Graaaaaaaaaaaaah! This is what metal should be.
The coolest thing about Mastodon’s breakthrough effort, 2004’s Leviathan, was its cerebral focus on story and concept in a genre bedeviled (often intentionally) by cliché. Like its predecessor, Blood Mountain is a study in elemental force that rides the line between thrash and plod with enlightened originality and compositional skill to spare. While, lyrically, Blood Mountain cloaks itself in some of the cartoonish tropes of metal’s rune-littered psycho-tundra, musically it’s absolutely breathtaking. Dripping with textures and bubbling with riffs that actually lead somewhere, it offers sonic art in high form while, not incidentally, melting your face with its power.