There must be a weird parallel universe where all bands have to be named in terms of the animal they most represent. If so, you can be sure that Mastodon hail from this very deranged world. They are heavy as a large prehistoric elephant, and probably just as hairy.
From the moment that opener 'The Wolf is Loose' kicks in with a kind of bastardised Hawaii 5-0 drum roll, you're on a rollercoaster ride of metal madness. Forget large hairy elephant, this is more of a snake. Just when you're comfortable with this slotting into one genre, the beast slides through your hands and turns into something else.
This is intensely technical, prog-esque metal in its riff and song structure, but with the energy and brutality of hardcore, washed down with a pinch of doom-like stonerism.
Mastodon genuinely manage to avoid easy categorisation, and Blood Mountain is a standout album in the sometimes rather stale world of metal. The album constantly challenges the listener with its technical precision and unrelenting heaviness - truly an aural feast