Mastodon Call of the Mastodon

Mastodon Call of the Mastodon
Given the surprising lack of rarities or liner notes here, this album reeks of contractual obligation (the artwork is beautiful, though). Some information on where these tracks came from would have been helpful to fans of this Atlanta-based extreme metal anomaly. So, here goes: this nine-song disc contains the first recording session the band did, five songs of which became their Relapse debut, the Lifesblood EP. Three other tracks here were on a Reptilian Records seven-inch picture disc, and one tune — the title track — was unreleased until now. Not so shockingly, given both the fact that this band rule and that this material isn’t that old, these songs are great. Some of them show the band’s more technical side, that they would explore in more detail with their first full-length, Remission. Others show a slightly more streamlined, near-rock sound, one that the band have always toyed with but had a bit more prominence with their latest album, Leviathan. Where these recent Warner signees will go next remains to be seen; they could either have a Lamb of God-like breakthrough into the mainstream or a Cave In-like battle with a confused record label. (Relapse)