Ranking the Mastodon Albums


Parker Traman

In the current world of progressive metal, one band sticks out as one of the most accessible and unique forerunners in the genre: Mastodon. Consisting of four members (three of whom handle vocal duties) who weave elements of sludge, death metal, classic rock, and stoner rock together into a cacophony of groovy tracks that remain as catchy as always, Mastodon has an extensive discography, with varying levels of quality. So join me, master of critique, as I rank those albums.


#8:) Hushed and Grim (2021):

Unfortunately, the band’s most recent album stands as their weakest. For me, this double album is bloated, and quite frankly, boring. The songs sound exactly the same, and very little variety sits in between the lines. I don’t hate this album, but when a band like Mastodon makes an album this forgettable, it’s got to be at the bottom.

#7:) The Hunter (2011):

A consistently low ranked album among the community, The Hunter sees the band go in a more radio-friendly direction, with some odd pop elements. The first half is a drag, but luckily the second half has some classic Mastodon-style tunes. It’s not as forgettable as their most recent endeavor, but The Hunter fails to capture the listener in any meaningful way. Also, “Creature Lives” has to be the single worst Mastodon song, by the way, I do not like that song.

#6:) Leviathan (2004):

People need to prepare their pitchforks. Commonly cited as the band’s masterpiece, their album (which is an ode to the classic novel, Moby Dick) from 2004 is uhm…good! I don’t think it’s great at all, as the band didn’t truly figure their sound out until after this album. Many will disagree with me, but that’s okay. Again, it’s good, but also overrated, they did better as they went along.

#5:) Emperor of Sand (2017):

In a way, this album should be dead last for one reason: it sounds exactly like its predecessor, Once More ‘Round the Sun, in almost every way. Even the themes of the album are the exact same, which the band admitted themselves. But, I must admit, it’s a decent little album. Sure, it’s just scraps from that aforementioned predecessor, but that doesn’t mean the songs are bad. “Precious Stones” is a bop, and “Jaguar God” is a dang good closer.

#4:) Remission (2002):

Easily the most underappreciated Mastodon album, the band’s debut is definitely their only actual metal album. For most people, this isn’t their cup of tea, but as a man who enjoys extreme styles of music, this album is right up my alley. Similar to Hushed and Grim, however, the songs are very samey, but here, most of the songs are just bangers. Along with that, the two best songs here, “Ol’e Nessie” and “Elephant Man”, are more atmospheric and stripped down, similar to Mastodon’s later works.

#3:) Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014):

I don’t get the hate for this album, I really don’t. It was going to be hard for the band to go lower after The Hunter, and here, the band turns everything decent that album did, and makes it so much better. Featuring the band’s best melodies and choruses, Once More ‘Round the Sun is just a high octane joyride. I must also admit that I have a soft spot for this album, since it was the first album I heard from them. “Tread Lightly” and “The Motherload” are also god tier tracks.

#2:) Crack the Skye (2009):

Although it’s at number two, Crack the Skye is the band’s masterpiece. The lyrics, the layered nature of the sound, and the overall vibe of the record is a progressive metal cornerstone. “Oblivion” is the best Mastodon song, and the title track might be the most emotional the band’s ever made. Now why is it at two? Well, that’s simply because number one is just…better.

#1:) Blood Mountain (2006):

Oh come on, it’s Blood Mountain, the most diverse, fun, and insane album the band’s ever made. Is every song here a bop and a half? No. But the majority are. It has everything you need: heavy Mastodon, progressive Mastodon, emotional Mastodon, and atmospheric Mastodon. It’s the perfect Mastodon album. Eat Arby’s.