Mastodon - Blood Mountain (Vinyl)

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Blood Mountain is the third full-length studio album and major label debut by American heavy-metal band Mastodon. The recording of the album finished in April 2006 and it was released on September 12 in the UK and September 12, 2006 in North America through Reprise Records and Warner in Europe.
Like Mastodon's previous studio work Leviathan, Blood Mountain is a concept album. According to bassist Troy Sanders, "It's about climbing up a mountain and the different things that can happen to you when you're stranded on a mountain, in the woods, and you're lost. You're starving, hallucinating, running into strange creatures. You're being hunted. It's about that whole struggle."[ Guitarist Bill Kelliher considers this album to represent the earth element. At the time, bassist Troy Sanders called it "sonically the best album we have done." The band's emphasis on clean, melodic vocals instead of the harsher vocals that the band used on their early work continues to grow on this album.


The great thing about Mastodon is that they've never made the same album twice. After the incredible success of Leviathan, it wouldn't have been too surprising for them to coast in the immediate wake of it. Instead, they opted to reinvent themselves again with the beautiful and ambitious Blood Mountain.

Blood Mountain is perhaps not quite as good as the two albums it's sandwiched between, but it's not for a lack of effort. In some ways, this is the most experimental Mastodon album, with every song bringing a new type of style and atmosphere to the picture, all while remaining a complete and cohesive experience. Once again, this is a concept album, though one with a decidedly more fantastic premise; it follows a man on a quest up a mountain, and his journey amongst the many supernatural threats that lie in wait for him. The music really accentuates this idea of a journey, but not one that is purely epic; rather, one with struggles both external and internal, with a perhaps dubious reward at the top.

This album as a whole is simply transcendant, and the only thing that really puts it even a slight step down from Leviathan and Crack the Skye is that it's not always super consistent. Songs like Bladecatcher, Capillarian Crest, and Hand of Stone are either ambitious but flawed or ultimately forgettable, and drag the album just a bit too much for its own good. At the same time, though, the album is otherwise stacked with some of Mastodon's all-time greats; The Wolf Is Loose, Crystal Skull, Sleeping Giant, Colony of Birchmen, Circle of Cysquatch, Siberian Divide, Pendulous Skin, and the absolute best, This Mortal Coil.

Blood Mountain isn't quite Mastodon's masterpiece, but it's still an absolute classic of their discography, and one of my personal favorites. It's worth listening to for anyone who's at all invested in progressive heavy music.

By: Barnloren.

A1 The Wolf Is Loose
A2 Crystal Skull
A3 Sleeping Giant
A4 Capillarian Crest
A5 Circle of Cysquatch
A6 Bladecatcher
B1 Colony of Birchmen
B2 Hunters of the Sky
B3 Hand of Stone
B4 This Mortal Soil
B5 Siberian Divide
B6 Pendulous Skin

Sleeve sticker says:
The Grammy-Nominated album featuring “Colony of Birchmen”, “Crystal Skull” & “Sleeping Giant”