Live Review

Mastodon, Corporation, Sheffield

With most groups this sort of attitude would earn them disdain. Mastodon however, are adored.

After decent support slots from two piece rock group Winnebago Deal and retro metallers Valiant Thor there’s a huge air of anticipation in the main room of Corporation, the sold out venue awaiting Atlantan four piece Mastodon. Arriving on stage to a massive cheer from the crowd the large video screen behind them kicks into action, showing surreal imagery tied in visually to the artwork from their recent effort Crack The Skye.

Without a word to the crowd and supplemented by a fifth member on keyboards, Mastodon launch straight into ‘Oblivion’. With a crunching riff, incredible intricacies and huge chorus it’s the perfect opener for any set and the crowd are in fine voice. When, with barely a pause, the band go straight from this into ‘Divinations’ it’s apparent that for the next forty five minutes we’ll be treated to the masterpiece that is their latest record in full. The visuals fluctuate behind the group providing great atmosphere in replacement of a light show. Proof, if it were further needed that it’s not just music at which Mastodon are excelling.

It’s not often that we’d advocate songs the length of the eleven minute ‘The Czar’ and thirteen minute closer ‘The Last Baron’ being included into a live set, but here they are highlights; particularly the latter where the hard rock riff that thunders into view a third of the way through sends the pit into a frenzy. Had the band left the venue now nobody would be going home disappointed, and still the crowd hasn’t been acknowledged by the band. With most groups this sort of attitude would earn them nothing but disdain. Mastodon however, are adored.

After a few minutes the screen starts up again, this time showing the artwork from 2006’s Blood Mountain. Mastodon return to the stage as a four piece and embark on an hour long set of the best bits of their previous three records. ‘Seabeast’ gets probably the loudest cheer of the night and is by far the heaviest of the songs that get an airing, while ‘Colony of Birchmen’ sounds tremendous, building the crowd up before kicking its collective ass.

By the time they’re finished the entire venue is tired, and after nearly two hours of playing we’re damn sure the band are too. It’s a triumphant night and perfectly demonstrative of how Mastodon have evolved from simply being the most forward thinking and creative metal band in the world to, with ‘Crack The Skye’, staking their claim to being one of the best and most creative bands in the world.

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