2. Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)
Relapse’s punt on these hairy noiseniks proved to be a fine bit of business when Mastodon followed up their eye-catching debut Remission with the instant classic, Leviathan.
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; cementing Leviathan‘s standing as a progressive metal masterpiece in the process.
“Blood And Thunder” is still the catchiest song Mastodon ever penned and a bone-fide hit for Relapse; its central riff is an absolute neck-wrecker and throws you straight into the deep end of Leviathan‘s ingenious narrative.
Over thirteen years on, Mastodon are a grammy award winning band who continue to ride on the crest of a creative wave, with their position amongst the elite of the elite now firmly set in stone. However, while Mastodon would move to a major label for their next record, it was during their time on Relapse’s books that they were arguably at their creative peak.