There are certain title tracks that not only summarize the album but also set a tone. For instance, with Neurosis and the title track to their highly influential and amazing album, Through Silver In Blood, the moment the first beat hits, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. The layers of sludgey distorted guitars, the pummeling drums, bombastic bass, vocals the create a sense of urgency and summon the depths of the underworld, soundscapes that strike bits of fear and chills in your body along with the sheer magnitude of volume being emitted, it’s no wonder that Neurosis and this album set a blueprint for the post metal movement. Clocking in at a little over 12 minutes, “Through Silver In Blood” is one of those songs that not only is epic by nature it takes on a whole other life of its own. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Neurosis perform this song live a few times and every one of those times, this song rattles the room and the audience becomes so hypnotized by it that, when you look around and see the waves of heads banging and swaying, it’s breathtaking. This title track is one of the best ever and this album is a masterpiece.
Neurosis is one of my all time favorite bands. They are truly innovative, inspirational and influential. If you’ve never really listened to them, I highly recommend you check out the albums Through Silver and Blood, Times of Grace and my personal favorite A Sun That Never Sets. Speaking of A Sun That Never Sets, I’d like to present a great music video for the closing song on that album “Stones From The Sky.” This video is just as epic as the song itself. This also just happens to be one of my favorite Neurosis songs of all time too. I’m not going to go on and on, just put this on and enjoy this great video and epic song!
Neurosis- Stones From The Sky (from A Sun That Never Sets):
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, Mastodon are the best band to come out since the turn of the century. Through their almost 20 year history, they have continuously made great music. Albums like, Crack The Skye, Leviathan, and Emperor Of Sand are monumental and essential albums as well as 3 of the best since 2000. The mighty Mastodon are true artists in every sense of the word and their songs and albums show that. So, with all that in mind, I worked up my Ultimate Set List for Mastodon.
Guideline 1: What line up of the band would it be
Guideline 2: Where would you want to see the show
Guideline 3: maximum 25 songs (In order of how the set should go)
Lineup: Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Troy Sanders, Bill Kelliher, and Scott Kelly
Venue: Troubadour- Los Angeles
1) Sultan’s Curse
2) March Of The Fire Ants
3) Iron Tusk
6) Chimes At Midnight
7) Ancient Kingdom
8) Colony Of Birchmen
9) Dry Bone Valley
11) Ember City
12) The Czar: Usurper/Escape/Martyr/Spiral
13) Roots Remain
14) Sleeping Giant
16) Crusher Destroyer
17) Jaguar God
18) Mother Puncher
19) The Last Baron
Encore (All With Scott Kelly of Neurosis):
20) Diamond In The Witch House
21) Aqua Dementia
22) Crystal Skull
24) Scorpion Breath
25) Crack The Skye
Mastodon are one of the best bands to come out in the last 15 years. They have always been a band that stuck to their guns and let the music speak for itself. They have managed to evolve as a band as organically as possible. When you have four members that all fit together to create something so deep and poignant, it leaves a lasting mark. On their new album Emperor Of Sand, Mastodon gets back to what they do best, making albums. Drawing from their personal struggles and family tragedies of cancer, Emperor Of Sand tells the tale of a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. This album is one of their deepest lyrically since Crack The Skye. So much so that, when you are listening to the album the story and words take you on a journey that is separate from the music. There is something truly remarkable about this album with its ability to give you two different ways to listen. One being just the music and the other with the lyrics and story.
Working with Brendan O’Brien again, who was in the producers chair for Crack The Skye, gets the band back on track. Songs like opener “Sultan’s Curse,” “Precious Stones,” “Roots Remain,” “Ancient Kingdom,” “Andromeda,” Scorpion Breath (featuring Scott Kelly of Neurosis on guest vocals) and closer “Jaguar God,” all have the Mastodon DNA ingrained in them. Other songs like “Steambreather,” Word To The Wise,” and Clandestiny,” see the band stepping out of their comfort zone a bit more and experimenting with different melodies and tones. The one odd ball song on the album “Show Yourself” is the biggest departure Mastodon has ever done. The lyrics and theme of the song really fit with the album, but musically it’s a sharp left turn.
All in all, Mastodon, has really dug deep and returned with a fantastic album. They are masters at what they do and it shows. They are truly making complete albums, something that a lot of bands seem to be forgetting about. After listening through the album a few times, I’ve determined that it’s sonically similar to Crack The Skye with a bit of Once More Round The Sun, and a dash of Blood Mountain. Mastodon are one of the few bands since the turn of the century to really leave a lasting mark. Had they come out in the 90’s, I think they would have been one of the biggest bands of the era. Not only that but, I think they would have a Tool-esque following.
Scott Kelly of Neurosis has one of my favorite voices of all time. There is something beautifully haunting about his voice that resonates with what he sings. Scott’s version of this Joy Division classic is awesomely beautiful!
1. James Hetfield- Metallica
2. Jerry Cantrell- Alice In Chains
3. Clint Lowery- Sevendust
4. Stephen Brodsky- Cave In
5. Ken Andrews- Failure
6. Scott Kelly- Neurosis
7. Eric Clapton
8. John Fogerty- Creedence Clearwater Revival
9. Dave Grohl- Foo Fighters
10. Neil Young
11. Chris Cornell- Soundgarden
12. Kurt Cobain- Nirvana
13. Brian Molko- Placebo
14. Josh Homme- Queens Of The Stone Age
15. Jimi Hendrix
16: Jim Ward- Sparta
17. Lou Reed
18. Billy Corgan- Smashing Pumpkins
19. Matt Talbott- Hum
When creating an album, a lot of bands have a thought in their mind while writing that certain songs would sound great if they could get someone from one of their main influences to sing on that song. Mastodon has done that constantly. One of their big influences is Neurosis and they have managed to get Scott Kelly to sing on 5 of their albums and songs (Leviathan, Blood Mountain, Crack The Skye, The Hunter, Once More Round The Sun, and Emperor Of Sand. Scott’s vocals are very prominent in the mix and it fits so well with the music that the guys in Mastodon have created. It seems as though Scott is the unofficial fifth member of the band. Perhaps one day Scott will just do an entire album with Mastodon. Below are the songs in which they have collaborated on. Enjoy!!!
Aqua Dementia from Leviathan:
Crystal Skull from Blood Mountain:
Crack The Skye from Crack The Skye:
Spectrelight from The Hunter:
Diamond In The Witch House from Once More Round The Sun:
Joy Division has been one of the most underrated bands since their existence. Many bands have tried to duplicate their sound. They are also one of the hardest bands to cover. This version of Day Of The Lords by Neurosis (releases in 1990) takes the darkness and despair to a whole new level.
As the fog rolled in on a damp December night in Orange County, it only seemed fitting that the atmospheric pressure would drop as Neurosis came to town. The thunderous Neurosis came back to Southern California for the second time in 2013. This time they rode into Orange County with a mission to obliterate the audience with it’s signature apocalyptic heaviness. Earlier in the year the band decided to stop using any visual aspects in the background as they played, thus leaving 5 members on a dark lit stage. Their new setup really takes things into a different dimension. The songs invoke more use of the audiences imagination and taps into a different part of the psyche. Still riding high on the release of 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, Neurosis’s setlist for the night was one for the books. While playing a few from the newest album, the band tapped back into “A Sun That Never Sets” for the evening. (I’m quite partial to that album, especially “Stones From The Sky,” which closed out the set). Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till carry the beast of the band vocally into the dark sub conscious of the musics being. Their accompanying guitar work on the songs fit perfectly with how Jason Roeder and Dave Edwardson tap into the brooding rhythms, and Noah Landis adds the extra prowess with his ambient landscapes behind the band. The pure energy and emotion that pours throughout the band during their live show is quite a sight. Scott Kelly tends to draw blood during the set, showing that “All we are is blood.” At the end of the night there was no mistaking why Neurosis is one of the most influential bands of the last 20 years. Their mastery of their craft and art is undeniable and reigns true to themselves and the fans.
Before Neurosis took the stage, BL’AST got the audience into a fine frenzy. BL’AST recently reunited and came back with quite a vengeance. Coming off their reissued album “It’s In My Blood” (which was remixed by Dave Grohl), and armed with Nick Oliveri playing bass for the band live, BL’AST delivered a very hardcore set. Cliff Dinsmore despite being a tad out of breath at the end of their set, commanded the stage as though he never left. Armed with the signature AMPEG acrylic guitar Mike Neider chugged through the riffs with authority.
YOB was one of the openers for the night and laid down some heaviness to get things started. Even with their technical problems, the band churned out a well rehearsed set with a good amount of energy to help flow though the night. Also opening the night was Helen Money. Helen is a one person act with a cello that plays deconstruction music. Her sultry cello sounds mixed through distortion and delay radiated though the venue as people started walking in, providing a very diverse sound for the evening.