August 2020 Feature Release - The Fallen Edition
It's now August which of course means that we'll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we're asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We're really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don't be shy.
This month's feature release for The Fallen is 2004's classic sophomore album "Leviathan" from popular Atlanta-based progressive sludge outfit Mastodon. It saw the band returning with a more expansive & professional sound from their well-received 2002 debut "Remission" & we subsequently saw the band's notoriety reaching a new level. Is this Mastodon's best record? Let us know what you think of the album.
Here's my review summary:
I still really like modern progressive metal (but more into the extreme side now), and it has a good feeling that makes everyday stuff more fun like washing dishes (not that I ever like doing chores like that). Mastodon can be considered modern but there are some differences that set them apart from other bands. They put more heart into music than mind. It's interesting what insane drumming skills Brann Dailor has, unleashes a lot of his wild power-hunger, a little more than drummers like Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. I still like odd time signatures, but sometimes you would have no idea when a time riff starts or ends, and if an entire album is plagued with stuff like that, it can be pretty confusing to listen. Many of the songs here are progressive sludge classics, telling the story of a certain killer whale (sperm whale, not orca), and most of the tracks are in radio-friendly lengths shorter than other albums in the genre, except for a 13-minute epic. No other progressive sludge release can match a glorious album like this....
Although I quite like it, I was never as blown away by Mastodon's debut album "Remission" as everyone else seemed to be. I always felt that it wasn't as memorable as the band's later works & that it lacked those couple of highlight tracks that every top tier release seems to possess. "Leviathan" was where Mastodon really fucking impressed me & I still regard it as my favourite of their releases to this day. Its sound was so polished & sophisticated yet so heavy at the same time. The improved production had a major impact on my enjoyment factor too. "Leviathan" is a legitimately classic release as far as I'm concerned.
I won't say that Leviathan is the bands "best" record, but it is the one that ascended them into household names... and rightfully so. The commercial success of "Blood and Thunder" may have resulted in the change of direction beyond Crack the Skye in 2009, but their songwriting was impeccable to go along with some catchy as hell riffs. I noticed that BABYMETAL is also featured this month in the clan challenges, so I'll go into more detail about this later, but when a certain crowd of metal fans get antsy that their favourite band is becoming mainstream, sometimes it's warranted.