Top Ten Mastodon Songs!
Mastodon is an American heavy metal band formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 2000. It features Brann Dailor on drums and vocals, Bill Kelliher on guitar, Troy Sanders on bass and vocals, and Brent Hinds on guitar and vocals. They've released five studio albums, most of which have charted in various countries. This Hub looks at the songs contained in all five studio albums and choose the Top Ten, in no particular order.
1. Crack The Skye
The title track from their 2009 release, this remarkable song, and album, in general, is a major shift in musical style for the band, especially for those who loved their two previous albums. Featuring Scott Kelly of Neurosis on vocals, he provides the slow, rough vocals which balance incredibly well with the softer side. Such an emotionally charged song is put to good use in that Mastodon's shown great compositional development since "Leviathan."
2. The Czar
A four part epic released on "Crack The Skye," as well. Hinds moans, "Don't stay, run away!" hypnotically in that voice which fits perfectly with the overall mood of the beginning tune. It quickly picks up and packing a punch on the heavier side of things and reverts back. At the 7:40 mark, its lead into the third then last part, showing Mastodon's musicianship and creativity, particularly in the solo.
The best song from their first album, "Remission," and only one to make the list, Workhorse deals with slaving away at work and whatnot, though the lyrics aren't even the best thing about the song. It is, though, a prime example of Hinds' vocals put to good use, as fit perfectly. What is best is what happens before the last verse. See the 2 minute mark for perhaps the heaviest, most intense tune heard on the entire album! How powerful and hypnotic! Great damn riffing, right there, ladies and gentlemen.
A very weird song from a rather weird album, Colony of Birchmen has choppy verses and a melodic and melancholy chorus. The only song from the band to be featured on Rock Band 2, shamefully how I came across the group, it was released as a single for the album. Not surprising, considering the powerful and unique nature of the song. The solo is decent enough to end the song, but the riffs and chorus are, without a doubt, my favorite parts.
Their most spacey, atmospheric song ever, Stargasm blows most of the other songs on "The Hunter" out of the water, and into space! Not to condone any use of any drug, enjoying this tune with a bit of 'herbal assistance' is quite the trip...er, experience. It's an impressive, indeed, rare, feat that's been accomplished here; every vocal and musical section worthwhile, the vibes beyond powerful, and no pointless solos to distract. Do note that, when it comes to vocals, this list seems to have a positive bias towards Hinds. But it can't be argued this isn't one of his best, or most properly used, vocal performances heard.
6. The Wolf Is Loose
Brann's unconventional yet apt drumming introduce the song, as well as the album, "Blood Mountain." While the vocals here are worth note, they come secondary to this song's style specific to Mastodon's originality. The riffing here is astonishing in its rarity and in its quality. Almost bouncy and quirky at times, and complex and creative throughout (sigh. I'm trying to avoid using the word "progressive" as much as possible), the harmony and tone of the song is a drastic, yet still worthwhile, turn away from the tightness of "Leviathan."
The beginning song to their deservedly acclaimed "Leviathan" album, the song really shows what's so damn good about the release: pattern and time signatures and their weird vocals/lyrics. Based on the novel "Moby Dick," the album is a concept album. "Split you lungs with blood and thunder, when you see the white whale. Break your backs and crack your oars,men, if you wish to prevail!" That same and even more subjective narrative throughout makes the album their absolute best. While it did, overall, take a bit of time to fully absorb the songs on this record, doing so is undoubtedly rewarding.
The heaviest and fastest song on "The Hunter," and the only one on this list to feature Scott Kelly, Spectrelight doesn't seem to have any lyrical purpose or set message, which is A-O-Fucking-K with me! If only the rest of the songs on the album were at this quality. While the compositional shift halfway through doesn't amaze, the guitar work that follows does. It really is what makes the band outshine others in their league.
9. Iron Tusk
Perhaps the most simplest song on this list, Iron Tusk has its most notable moment in composition while the riffs sort of chugs along while "CUL! TURE! VUL! TURE!" is belted out. That's the last half of the song, the first being slightly less intense, but still pretty good. Frequently played at live shows, it's understandable why the band would choose a simple yet effective single as a dependable touring staple.
While the song starts off on the calmer, more melodic side of things until the two minute mark, which features one of Mastodon's most headbanging worthy sections ever! As the riffs progress and the vocals follow suit... or tune, Mastodon show their abilities, both in song writing and creativity, in this piece.
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