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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmackingly good!
This was a bit of a gamble for me.I bought this album due to the reviews it was getting in Classic Rock and Kerrang.This is not something I usually do as I buy most of the time on impulse.
I wasn't dissapointed! The musicianship contained on this cd is incredible.From a drummers point of view this is highly technical stuff with most songs composed with loads of fills...
Published on 29 Oct 2004 by Alan C. Farrell

versus
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a band by its hair...
I've been buying quite a lot of albums recently on the strength of reviews both in magazines and on websites and I can honestly say that this is the first time I've been let down. So much so in fact that I took the CD back and exchanged it for something else, which is another first for me.
The whole idea seemed great; a concept album based around Moby Dick...
Published on 20 Feb 2006 by P J G Robbins


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gobsmackingly good!, 29 Oct 2004
By 
Alan C. Farrell "acfdclxvi" (Dunfermline, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leviathan [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
This was a bit of a gamble for me.I bought this album due to the reviews it was getting in Classic Rock and Kerrang.This is not something I usually do as I buy most of the time on impulse.
I wasn't dissapointed! The musicianship contained on this cd is incredible.From a drummers point of view this is highly technical stuff with most songs composed with loads of fills and very jazz like patterns.
It is also enormously heavy in places but also gentle in other parts.
It does take a few listens to get into it but bear with it. You'll get to a point,like myself,where you cannot stop listening to it as you get totally absorbed within its aural landscape.
You have no excuses.BUY THIS ALBUM NOW!!!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So amazing it's not even funny, 9 Dec 2007
By 
The Conman (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
In the new millenium, the American metal scene has become clogged up with far too many stale, indistinguishable metalcore acts, such as Killswitch Engage and the DREADFUl Atreyu. However, a certain band called Mastodon stands out in that sea of mediocrity like the white whale on the album's cover. Why? Good question. That's partly becuase Mastodon mangaged to fuse together so many different subgenres of metal to create their own intense, utterly original sound. You may hear elements of Stoner's massive heaviness, thrash's intensity and prog rock's extreme complexity in their sound. Like their band name would suggest, Mastodon's sound is absolutely huge and unstoppable, but it is also very rhythmically complex and dexterous. This is mainly due to Brann Dailor's fill-heavy, jazz fusion-esque drumming. He underlies every song with drumming more complex than almost any other metal drummer could comprehend. The band made this unique style evident on their brutal debut album Remission. That was definitely a great album, but it pales in comparison to this.
Leviathan, the band's second album, is a loose concept album based on Herman Melville's classic book Moby Dick, a fitting story to base a heavy metal album on. However, Mastodon managed to create the PERFECT match for this book in their sound on Leviathan. The clear but dense production gives Leviathan a sound as bottomless and huge as an ocean. The vocals, although slightly more melodic and varied than on Remission, are still mostly harsh, aggressive barks to carry the intense nature of the songs. However, the vocals are occasionally eerie singing, as on the menacing, progressive Seabeast and the harmonic Naked Burn. Yet one of the album's main tricks is that the vocals aren't mixed to the very forefront like on most albums. Instead, they are less dominant and almost act as another instrument, so to speak.
As my description of Mastodon's sound may have suggested, Leviathan is absolutely mind blowing musically. The band are clearly highly skilled and show plenty of comlex chops. For example, opener Blood and Thunder gets underway with its thunderous, unstoppable riff and abrasive-but-cool vocals. It has one hell of a chorus and then the song moves into a stunningly technical, prog metal-style guitar bridge which brings the song to a great hight before it comes crashing back down again like a tidal wave. Other songs such as I Am Ahab contain brilliant intrumental breaks to add to the sense of tight band interplay. the band displays songwriting that borders on genius as songs morph from eerie clean guitar lines to violent riffing to complex guitar harmonies with ease and tempos often change. The complex song structures are part of what make this intense album brilliant. The album, however, is not always intense and quite diverse. The crunchingly heavy Iceland, Iron tusk and Megalodon are places alongside the calmer but still ominous Seabeast and Naked Burn and the acoustic/electric instrumental Joseph Merrick. My personal fave is the thirteen minute monster Hearts Alive. I wont spoil is but it contains one of the best riffs I've ever heard.
All in all Leviathan is more intense, focused and even accessible than Remission. Even with Blood Mountain released last year, I'd still say this is their best so far. The unique, complex and heavy sound of Leviathan is just mind-blowing and makes it one of the best metal albums of the last few years in my book. Modern Prog Metal at its very best, this is essential for any metalhead bored with the modern metal trends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Bo, 24 April 2006
By 
J. Bromiley "Big Joe" (New Brighton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
I had never listened to Mastodon, but my friend really buzzed off them, so I thought "why not?" and bought this album. Possibly the best thing I have ever done. In my favourite albums ever list, this rates third behind Metallica's Master of Puppets and Led Zeppelin 4.

The album is brutally heavy in some places, but they can go acoustic quite well, and Brent Hinds' little country lick in Megalodon should not be missed by anyone! The vocals change throughout the album so you can never be sure it is the same vocalist!!!

All in all, a quality buy, I suggest this album to anyone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal the way it's meant to be played!, 26 Sep 2004
By 
This review is from: Leviathan [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I'm new to Mastodon, took a chance after some positive reviews on other websites. Like all up and coming bands, they suffer from some muddy production, especially in the vocal area, but the musicianship on show here is top notch.
Crushing riffs, amazing solos, powerhouse drumming, Mastodon are the complete metal band. Difficult to find comparisons at the moment as most recent bands just tread the same formulaic path. Maybe 'Lamb of God' are a good reference point, but with perhaps a greater sense of melody. Just check out the penultimate track - 'Hearts Alive' - nine and a half minutes of incredible yet cerebral metal. Can't wait to find their previous EP.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flagbearers of the new american wave of heavy metal, 23 Sep 2004
This review is from: Leviathan [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I've been waiting for this album for quite some time now. Their last album, remission, I've already worn out. You see, this album is like a fresh breath to the metal scene. And the reason why, is because it's good old times heavy metal given a modern sound. These days theres about a thousand records coming out each month, and everyone is trying to grab your attention with their new twists on musical styles and genres. Mastodon on the other hand, are keeping it old school but still very fresh. But that doesnt have to mean its any good, you ask. Why going backwards instead of forwards? Well, I guess in the same way that Lamb Of God have made thrash sound cool again, or the way that The Darkness have kickstarted the 80's rock scene again, Mastodon really gives you a good feeling about metal. Its fast, but not to frantic, its brutal, but its also mellow. And these guys have no problem letting it rip, with two members serving time in Today Is The Day and Lethargy. Its hard to explain, but this is just one of the best metal albums you'll ever hear. If you buy it and don't like it, you just don't like metal. If you need any directions as how the music sounds, try a mix of Metallica, Yes, Dillinger Escape Plan and Neurosis. And yes, it works, and sounds great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, brutal, majestic..., 16 Jun 2011
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
Mastodon have reinvigorated metal for me...the most exciting and absorbing band I have found in a long time...their music repays repeated listening. There is a lot of depth and subtlety in there along with the power and energy. They sound like a band, but you can differentiate their individual characteristics as they play - it's music with real feel and quality. All in all top marks from me.

Oh, and if you haven't read Moby Dick, that's pretty good too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best work until Crack the Skye, 28 Dec 2010
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
The first Mastodon album I heard and the best until Crack the Skye moved their game on to the next level. It isn't easy listening, but it's worthwhile in spades. Very technical, jazzy playing of intelligent, dramatic and fantastical songs in a "Moby Dick" theme, producing very aggressive and involving music esp. Hearts Alive which is highly dramatic/cinematic. I think they are the most doomy sounding band since Sabbath. While you are here, also buy Crack the Skye.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Beast, 11 Sep 2007
This review is from: Leviathan (Audio CD)
It's pretty difficult to seperate any of the Atlanta quartet's three studio albums proper, but personally I think this one pips it. While 'Blood Mountain' has the vision & 'Remission' had that live organic dirty feel, 'Leviathan' is possibly the best example of Mastodon's unique gift for heavy music.

Every one of the 10 tracks on this, dare i say it, masterpiece, combines odd time signatures, interwoven guitar passages & drums that simply pummel your mind. It's no secret that drummer Brann Dailor is a jazz octopus, but on this album he really shines, clearly reigning in the wild freestyle of 'Remission' just a touch. Again the time signature switches of previous tracks such as 'March of the Fire Ants' has been controlled to provide a more cohesive experience for the first few listens. Having said that, there is plenty of depth to tracks such as 'Seabeast' & the epic thirteen odd-minute 'Hearts Alive' & who can resist the good ol'boy southern riff half way through 'Megalodon'? Made me smile anyway.

Relapse records certainly knew a good thing when they saw it, allowing several guest appearances including Scott Kelly from Neurosis. Opener 'Blood & Thunder' also contains a cracking guest vocal from Clutch frontman Neil Fallon with the anthemic 'Split your lungs with blood & thunder'. It really is first class stuff.

'Leviathan' is the perfect showcase for the bands over all talent & paved the way allowing them to experiment more with the next album. With a concept losely based on Melville's 'Moby Dick' & a brillant cover conveying a certain painting described in the book, this is a piece of art with brains & passion. A fierce, heavy monster, ultimately for any metal fan, absolutely essential.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accomplished effort, 22 Oct 2004
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This review is from: Leviathan [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
Bought this album on the back of some strong reviews, and it was worth it. In my opinion it takes a couple of listens to warm into it properly, but there is some excellent work in here as the 'story' unfolds. I wouldnt overdo the comparisons with Metallica, although slightly reminiscent of the 'Justice' era, which after all was some of their finest. Some true metal riffs in there, great guitar work although the vocals perhaps could have been stronger. In all, a worthy album.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of NWOAHM, 15 Nov 2004
By 
This review is from: Leviathan [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
2004 has seen some excellent releases from bands known as the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal and "Leviathan" is one of the best, along with "Blast Tyrant" from Clutch. Fallon from Clutch also guests on this album.
Don't expect to get into Leviathan on the first listen, the change in song format and chord sequences can come across as confused but Mastodon have a clear plot of what they want to achieve and the epic works extremely well. Forget the reviews that have Mastodon as a cross between Metallica and Rush, they are a totally unique concept in the way that The Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah are the most copied bands in the world.
This is music you MUST own!
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Leviathan [CD + DVD]
Leviathan [CD + DVD] by Mastodon (Audio CD - 2004)
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