MASTODON certainly awakened the slumbering heavy music scene on ''Remission.'' ''Remission'' bridged the soulful and technical as herculean yet incisive songwriting effortlessly fused with an expansive and emotive tenor. Creative, distinct, graceful and strong, MASTODON''s ''Remission'' features the traits of a benchmark release, a standard to which others will be held and ultimately measured. Rarely is rock so pure and hard-hitting.
Songs such as the galloping "March of the Fire Ants," the beautiful "Ol''e Nessie," "Mother Puncher''s" labyrinthine guitar workout, and the punishing "Workhorse" are nothing short of insta-classics, and the album''s remaining seven tracks are not far behind.
The quartet dug into their roadwork hard upon the release of Remission. First a two-month North American tour supporting HIGH ON FIRE, followed by strings of dates supporting HATEBREED, CLUTCH, and FIVE POINTE O. The quartet finished out a busy 2002 with a Japanese Tour with HIGH ON FIRE and a quick Eastern U.S. run supporting The DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN.
MASTODON kicked off 2003 with a much talked about appearance at the Relapse Contamination Festival and their first European Tour with HIGH ON FIRE. The band then embarked on its first headlining U.S. Tour, anchoring the Relapse North American Contamination tour with labelmates CEPHALIC CARNAGE, UPHILL BATTLE, and DYSRHYTHMIA. MASTODON immediately followed up the Contamination Tour with two European headlining tours in the Spring/Summer of 2003, including a plethora of Icelandic headlining dates. In September, 2003, MASTODON criss-crossed the U.S. with hard rockers CLUTCH, further reinforcing the power and beauty of their revered live show.
MASTODON carved its own path, and ''Remission'' established the band as one of catalysts aiming to change the face of heavy music for the better. ''Remission'' sent shockwaves across the hard rock community as critics and fans alike praised the album''s diversity and strength. MASTODON graced the pages of nearly every noteworthy music tome worldwide as well as regional newspapers North America over including New York''s Village Voice, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, St. Louis Riverfront Times, Orlando Weekly, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Austin Chronicle and dozens more.
In the Fall of 2003, MASTODON was selected to appear amongst heavy music''s biggest names as they were invited to be a part of the MTV2 "Headbangers Ball" 2xCD compilation. MASTODON''s "March of the Fire Ants" appeared alongside hard music giants SLAYER, DEFTONES, and HATEBREED, as well as fellow fast-rising artists KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SHADOWS FALL, POISON THE WELL and ARCH ENEMY. The Headbangers Ball album went on to sell upwards of 150,000 units, exposing the band to legions of new devotees.
In November, 2003 MASTODON filmed its first music video.The video catapulted MASTODON into the living rooms of countless metal fans and remained in steady rotation at both MTV2 and Fuse''s "Uranium" program well into 2004. On the heels of the video''s success, MASTODON was invited to appear in-studio as co-hosts of "Headbangers Ball," and did so alongside host Jamey Jasta, on Valentine''s Day, 2004.
The accolades continued as MASTODON was named one of ALTERNATIVE PRESS Magazine''s "Bands You Need to Know in 2004" and one of Metal Hammer''s "50 Bands You Must Hear" for 2004 (alongside THE BRONX, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, MATCHBOOK ROMANCE and VELVET REVOLVER (ex-GUNS N'' ROSES). In February, 2004, MASTODON was named one of the "25 Most Important Bands in Metal" by AP and as one of the "25 Greatest Live Bands Ever" by Revolver Magazine. The Revolver list also included such rock giants as KISS, NIRVANA, LED ZEPPELIN, AC/DC and SLAYER.
MASTODON teamed up with CLUTCH for a successful three-week stint in February and immediately following, made select west coast headlining appearances on their way to Seattle, where they entered both Robert Lang Studios (NIRVANA, PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, FOO FIGHTERS) and Litho Studios (DEFTONES, SOUNDGARDEN, BOTCH) with producer Matt Bayles to record material for their second album ''Leviathan.
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