Mastodon - Reading Festival 2012 review
'Ravaging, unholy riffage'
Kai Jones - 26 August 2012
Warning. This review will contain such stock phrases as 'unleash' 'unholy riffage' and 'throat-scraping screams'. There just isn’t enough ridiculous hyperbole to describe how unearthly heavy Mastodon at Reading is.
Quite understandable for one of very few bands convincingly able to name themselves after a large, proboscidean mammal
species of the extinct genus Mammut. Or as we say around here: a big, bloody mammoth.
After all, this is a band inspired by the sludge metal powerhouses of Neurosis and The Melvins; who defied traditional metal routes of singing about demons and monsters by basing one of their finest records (‘Leviatian’) around a ferocious, enigmatic sperm whale (Herman Melville’s story of Moby Dick).
Clearly, Mastodon don’t do basic. Quite evident in a set heavy with songs from 2011’s The Hunter. Kicking off with the growling sludge of 'Black Tongue', they unleash thunderous versions of ‘Blasteroid’, ‘Curl of the Burl’ and ‘Octopus Has No Friends’ and do not relent until the final, devastating notes of ‘Blood and Thunder’ have faded.
And while it’s difficult to find a highlight, there’s a moment during the throat-scraping screams of ‘Blasteroid,’ when the crowd opens up into a circle pit, like Moby Dick just splashed right down through the canvas of the tent, that perfectly matches the ravaging, unholy riffage on stage.
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