Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 27 March 2011
Live At The Aragon may be the best available Mastodon DVD to date, but it's not quite the perfect product that this band deserves and depending on your tolerance level for certain issues your enjoyment of this product is not entirely guaranteed.
While there's almost no faulting the edit (excepting one camera angle that's permanently out of sync with the audio), the final mix at times leaves a lot to be desired. As the show progresses, the vocals slip further into the mud of the overall mix so that by the time the band reaches their absolutely wonderful cover of "The Bit" (a Mastodon song in spirit, if not in conception) they're really not much more than an obvious presence, any clarity lost amidst the frantic guitarwork and drumming that typifies this band. Picking out individual words from the general noise is an uphill struggle. Unlike other reviewers here on Amazon, I have no qualms with the performance on show- just how it's been handled in the final mix. Familiarity with the material is a benefit- knowing how the music is supposed to sound improves the experience to no end, but for some this won't as advantageous as for longtime fans. The overall lack of force in the low end is another problem- guitar enthusiasts will have a field day but there's a distinct absence of bass drum punch that even at low volumes should stand as the backbone of any good DVD mix.
Modern standards dictate a live show is coupled with a substantial extras package and this is the second department in which Live At The Aragon falls short- its only extra feature is the projection film that plays during the show which is rendered even less interesting without the crackle of the live energy in front of it. A documentary or relevant music videos (several of which were produced to accompany the tracks from the Crack The Skye album that provides the meat of the live set) really would have helped boost the disc up to essential status, but as it is (and considering the bog-standard CD packaging) it comes across more like a bonus ITSELF for a live album than the must-have, be-all-end-all Mastodon DVD experience it could have been. Impressive, but tinged with disappointment.