Mastodon (USA)

Mastodon @ Billboard (Melbourne, 27th February, 2012)

Mastodon @ Billboard (Melbourne, 27th February, 2012)

And so my week of metal commences…

With the Soundwave festival circus in town, this week saw Melbourne infiltrated by a lot of hair, a lot of black, and whole lot of testosterone.

First cab off the rank for me are the Atlanta 4 piece Mastodon, who unleash their facial hair and tattoos on a school night, thrilling the crowd at Melbourne’s Billboard

Dry Bone Valley kicks off proceedings, the magnificently bearded Brent Hinds taking the vocal on this one before the crowd absolute come alive during the back to back assualt of Black Tongue and Crystal Skull.

“I killed a man cos he killed my goat”. It’s as good a reason as any other I suppose, and it’s this line that opens up last year’s popular offering from The Hunter, Curl of the Burl. It’s a standout for the night, both to my ears and to the watching crowd.

With a kickdrum workrate that hits you straight in the guts from the first song, drummer Brann Dailor is manic tonight. Though not a metal fan by any stretch, there are some flavours that can still make you appreciate what 4 blokes who look like they sleep under bridges can do.

Mastodon’s reputation is immense, and seemingly for good reason. They’re an incredibly tight unit, playing with precision you’d normally associate with other genres. Vocalist and bass player Troy Sanders delivers a powerful but melodic vocal – again not something I normally associate with metal. For those who grew up in the 80s his resemblance to the TV character Catweazle is hard to miss.

The crowd – falling predominantly into the 25-35 bracket are enthusiastic but not shitfaced, and it’s clear that the following Mastodon enjoy in Australia is a strong one.



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