Mastodon - Remission
Relapse Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs (50:23)
Release year: 2002
Mastodon, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Nathanael
Archive review

Hype is something that I’ve never been a fan of, and to be honest, is something that I’ve never really understood. Regardless, every so often a band emerges that critics collectively hail as the next big thing. From an artist’s standpoint, hype is a difficult beast to tame. On one hand you’re getting yourself widely recognized, but on the other you are expected to produce god-like material that more often than not fails to match your surrounding hype. Like most music fans, any sort of overbearing hype only heightens my critical ear, which is exactly how I approached proverbial American Metal saviors Mastodon when I finally decided to wade through all the praise and worship and actually listen to what they had to offer. Most of you are probably sick and tired of hearing about these guys, and more sympathetic I could not be, but beyond all the magazine covers and fanboy adoration there lies, truth be told, some of the most rewarding, original metal I have had the pleasure of hearing as of late.

My first experience withMastodon came in the shape of their latest work Leviathan, a solid record that took some warming up to but was eventually well worth the effort. Naturally I felt compelled and decided to go back and check out the debut full-length that started it all. It’s funny because a guy I worked in a record store with endlessly preached this album but I never really believed him. Even after hearing some samples I didn’t really get it until about a year later, when I decided to once again listen to those same samples with unjaded ears. Then it clicked.

Trends are something that I have no patience for. Whether we’re talking Melodic Death or Metalcore, once a genre becomes saturated my attention span eventually disappears, which is where Mastodon score big points. Set in their own ways, Mastodon are their own genre. Mixing a variety of styles into a heavy metal pot (pun intended), the results are truly rewarding. From fast and aggressive, to slow and crushing and everything in between, Remission covers enough ground to please even the most fickle metalhead. The variety of this album continues to astound and keep me coming back for more. With much of the compositional flair carried upon the back of drummer extraordinaire Brann Dailor (you’re probably sick of hearing his name too) there are enough instrumental fireworks to even please those with a progressive sweet-tooth. Whether you want to run around kicking and screaming, groove out a nice slow headbang, or merely lay back and soak it up, this album is your soundtrack.

Variety and originality are in the end what set Remission miles ahead of all the clones polluting the scene. I for one am not a fan of heaping praise upon any passing artist but in some cases you are left no choice. If you are looking for something new and unlike anything else in your collection, disregard any prejudices and expectations and simply listen to what Remission has to offer.

In a time where leaders are few and followers a plenty, Mastodon trample a path swarms will eventually come to recognize, gazing in awe at the immense footprints left behind.

Killing Songs :
...All but Crusher Destroyer and O'le Nessie demonstrate Mastodon's variety best...
Nathanael quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Mastodon that we have reviewed:
Mastodon - Emperor of Sand reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Mastodon - The Hunter reviewed by Crash and quoted 90 / 100
Mastodon - Live at the Aragon reviewed by Brian and quoted no quote
Mastodon - Crack The Skye reviewed by James and quoted 97 / 100
Mastodon - Blood Mountain reviewed by Adam and quoted 95 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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