In honour of the release of their seventh LP Emperor of Sand this Friday, we’re celebrating all things Mastodon this week. One of the finest 21st century metal bands, the Georgian quartet’s career has been markedly consistent; not without flaws, but nevertheless focussed and of exceptional quality
Where better to start than with a primer for each of their previous six studio albums?
Naturally, we begin with…
(2002) Relapse Records
As far as debut albums go, Remission is one that holds up remarkably well, both in terms of quality, and as a template for a band’s future sound – which is certainly not that case for many.
Although Mastodon are only what you might call ‘quietly’ progressive – challenging without being obnoxiously so – if you were familiar only with their more recent output, you would be able to tell that Remission is a Mastodon album.
“March Of The Fire Ants“
All the hallmarks of their later work were already present: Brann Dailor’s aggressive, jazzy drumming; the cacophonous intensity; the fuzzy twang of Brent and Bill’s guitars immediately identifiable as Mastodon’s tone; and the gruff vocals.
“Burning Man” (live, 2002)
Vigourous as the majority is, Remission‘s final quarter relaxes into more expansive prog, and undoubtedly laid the foundation for Mastodon’s future forays into unified, long-form material – Crack The Skye in particular. Final track “Elephant Man” goes full-noodle for a good five minutes
The album received high praise on release, and it’s no small wonder that it got both a re-release the following year, alongside a more concerted marketing push, as well as 2014 reissue.
Remission isn’t most people’s favourite Mastodon album by far, but by fuck can you see where they were coming from and how they got to be so revered.
Stay tuned for the rest of the week for much more from Mastodon Week!