Saturday, May 27, 2017
Close  
entertainment / Columns
  • share this
MusicMatters

Single Review: “Andromeda” by Mastodon

/ 12:00 AM March 21, 2017
Mastodon photo by Mick Hutson

Mastodon photo by Mick Hutson

“The Vikings of Metal” is what I like to dub the Atlanta-based Heavy Metal band Mastodon… and for the record, I will be the very first one ever to label Mastodon with that moniker. It is a deserving title because these guys do physically resemble the part and they are quite imposing musicians to boot who look like they could have wielded–in a different life–a battle axe taking down invaders pillaging their village. 

Mastodon is largely responsible for helping bring back Heavy Metal music to the forefront and to more mainstream acceptability beginning in the mid-2000’s. From that point on, they have continued to perform, release records, and represent the genre with everything they got to offer.

When it comes to Mastodon, especially if you are very familiar with the genre they represent, it is a “no-brainer” why they have built a sizable and loyal following in the Metal scene and beyond.

ADVERTISEMENT

Simply stated, Mastodon has become for some time now one of the crowning jewels of the Metal genre. Heavy Metal continues to steadily flourish and survive precisely because of the presence of bands like Mastodon among their ranks.

***

What is the production value of “Andromeda” by Mastodon?

From the very short but reverberating guitar intro effectively setting the tone of “Andromeda” to the rapid-fire drum work and the screeching of the guitar signaling the rest of the band to join in, the members of Mastodon in this single will blast your ears with the sounds of impending doom. In my mind’s eye, I can only describe what I hear to be that of battalions of soldiers marching to a battle not knowing if there will even be a tomorrow for them.

The grandiosity of this track is so befitting its title.

The choice of words and lyrical arrangement of “Andromeda” remind me so much of classic Iron Maiden. The well-thought out lyrics of this said song are at par with some of the greatest tracks coming from the lengthy catalog of Iron Maiden.

On another note, I know that in the past there had been some sound issues regarding the final product of the previous two albums released by Mastodon. To be very clear about it, though, that was no fault of the band because it is the responsibility of the producer and sound engineers to ensure that the tracks come out the way they should.

By the way, some of the older tracks which happened to be also singles of Mastodon had a “blanketed sound” meaning that the supposed strong points of the song, performance-wise, from the members of the band could not be heard properly without increasing the volume of certain sections of the song.

ADVERTISEMENT

Of course, as a fan, a music aficionado, or anyone who digs and supports Metal music… you would want to hear those blistering guitar solos, the strong vocal work, the pounding of the drums, and so on. In “Andromeda”, that particular concern of their longtime fans of possibly hearing again another “blanketed sound” in their songs has been properly addressed and can no longer be found here.

The single “Andromeda” is taken from Mastodon’s seventh studio release ‘Emperor of Sand.’

Mastodon's album cover of 'Emperor of Sand' by Reprise records

Mastodon’s album cover of ‘Emperor of Sand’ by Reprise records

***

What is the overall meaning of “Andromeda” by Mastodon?

Naturally, a song’s meaning becomes also subjective to the listener. For me, the song “Andromeda” rallies all to bring the fight even to the worst kind of people, to storm the enemy gates and conquer them by putting a stop to their evil ways.

“Andromeda” is a battle anthem of the best kind. It can also be categorized as a war song especially for the police, soldiers, marines, navy seals, and all those who are at the forefront of keeping peace, protecting the innocent and preventing the proliferation of extremists, war mongers, psychopaths, killers and criminals from further infiltrating and taking over the remaining relatively peaceful cities across different countries, the Philippines included.

“Andromeda” by Mastodon brings an unbridled and unwavering ferocity in mainstream metal that pleases both their original core group of fans when Mastodon was still a favorite new underground Metal act years ago and to newer listeners and younger Metalheads who want to hear the kind of songs that will, over time, grow on them.

If you are brand new to the music of Mastodon, this single is a good starting point to get introduced to them. I highly recommend it for you.

Thumbs Up!

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS:
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.




© Copyright 1997-2016 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved