‘Feistodon’: Black Tongue/A Commotion
‘Feistodon’: Black Tongue/A Commotion
The last few ‘Visions’ posts, bar the Venom clip which was just buffoonery, seem to have focused on videos with some crazy ass scheme that simply has you asking what the directors of each were on when they made them. This next one is no different. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the meaning behind the numerous masks, symbols, colours and the Asian lady that fly out of the screen over the course of this song. All I know is that a) this would’ve been cool in 3D, and b) the YouTube haters are fools. Better this than a straightforward performance vid.
Whatever the meaning behind the imagery, Mastodon‘s ‘Dry Bone Valley’, taken from ‘The Hunter‘, is another incredible video from these guys and an impressive song all the same, from an album that continues to get better with every listen.
Tonight’s the night! Hot off their stellar new album ‘The Hunter’, Mastodon’s unstoppable rise hits new highs when they perform on BBC 2’s ‘Later Live with Jools Holland‘! Make sure you get your backside in front of the telly for 10pm, or at least SkyPlus, Tivo or whatever you use it. Failing that of course, there’ll be a couple of late night repeats and it’ll be available on the BBC iPlayer.
It’ll be interesting to see how they go on – the only other metal band to perform on the show previously is Metallica. Will any of the show’s usual viewers take to them? Probably mostly not. But I’d love to be proven wrong, and with Mastodon seemingly able to raise the bar at will, I wouldn’t be surprised if they absolutely destroyed it tonight.
In related news, the Atlanta quartet have also announced a fresh batch of UK dates for February 2012! The dates are as follows:
Sun 05 – Bristol O2 Academy
Mon 06 – Manchester Academy
Tue 07 – Glasgow Barrowlands
Thurs 09 – Norwich UEA
Fri 10 – Birmingham HMV Institute
Sat 11 – London Brixton O2 Academy
Tickets for that are on sale now!
When Mastodon announced that this album was to be free of concept and more of a straight-up rock album, one or two eyebrows may well have been raised, although given the band’s dabbling in ZZ Top, Thin Lizzy and Melvins worship it may not have been entirely surprising. Still, a Mastodon making a record not based on the elements is certainly an enterprising one, and for the band that Time magazine voted their number 3 album of the year (2009’s ‘Crack The Skye‘), this meeting the mainstream in the middle has come about at roughly the right time.
That said, their past sound has far from been forgotten – opener Black Tongue rips into life in much the same way as past Mastodon openers – but nor has their present sound been allowed to stagnate, as evident in ‘Curl of the Burl’, probably one of the best singles all year. Underpinned by a sweet bass-driven riff, you can feel every groove in the song, and the chorus is instantly recognizable. It should come with a warning sticker as it may make you shake in numerous ways! The new found melodicism continues on ‘Blasteroid’, a distincting different Mastodon continues to stamp its new found presence with dual-harmony verses from guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds and bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, albeit soon swiped away with the howl of ‘I wanna taste your fucking blood!‘ in the chorus.
Mastodon have always been capable of providing real WTF moments, on this occasion the brilliant ‘Creature Lives’, with an intro consisting of maniacal laughter before turning into perhaps Mastodon’s happiest sounding song yet. Entirely sung, written, composed etc. by drummer Brann Dailor, it’s a triumphant moment and perhaps one of the most uplifting songs you’ll hear all year, albeit slightly bonkers as well. They follow this up with ‘Spectrelight’, a punchier number and harks back to ‘Leviathan‘ territory. Its still got the accentuated melodicism present on the majority of the album, but rampages delightfully throughout its three minutes.
The album finishes with yet another incredible track, ‘The Sparrow’. Dedicated to the band’s accountant, who passed away to stomach cancer during the recording of the album, the song’s only line utters her motto: ‘pursue happiness, with diligence’. Its a sombre but beautiful way to end ‘The Hunter‘, and that line will echo out beyond this record.
I was worried Mastodon may have dropped the ball when they said they were making a straight-up rock record as opposed to a concept album – they always excelled at befitting the story they’d mapped out and really didn’t feel confident in ‘The Hunter‘ meeting the lofty standards of their previous body of work. I’m glad to be proven wrong, although the goal has been achieved much differently this time. Having shunned the multi-part, ten-minute plus epics in favour of a more streamlined approach, it proves they’ve managed to switch over with the greatest of ease, even occasionally becoming dancable without sacrificing quality. And still, they managed to squeeze in plenty of elements of progression. Viewers of Later with Jools Holland – are you ready?
‘The Devil’s Orchard’ is the first single to be released from Opeth’s tenth album, ‘Heritage’, and in my opinion, it’s quality stuff. While there’s no guttural vocals from Åkerfeldt it’s classic Opeth, punctuated now and again with the refrain ‘God is dead’. About halfway through, the progressive influences really kick in, and you can definitely feel the likes of King Crimson and Yes being called and conjured in there. It’s Opeth, but not as we know it, and I’m digging it!