With their 2004 beast, the aptly titled Leviathan, Mastodon finally find their niche as a thinking man's metal band. Blending Voivod's neuro-thrash, Therion's majestic gloom, Morbid Angel's spirit of restless and morphing liquid black melody, and EyeHateGod's Southern rock gone awry, Leviathan is nothing short of supernatural. Evincing a decade's worth of maturity gained in just two short years, Mastodon have authored a bombastic modern interpretation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the classic metaphor for mortality's eternal (and unwinnable) struggle with divine injustice.
Ultimately, there's very little to dislike about Mastodon. The genesis from their marginal 2001 EP Lifesblood to present day has been nothing short of stunning, and I can't imagine why anyone with even half an interest in the preservation of metal as a legitimate art form doesn't have a copy of Leviathan on his shelf. These guys aren't part of the tedious mediocrity they've been lumped in with, nor do they hold any contempt for their audience or their forefathers. They're simply one of the best things we metal fanatics have going for us, and if that's not reason enough to toss Panopticon in the trash, I don't know what is. Review by Pitchfork
Your host this week is Jesse Deere with special guest Pete PastoorJR.