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Classic metal meets screamo

Blood Mountain
Blood Mountain
By Mastodon

Reprise Records: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in October 2006.

Playing a thunderous, if sometimes ponderous, brand of heavy metal, Atlanta's Mastodon takes in little ground that has not been previously covered. But what they lack in imagination or originality, the members of Mastodon make up for with a confident approach and top-notch showmanship.

The quartet plays what is basically late 1980s-style metal, with elements of screamo and speed metal thrown in. Think Judas Priest updated with a bit of Queensryche, a swath of your fave screamo band and maybe a touch of the early '70s prog metal of Wishbone Ash.

What their new album doesn't have, though, is a song with a great hook: No "Iron Man" or "Living After Midnight" here. But metal fans will find plenty to like in the band's twin-guitar attack and the driving, shimmering drumming of Brann Dailor.