Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Never Realized How Much a Mastodon Resembles a Wooly Mammoth

So what's the big metal news of late? Oh yeah, Mastodon's new album dropped yesterday. I don't feel like typing up a review so I will give you a quick rundown. It's awesome. It is much less metal, and way more prog than they have ever been. The vocals are all clean and there are organy style keyboards. If you are one of those folks who want Remission Part 2, well sorry. If you like the song off Leviathan called Hearts Alive (my personal favorite Mastodon track) then you will love it. Big, epic, prog-rock with metal flourishes. But it still sounds distinctly like Mastodon.

While listening to it today I noticed something. There are multiple songs where they have parts that sound almost identical to other songs by other bands. I am not accusing them of plagarism, but there are a good number of ripped off parts. I think most of these were accidental or subliminal, but many devotees of heavy music will catch them.

1. In song 3, Quintessence, there is a vocal melody that is exactly like a song from an old Baltimore post-punk band called Onespot Fringehead. This vocal melody is very unique, so to hear the same note progression really made me take notice. The chance that this was intentional is probably zero, as maybe 100 people can still remember old songs by Onespot Fringehead.

2. In song 4, The Czar, there are background vocals that go "Ahhhhhhh.......Ahhhhhhhh". The tone and duration sound identical to some vocals off a song on the Rated R album by Queens of the Stone Age.

3. Song 5, Ghost of Karelia, has two dopplegangers. The first is a guitar part that is almost identical to a Tool song of off Lateralus (I think- it could be another album). Anyhow, if you like Tool you will notice this. The second is a vocal melody that comes straight from a song by dancey, punk band Death From Above 1978. Again, probably way coincidental.

4. Song 6, Crack the Skye, has some splaining to do. The verses are exactly like the verses of a Neurosis song off their Times of Grace album. This one can't be overlooked. The Mastodon boys are devoted Neurosis fans (I mean, really, who isn't?) and I have heard them espouse their love for this record on TV. They might as well fess up. Neurosis won't mind and will probably be flattered, as I think they are friends.

Anyhow, I'm not pointing this out to disgrace Mastodon or to disparage their new record. I love it, I think it is rad as shit. I just have never heard anything on a Mastodon record in the past that I had heard before from other bands and it threw me for a loop.

Am I nuts or has anyone else noticed these similarities?

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