2. Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)
Emerging with the glut of bands who were known as The New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, Mastodon’s expansive and ingenious concept album has nothing more in common with the likes of Shadows Fall, Chimaira and As I Lay Dying than simple timing.
Leviathan is leaps and bounds ahead of their contemporaries and is a Progressive Metal masterpiece. Taking Herman Melville’s Moby Dick as inspiration, these Atlantan mavericks concocted an album as grandiose and sonically enormous as Captain Ahab’s, White Whale nemesis.
As with all great concept albums, taking any song out of context destroys the flow of the story but there are stand-out tracks which are worthy of particular mention. “Blood And Thunder” is still the catchiest song Mastodon have ever penned, its central riff is a neck-wrecker and throws you straight into the deep end of the narrative. “Megalodon” also provides thrills, especially when the band surprisingly go ‘all country’ at the 1min 20sec mark before unleashing a riff so almighty that you’ll end up violently moshing with yourself.
Mastodon are a band who are riding on the crest of a creative wave with each album release, their position amongst the elite of Metal bands now set in stone, but Leviathan is the album which best exemplifies their post-millenial imagination and prowess.