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I was listening to Moonlapse Vertigo the other day, and thought, "Maybe I should do a review of Still Life some time".
It then occurred to me that Leviathan by Mastodon was released in 2004, and the year is currently 2014.
I turned to my Casio Databank CA53W-1 and did some quick calculations:
2014 - 2004 = 10...
Maybe I could release a review for Leviathan on the 10 year anniversary of its release.
Unfortunately, the release was August 31, 2014. Just a few months too late, UNU.
Irregardless, I shall write a review on the album even though the CIA refused to answer my letter requesting time-traveling technology.
USERNAMEUSER'S REVIEW OF LEVIATHAN (2004) BY MASTODON
TRACK #1: BLOOD AND THUNDER
What an awesome opener. The riff is impossible to forget, and easy to tap your foot along to. The lead guitar starts the track, and the drums quickly follow. The ascending guitar harmony at the 1:31 mark gives the song depth and space, clearly demonstrating that just because something is catchy, doesn't mean it can't mess around with some progressive elements.
Best lyric: "White whale, holy grail"
TRACK #2: I AM AHAB
This track didn't initially stick with me. Maybe it's because the riff is more complex and progressive than that of the previous track.
This seems to be the case for many of my favorite songs- I have to listen to them twenty or thirty times before I actually start to enjoy them. While certainly not the case for Blood and Thunder, which stuck to me instantly, this track needs some time to grow on you.
When it finally hit me, I fell in love with this song. As I said before, the riff is complex and strange, but if you give it a chance, it will soon become one of your favorites.
I didn't actually realize this, but I have played this track more times on my Google Play account than any other song on the album.
Best lyric: "Selfish beauty shines on"
TRACK #3: SEABEAST
The track opens with the main riff. It's not something that you'll find yourself humming as you attempt to defragment your electromagnetic disc drive, it's a strange and ascending riff that binds the entire track together. It demonstrates that Mastodon wasn't going for single sales on this one.
This track defies all convention. It changes time signature constantly features some of the strangest drumming on the album.
I listened to the track repeatedly while writing this review (which was deleted twice) and never grew tired. Still, I don't find myself going out of my way to listen to it.
Best lyric: "Holding pasts in ash black earth"
TRACK #4: ISLAND
Caviar in a tube. The Queen in a wifebeater. Total Recall on VHS in a sleeve labeled "Battle for Terra"
It's something sophisticated masquerading as something that's not. The song is trashy, the song is loud, and the song is well-written, presenting Remission-like emotion in an entirely new way.
Best lyric: "Ram as our liaison
Vision inspire and move"
TRACK #5: IRON TUSK
Iron Tusk and Blood and Thunder would be the two tracks I'd chose from this album if I was making a "Best of Mastodon" mixtape. Riff melts into harmony, harmony breaks into chaos, and the cycle repeats. This is by far my favorite track on the album, and honestly my favorite in the entire Mastodon discography, surpassing such hits as March of the Fire Ants, Crystal Skull, Crack the Skye and Sleeping Giant.
Put this song on the top of your to-do list. It's worth your time.
Best lyric: "Shatter life
TRACK #6: MEGALODON
As Seabeast follows I Am Ahab, Megalodon follows Iron Tusk.
Again, the riff isn't one that will stick with you for very long. However, the track is highly entertaining, switching tempo and emotion constantly. It's good background music if you're performing a mundane task.
Tracks like Megalodon highlight Mastodon's ability to produce strange and unique music that is nothing like anything you've ever heard before. Give it a listen.
Best lyric: "Harps to listen
TRACK #7: NAKED BURN
Did Iron Maiden write this one? It sure sounds like they did.
This track is sweet release from the thrashy, loud sound of previous tracks, with clean vocals, a smooth riff and nothing too drastic in terms of tempo changes. It's an excellent and underrated song.
Best lyric: "Save yourself
Don't wait on me"
TRACK #8: AQUA DEMENTIA
This track is solid all the way through. It has a fantastic overall sound and features vocals by Scott Kelly, foreshadowing his now infamous work on Crack the Skye.
Unlike Seabeast, it doesn't feel slow. It's on the attack.
Best lyric: "I see the stones in the path we laid"
TRACK #9: HEARTS ALIVE
For starters, it's really long, at least for a Mastodon song, that is. It's 13:39 minutes long. Most Mastodon songs hang around the five-minute mark. Compared to an Opeth song, it's really not remarkably long, which I think is important to note.
The songwriting on this album isn't like an Opeth song. It's not smooth. It's fast and brooding.
Take a song like Black Rose Immortal off the album Morningrise for example. It's over 20 minutes long, yet manages to feel about half as long as Hearts Alive.
That's because there's about twice as much material crammed into Hearts Alive than Black Rose Immortal, making the track both exhausting and epic in scale.
If you play it as background music, you won't be able to fully appreciate the scope of the track, if you actually attempt to deconstruct it, you'll be exhausted within five minutes.
Best lyric: "Swim below eternally
Into the deep blue sea"
TRACK #10: JOSEPH MERRICK
Mastodon ended Remission with an instrumental, and they've done the same thing here. They went on to do it on their 2006 release Blood Mountain.
The song works.
Its acoustic tone fits right in to the conclusion of Hearts Alive, continuing the feeling into a perfect finale to the album. As an instrumental, it gives the listener more opportunity to explore in their own mind. There's no lyrics to guide you along.
It's not always easy to end album, but this track does it the best way possible.
Lyrics: [N/A: Instrumental]
AVERAGE SCORE: 9.5/10
BEST SONG: IRON TUSK
WORST SONG: SEABEAST
What should I review next? Leave your comments in the box bellow.
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