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Trample! Trample! TRAAAAMPLE!!! - 71%

bartosso, September 14th, 2012

Holy mackerel, Mastodon! You're trampling my mind like an enraged Cysquatch after blunt knife castration! That's one of the most energetic albums to ever emerge from sludge, or even whole modern metal scene. I got into Mastodon's music not so long ago and I must admit that there are both things I love and dislike about their music. However, Blood Mountain is definitely an album that contains mostly the things I like, oh yes. In my opinion, it's the second best Mastodon's release after Crack the Skye.

Production of the record is good but honestly, could have been better. While drums, especially bass drum, sound heavy and organic, there's something in the way they're produced, that irritates my ears. I guess the snare drum is to be blamed for that as it sounds a bit flat. Also, guitars does not sound as heavy and massive as they should. Anyway, the album sounds clean and isn't painfully overproduced. Still, I think both Leviathan and Crack the Skye have better production.

As many reviewers have already stated, the record can be considered as a transitional episode between sludgy and aggressive Leviathan and spacey/progressive Crack the Skye. Stomping sludge element is still most prominent one, but experiments with song structures and spacey/psychedelic and progressive rock influences have become more noticeable. Most tracks are galloping sludge metal songs with Mastodon's typical leanings towards punk-ish aggressiveness combined with stoner metal feel (especially in the case of Brent Hinds' vocal delivery). Numerous tempo changes, complex structures and incredibly compelling, unmistakable drumming by Brann Dailor determines Blood Mountain status as a modern progressive metal album. I think the biggest drawback this record has, is the lack of real, compelling masterpieces. Tracks are short and a little bit too uniform for my tastes. Mastodon's great talent for long and complex compositions manifested in their following release, but here - despite a few absolutely fantastic and catchy songs - it's still underdeveloped. Besides, I found some tracks to be simply uninspired or even terribly annoying ("Bladecatcher"- what the hell is that? electro-grind-core-stoner metal?).

All in all, Blood Mountain is a very good eclectic progressive metal album, deeply rooted in sludge metal genre. If you're into aggressive and energetic metal with a stoner element, this record is for you.

TRACKS BY RATINGS: 9/10[fantastic!]: Crystal Skull 8/10[great]: The Wolf Is Loose; Sleeping Giant; Capillarian Crest; Colony of Birchmen; Siberian Divide 7/10[very good]: Circle of Cysquatch; Hunters of the Sky; This Mortal Soil 6/10[good]: Hand of Stone; Pendulous Skin 3/10[poor]: Bladecatcher

-- Originally written for Metal Music Archives [www.metalmusicarchives.com] --