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Call For More Mastodon - 89%

Cyconik, July 25th, 2007

After a lot of work e-mailing Mastodon and its associates, I figured out that this release was indeed considered a full-length album, which surely seems fitting considering its length and overall feel.

Call of the Mastodon is a re-release of the demo that started everything for Mastodon-- only, this time, Troy Sanders and Brent Kelliher do the vocals instead of Eric Saner. I personally have never heard the song versions with Eric Saner, so I can not comment on the different vocals, but Troy and Brent both do pretty good jobs at them. They have a very strange vocal style, which surprised me at first. They sound like they are kind of forced out (adding a nice raspy tone), but in this case it is not a bad thing and please do not take it as such. In some spots, they do clean(er) vocals, but there is still some distortion to them. Clean(er) vocals on 'Call of the Mastodon' are, again, strange in my opinion... but they grow on you, they really do; adding a lot to the overall feel of it all.

Moving on, all i need to say is wow this guy can sure drum. At first i wasn't too impressed because I didn't listen closely. When you DO, however, you will see that he has a very technical style. There are tonnes of fills in ever corner, and lots of variation. You will most definitely not get bored with the beats in this one. Brann does an excellent job, and doubtlessly carries his weight.

The bass and guitars are not bad at all either. The bass (usually inaudible in metal) is very present here, and you can hear it nicely. An example of this would be the start of the song Battle At Sea. It goes to show how effective the most simple of basslines can be it music. The tone of the bass in the beginning of that song still gives me shivers, and I just love to listen to that song because of it. Guitars are quite good too, nothing too special there though. They focus more on matching the rhythm with their own crazy riff, not always AMAZING, but no bad ones at all.

The only faults I could find with this album were the lyrics and the length of the album. Even though each song is good in its entirety, Mastodon should have made the songs/album longer. Lyrics in Mastodon albums usually follow some sort of theme. Ex. Leviathan - sea stuff, Blood Mountain - hills, forests, hunters. This album is a mix of the two somewhat, and I would have enjoyed it more if it followed one specific theme more closely.

At the end of it all, the simple lyrics and the length of the album are the faults of this album though I highly recommend picking up this album, because it is definitely worth the money. You get 28 minutes of totally sludgy, progressive metal out of 9 short, but superior, songs.

Highlights: Battle At Sea, Shadows That Move, We Built This Come Death, Slickleg