Blood Mountain

Reviewed by: Cosmo Lee
Reviewed on: 2006-09-20

Posted 09/20/2006 - 07:39:51 AM by meatbreak:
 I think you nail the whole Mastodon aesthetic when you describe them as having songs that don't stick. I could never get into any of their albums and this one even moreso. Too much clean metal singing, which must be one of the most repellant sounds on record and when it's coupled with labyrinthine structures that don't build to anything other than visions of the band's smugness they become increasingly intolerable. I followed your link to the Decibel feature on hipster metal. It is interesting, especially as Stylus have clearly followed, or set the path for, this kind of fashionable indie attitude towards metal. I would say that Lightning Bolt have a lot to do with forming the bridge. Mastodon, I just don't get. Nothing catchy enough to cross boundaries, nothing heavy enough to impress through brute force. I like the cynical attitude of this review as this band are teetering on the edge of some major labels’ experiment and blowing the cash on some experimenting of their own. Satyricon just tried to do that too but failed with a bit of a limp release.
Posted 09/20/2006 - 07:47:16 AM by unsaunsa:
 Cosmo, you are far and away my favourite music reviewer because you seem to actually know about musicology which really should be a pre-requisite for music journalism but obviously isn't. However for the first time I'm a little confused. Not by your review or your score but just with a consistancy issue. How can this album score less than Slayers "Christ Illusion", a gloriously unspectacular and derivative album?
Posted 09/20/2006 - 07:53:53 AM by meatbreak:
 That's what happens when you have to give grades.
Posted 09/20/2006 - 10:01:40 AM by draglikepull:
 I think this review is pretty accurate. There are more than enough great moments in Blood Mountain, but not much in the way of solid songs. In a year with so many other great metal releases (Mouth of the Architect, Agalloch, Jesu, etc.) I'm finding the attention given to Mastadon to be a little puzzling.
Posted 09/20/2006 - 05:11:46 PM by garlad1:
 I walked into the record store the other day expecting to buy Return to cookie mountain. It was sold out, but a promo of this was in the used bin for $9, my first exposure to Mastodon. so I bought it. From that perspective, I can only say this album is awesome. It reminds me of the first time I heard Battery from Master of Puppets back in 86. Maybe this is adult-contemporary metal that appeals to me, I don't know. What I do know is that sometimes the right band comes along at the right time with the right record and makes a huge impact. Why are so many people hedging their bets on these dudes? Listen with your Balls, man! Your Balls!!!
Posted 09/20/2006 - 07:45:13 PM by diggles:
 I haven't heard this album but I liked Leviathan and I'm noticing that the common man seems to like the new Mastadon, which I'm sure maybe they were swinging for, right? That's what the major label wants so us music obsessives might not have a say in this ...
Posted 09/21/2006 - 03:55:35 AM by godamus:
 You are easily one of the very best metal critics I have ever read, and I have read reviews on a near-daily basis for almost 10 years. You are both literate and articulate while being a true fan of metal who knows what he's talking about, and I agree to a huge extent with most of your reviews. This time, however, I can't help but think you have confused your feelings with Mastodon being on Warner Brothers with the music itself. I can't disagree with your observations about the record. Yes, more Ozzy singing. Less heavy and more proggy. Lynyrd-mountain stylings less subtle. Songs more compact and less expansive than Leviathan. These songs are the most expressive and emotionally powerful for me they've written though, particularly "This Mortal Soil". It transcends the way I enjoy most metal records. Do you think your review adds up to a cry of "sell-out" from a staunch metal fan who resents the mainstream attention this band and now metal in general is receiving?
Posted 09/21/2006 - 09:32:32 AM by cosmokane31:
 Thank you for the nice words, godamus. No, I don't think Mastodon has "sold out." In fact, they've done the opposite by making a complex, full-on prog album. I would have thought the same of this album had it been on Relapse - in garlad1's terms, it simply didn't grab me by the balls.
Posted 09/21/2006 - 10:44:07 AM by jhitting:
 The problem with Mastodon is that they push too hard when they should just concentrate on what they do best--mean riffs, insane drumming, whacky basslines--and leave it at that. Instead, what we have on this album is about 6-7 distinct vocal stylings that almost grab me by the balls, except for one thing: they don't last long enough. Mastodon needs to decide if they want to scream, yell, sing, harmonize, chant, or what. Even so, I can't say that I don't love this album...I'm definitely in Mastodon's camp for the future. Also, to anyone who bought the SPECIAL EDITION version, watch the poorly produced DVD. It has some golden moments if you can wade through the weak portions. Troy Sanders sheds a lot of light on the band's themes, Brann is just a psycho, and Brett is funny as hell.
Posted 09/23/2006 - 02:44:43 AM by frantic:
 Personally, I miss the epic 'big one' on this album. I'd trade 3-4 shorter ones for that. Rest of it is great as ever, and I like the direction they're heading. The hidden track is hideous, it ruins the mood completely; if you must burn the CD, burn it without it. Also, interesting point about the songs 'not sticking' - it might just be right. Still, even if it is, the riffs are thoroughly great. I guess it's the stoner part of Mastodon; so many times i was half asleep listening to stoner bands and then I'd start grooving to some part in the middle of a 7 minute song. Well, just my 0.05$.
Posted 09/24/2006 - 11:13:08 AM by florenz6:
 Boredon would be a fine name for this kind of testosterone rock!
Posted 09/25/2006 - 04:21:19 AM by meatbreak:
 The point is, is that this is NOT testosterone fuelled metal - leave that to the Death and Thrash set. This kind of metal, like Nasum, Meads of Asphodel, High on Fire even, is that they are creating something that is far more cerebral and informed than just scrabbling away at their strings and swinging their hair around.
Posted 09/25/2006 - 08:44:04 AM by scooper:
 except for the first graf (arguing that a band is uncommercial by comparing them to iron maiden, rush, and led zeppelin won't get you far,) spot on review.
Posted 05/05/2007 - 10:26:32 PM by maltieria:
 haha, "informed." What a bunch of shit. If there's testosterone in your bloodstream, and you play music...well I guess it must be at least a little bit testosterone-fuelled, huh? where exactly does this "cerebral, informed" stuff come into play with Mastodon? Prog nothing, IT'S AT THE SAME VOLUME LEVEL ABOUT 90% OF THE TIME! It's practically a homogenous flow of glossy aerobics-metal nonsense. Maybe their next album will be about Polonius. I'm sorry, I just got this album and I keep listening to it even though I despise it. Amazing how so many great riffs can be amassed into something so damn repulsive. The whole thing just reminds me of Adult Swim.
Posted 06/18/2007 - 12:55:10 PM by johnedowney:
 I don't know what most of y'all are talking about, so, whee. For the dude who comes across this review and wants to know if the reviewer was right or not, well, yeah, he basically gets it right, maybe. I don't know what the dude's point was, but I'm pretty sure it boils down to "Rocking hard is a good thing; I just wish that the songs were more focused". If so, then yeah. But I've got an educated musician metalhead friend who thinks that this is the greatest album of all time, so if you're looking for some great metal, consistencies in song be damned, "Blood Mountain" is worth the dough. But it's not as good as "Pink" by Boris. (Hey, what would a comment by a music fanboy be without a recommendation for another artist?)