I title my review this way because of how Mastodon’s style of heavy metal reminds me of Coltrane style jazz; chatoic and seamingly without a solid form or tempo, but still with a flow and style that compliment the music genre they belong to in a way no one else has been able to. Considering how long heavy metal has been around its strange to think that few, if any, bands have ever done such an amazing job of going “free form” with their style as Mastodon has done. Not being a student of music it is hard for me to express in words why I came to this conclusion as a way to describe how highly I think of Mastodon’s music, but unfortunately words do fail me at this point. I love Mastodon’s music and their unique style is quite refreshing and pretty unheard of.
Some fans have complained, or at least commented, that they like this album less than Remission, the band’s first LP on Relapse records, because this album is so much more melodic, and the vocals are clearer. Unlike many of these fans, I’m not a metalhead, just a music fan, and the only reason I could see the bands more melodic sound and clearer vocals as being a negative would be if they didn’t pull it off well. When you get right down to it, this album sounds ten times better than Remission, both in style and in song quality. The subject matter itself is quite impressive. Mastodon has essentially written a rock opera of sorts; a concetp album based on Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” The very idea is odd, to say the least, but the poetic images that Mastodon creates with their words, in addition to the artwork on the album’s cover and sleeve, and the epic sound they create all go hand in hand in making this a triumphant and monumental work of Heavy Metal Art. Their first album was more poeitc to me. This album rings out like an Epic Masterpiece, and I can not recomend it enough. It has a beginning, middle, and an ending, and reminds me of listening to a Led Zeppelin album–sure, you can listen to individual songs and they sound great, but playing the album from start to finish only emphasises how incredible each and every song is by throwing it all together in one linear and cohesive composition of work. I can’t recomend this album enough.