they will be performing their renowned Crack the Skye album in its entirety on the tour. Seminal hardcore band Every Time I Die will support on all dates. Continue reading Coheed & Cambria and Mastodon Announce “The Unheavenly Skye” Tour→
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.
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)→
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→