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Sludge music usually brings along bands that best engender a type of aggression that is so raw, that the flaws in their music perceived by the audience are actually perfections to the bands themselves. Following a sort of almost lethargic drone at times, along with melodies which seem almost unnatural for the inexperienced listener, Mastodon have created a sublime environment of aggression and subtlety within Call of the Mastodon.
From the indecipherable vocals of Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds, to the insane drumwork of Brann Dailor, Call of the Mastodon is a kick in the face to the world of average, melodic music.
The music itself usually is consistent of the sludge category, while sometimes evoking an almost grind feel at times. Even then, the music in this album also emanates some strange melodies that tend to go against the grain of modern music; mainly because of the guitarists use of open stringed picking on their baritone guitars.
The vocals on Call of the Mastodon are distorted screams of rage and never let down their attack on the listener.
The guitars are often drony and chaotic, while many times contorting their way around versatile rock licks and subtle clean-guitar picking passages. Truly, the riffs on this album are very entertaining and stand out. This feeling is highly expounded upon by the very low end of their baritone guitars which, unto themselves, bring a distinct sound which makes their riffing much more interesting to listen to.
The bass serves to accentuate the heaviness throughout the album, but never becomes the focus of instrumentation.
The drums are purely the work of a genius who truly knows his calling. They are performed is such the way of a sort of jazz style, yet with a much more dominant and hyperactive approach than that of the average jazz drummer. Brann Dailor dominates Call of the Mastodon with his percussional expertise and creativity; and, were it not for him, Mastodon really would not be the exceptional creative band as they are known.
The songs themselves are oftentimes quite progressive, but pack a punch that most progressive music does not. However, unlike standard prog., the songs on Call of the Mastodon are short in length; good enough for a memorable, headbanging experience.
Overall, Call of the Mastodon is a very entertaining EP (that should be classified an LP) that is superb in all aspects of their style and serves as more than just a testament to their original sound.