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New band. Experienced members. Great CD. - 92%

Orphaned_Light, October 17th, 2002

I’m not sure how I got into these guys but I am sure glad it happened. I first downloaded March of the Fire Ants and truthfully I wasn’t really overwhelmed. I checked around to see what people had to say about this band and since this was their first full length there wasn’t a whole lot to be found. From the small amount of opinions and reviews, I gathered the same overall feeling from them, “this album rules,” simply translated.

The best way I can describe their sound is a rock feel (southern), added with metal heaviness, up-tempo for the most part and hardcoreish vocals but with a flavor of their own. Play the first track and you start out by feeling the intensity Mastodon can accomplish. Midway through the song great melody is displayed with an almost bluesy type feel on the break. Throughout the first four tracks they use the same intense feeling while mixing them up quite well.

I can’t go on further without mentioning Brann Dailor’s drumming. This is some great technical drumming with excellent fills without over taking the rest of that band. I believe that this is a key element to Mastodon’s genre escaping sound.

After four tracks of intensity I was starting to hope they wouldn’t stick to that formula the whole album. It was good but just not what I wanted on a whole. Much to my delight and surprise, Ol’e Nessie was next. This song is much slower with some clean guitar but intertwines well with a louder more aggressive feel and then clams back down again. The rest of the songs have alternate feels as you can probably guess by the song lengths at this point in the album. (Short = fast || Long = slow/fast) It also ends with a great closing instrumental that is one of my favorite songs on the album, albeit there really is no weak song on Remission.

In the end Mastodon has a remarkable sound and album that is nicely put together. Although the vocals could be bothersome, I think Mastodon can be relished by fans of many different tastes that are able to handle some intensity and enjoy something that is distinct and quite unique.