Mastodon - "Live at Brixton" [Album Review]

- Jan 08, 2014 at 01:46PM
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Rating: 7 out of 10
Live at Brixton was captured at a February 2012 gig at the Brixton Academy in London, UK, where Mastodon plow through 23 tracks and 97 minutes encompassing their entire back catalogue. It seems to me as though Mastodon have never put out a poor album (to date anyway), so this effectively greatest hits live album, was sure to excel wasn't it?

I've seen Mastodon a few times now (I saw Mastodon for the first time @ the Oxford Zodiac (I think) with Clutch and Dozer in tow); however, most recently it has been at large festivals where I felt their intricate and pulverising soundscape tends to be washed around in the open air and the "message" somewhat diluted. Here; however, it is perfectly captured, it's so impossibly loud and heavy that I can sit here listening, eyes shut, and feel like I am actually at that gig, the thrashing elaborate resonances crushing the bones in my chest with each chord's ferocity and energy.

I am not one for live albums, so it takes a really good live album to get me hooked (I tend to see them a filler between new albums), but I have listened to this one 6 times straight through all day long and it hasn't bored me once, gripping me, involving me and carrying me along through for its totality.

Tracks 22 & 23 are my favourite tracks ("March of the Fire Ants" and "Blood and Thunder") from their repertoire, but "Iron Tusk" and "Blasteroid" also make an appearance as well. In fact, the album is pretty much perfect in choices from their discography if you ask me. I'm pretty sure the DVD would also be a great watch if the energy, power and intricacies that permeate Mastodon's sound carry through onto the visual medium as well as they have in audio only.

So, If anything this album has reignited my love of this band and as far as live albums go this is one of the best, but overall, I'd say 7/10 – purely because I can't give this a massive score as it's not a new album, but if you needed somewhere to start with this immense band, you really could do no wrong getting this and working backwards.

Track Listing:

01. Dry Bone Valley
02. Black Tongue
03. Crystal Skull
04. I Am Ahab
05. Capillarian Crest
06. Colony of Birchmen
07. Megalodon
08. Thickening
09. Blasteroid
10. Sleeping Giant
11. Ghost of Karelia
12. All The Heavy Lifting
13. Spectrelight
14. Curl of the Burl
15. Bedazzled Fingernails
16. Circle of Cysquatch
17. Guitar Solo
18. Aqua Dementia
19. Crack The Skye
20. Where Strides The Behemoth
21. Iron Tusk
22. March of the Fire Ants
23. Blood and Thunder
24. Creature Lives

Run Time: 1:33:42
Release Date: December 18, 2013

Check out the song "Dry Bone Valley"

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