Remission (Mastodon album)

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Remission
Studio album by Mastodon
Released May 28, 2002
Recorded 2002
Genre Sludge metal, progressive metal
Length 50:17
Label Relapse
Producer Matt Bayles, Mastodon
Mastodon chronology
Lifesblood
(2001)
Remission
(2002)
Leviathan
(2004)
Singles from Remission
  1. "March of the Fire Ants"
    Released: October 21, 2003

Remission is the debut album by American metal band Mastodon. It was released on May 28, 2002 through Relapse Records and was re-released on October 21, 2003.

Production[edit]

Most of the songs were written long before the album was recorded. "Workhorse" was premiered live in Memphis in July 2001. "Trampled Under Hoof", "Trilobite", "Where Strides The Behemoth", "Crusher Destroyer" and "Mother Puncher" were all played on a WMFU radio show on August 7, 2001, and "Trainwreck" was written while Eric Saner was still in the band.

At the beginning of "Crusher Destroyer" is the roar of the Tyrannosaurus rex from the film Jurassic Park with Lex screaming her brother's name, "Timmy!", as they get attacked in the car.

Theme and cover art[edit]

Troy Sanders has said that the album is loosely based on the theme of fire.[1] However, Remission was Mastodon's only album not considered a concept album until 2011's "The Hunter".

In an interview with online magazine Lollipop in 2004, Dailor explained how Remission was an album that helped him cope with his sister's death:

"My sister committed suicide when I was 15 (she was 14)...I was never able to put that stuff anywhere. All that pain I was carrying inside. The pain of losing her had always been there. With Today Is The Day, there was a lot of anger involved. After that, I didn't want to be angry. When I start playing in Mastodon and moved to Atlanta, there was a big personal healing. Mastodon had a lot to do with that. That's one of the main reasons that the album is titled Remission. Remission means forgiveness and healing. Mastodon helped me do that: Forgive a lot of things that happened in my life."[2]

Re-release[edit]

The album was re-released on October 21, 2003, coinciding with a music video for "March of the Fire Ants". It had significant airplay on both Uranium and Headbangers Ball and featured dark elements such as a man being dug up and placed in a throne.

A deluxe edition of the album, folded in digipak, contained a bonus DVD with a professionally filmed nine song live set recorded at The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 1, 2002, along with previously unreleased material. Another additional feature is a covered song, "Emerald", by Thin Lizzy, which appears as a bonus track on the CD.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media 9.0/10[4]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[5]
Stylus Magazine A[6]

Remission received overwhelmingly positive reception. Allmusic's Brian O'Neill noted the album's "technical ecstasy" with "a complex slant that nears prog rock proportions". He also compared the "Southern-sounding" jazzy drumming and clean guitars of "Ol'e Nessie" to the Allmans.

Bryan Haywood of Pitchfork Media praised the album's production and drummer Brann Dailor as the stand-out musician. "They drop in just enough [mathematics] to keep the arrangements flavorful, but not so much as to overload the vintage guitar riffs with Dream Theater-like complexity. And then they counterbalance it with some nice, old-fashioned, Sabbath-style metal attitude." Haywood commented, "The complete package sounds timeless, but in that unbelievable way that you've never heard before."

Song appearances[edit]

"Crusher Destroyer" was featured in the 2003 video game Tony Hawk's Underground. In 2002, "March of the Fire Ants" was included on a 7" split album with High on Fire's "Hung, Drawn and Quartered." After the Remission re-release, it was featured on the Contaminated 5.0, MTV2 Headbangers Ball, and Take Action!, Vol. 4 compilations. "Where Strides the Behemoth" was included on Contaminated 6.0 and From the Shadows - Metal for the Modern Era.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mastodon

No. Title Length
1. "Crusher Destroyer"   2:00
2. "March of the Fire Ants"   4:25
3. "Where Strides the Behemoth"   2:55
4. "Workhorse"   3:45
5. "Ol'e Nessie"   6:04
6. "Burning Man"   2:46
7. "Trainwreck"   7:04
8. "Trampled Under Hoof"   3:00
9. "Trilobite"   6:29
10. "Mother Puncher"   3:48
11. "Elephant Man"   8:01
Total length:
50:17
Deluxe Edition DVD track list
No. Title Length
1. "Ol'e Nessie" (Live)  
2. "March of the Fire Ants" (Live)  
3. "Hail to Fire" (Live)  
4. "Where Strides the Behemoth" (Live)  
5. "Battle at Sea" (Live)  
6. "Mother Puncher" (Live)  
7. "Burning Man" (Live)  
8. "Workhorse" (Live)  
9. "Crusher Destroyer" (Live)  

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]