Leviathan (album)

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Studio album by Mastodon
Released August 31, 2004
Recorded 2004 at Robert Lang Studios, Studio Litho, and the Electrokitty Sound Studio, Seattle, Washington
Genre Sludge metal, progressive metal
Length 46:43
Label Relapse
Producer Mastodon, Matt Bayles
Mastodon chronology
Call of the Mastodon
(2006)Call of the Mastodon2006
Special edition/Vinyl cover
Special edition/Vinyl cover
Singles from Leviathan
  1. "Iron Tusk"
    Released: August 2004[1]
  2. "Blood and Thunder"
    Released: 2005[2]
  3. "I Am Ahab"
    Released: 2005
  4. "Seabeast"
    Released: May 18, 2006

Leviathan is the second album by American heavy metal band Mastodon, released in 2004 on Relapse Records. It is Mastodon's first concept album, loosely based on the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. The songs "Iron Tusk", "Blood and Thunder", "I Am Ahab" and "Seabeast" were released as singles. Three magazines awarded the album Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer. In 2009 and 2015 MetalSucks named Leviathan the best metal album of the 21st century.

Leviathan was also released with an audio DVD of DVD-Video format in a limited edition set with a black and gold slipcase. The album brought Mastodon widespread critical acclaim and together with the ensuing tour greatly extended their fan base. It sold 103,000 copies by September, 2006.[citation needed] Guitarist Bill Kelliher considers this album a representation of the water element, in keeping with the elemental tetralogy of the band's first four albums.[3]


The "Tour Edition" CD-ROM was released in 2005 which in addition to the main album contained the videos for "Iron Tusk" and "Blood and Thunder". The Tour Edition is presented in a slipcase which shows the complete cover artwork, rather than the detail of the whale shown on the standard edition. This is also the cover for the vinyl edition. A video for "Seabeast" was completed in 2006.[4]


Cover art and booklet artwork was done by Paul Romano.[5] The white tower seen in the artwork on the inside cover of the booklet is a revamped version of Martin Heemskerck's 16th century interpretation of the Pharos of Alexandria.[citation needed] The wave seen in the full picture of the artwork is a reflection of Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa.


The vinyl edition of Leviathan has a slightly different track listing. The songs "I Am Ahab" and "Ísland" are taken out of their respective place and replaced as tracks 7 and 8.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[6]
Blender 4/5 stars[7]
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles 9.0/10[8]
Drowned In Sound 9/10[9]
Exclaim! favorable[10]
Pitchfork Media 8.5/10[11]
Terrorizer 9/10[12]

Placing Mastodon "among the elite of bands" on the strength of Leviathan, Avi Pitchon wrote in Terrorizer that the album "rampages through in a shining epic flow, the 'crazy' parts never separate from the classic metal parts".[12] Online music magazine Pitchfork Media placed Leviathan at number 126 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.[13] In 2009, MetalSucks compiled a list of the "21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century So Far" based on the opinions of various musicians, managers, publicists, label representatives and writers, where Leviathan was placed at number one on the list.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mastodon.

No. Title Length
1. "Blood and Thunder" (featuring Neil Fallon) 3:48
2. "I Am Ahab" 2:45
3. "Seabeast" 4:15
4. "Ísland" 3:26
5. "Iron Tusk" 3:03
6. "Megalodon" 4:22
7. "Naked Burn" 3:42
8. "Aqua Dementia" (featuring Scott Kelly) 4:10
9. "Hearts Alive" 13:39
10. "Joseph Merrick" 3:33
Total length: 46:43
Mastodon box set vinyl bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
11. "The Bit" (Melvins cover) Osborne, Crover 8:29
12. "Emerald" (Thin Lizzy cover) Gorham, Downey, Robertson, Lynott 3:52
13. "Orion" (Metallica cover) Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 8:25
No. Title Length
1. "Naked Burn" (5.1 Surround Sound) 3:42
2. "Aqua Dementia" (5.1 Surround Sound) 4:10
3. "Hearts Alive" (5.1 Surround Sound) 13:39
4. "Where Strides the Behemoth" (Live) 3:17
5. "Battle at Sea" (Live) 4:11
6. "Thank You for This / We Built This Come Death" (Live) 4:01
7. "Crusher Destroyer" (Live) 2:06
Total length: 35:06

Songs in video game soundtracks and movies[edit]

"Blood and Thunder" was featured in Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Saints Row, Rocksmith 2014, Project Gotham Racing 3, Splatterhouse and Guitar Hero Metallica in addition to the film The Big Short. The song was available as downloadable content for Rock Band and features an optional Pro Guitar upgrade for Rock Band 3.

"Iron Tusk" was featured in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland and NHL 2K9.

The song "Island" was featured in a brief scene in Monsters University.[15]



Guest musicians[edit]

Other credits[edit]

  • Matthew F. Jacobson – executive producer
  • Alan Douches – mastering
  • Paul A. Romano – artwork, design


  1. ^ "Mastodon Iron Tusk (Single)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mastodon Blood & Thunder (Single)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "MASTODON (TROY SANDERS/BILL KELIHER) INTERVIEW". Terrorverlag GbR Musik Magazine. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2007. 
  4. ^ MASTODON COMPLETE WORK ON NEW MUSIC VIDEO - News from Relapse Records / Release Entertainment
  5. ^ "Mastodon - Leviathan Standard Ed. CD". Workhardened.com. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  6. ^ Kergan, Wade. "Leviathan – Mastodon". allmusic. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.blender.com/guide/reviews.aspx?id=3188 Archived October 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Popoff, Martin. Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles http://bravewords.com/reviews/mastodon-leviathan. Retrieved 5 January 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Hocking, Mat (2004-11-19). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  10. ^ Ayers, Chris (October 2004). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Exclaim!. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Isaiah, Violante (16 December 2004). "Mastodon: Leviathan". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Pitchon, Avi (September 2004). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Terrorizer (123): 54. 
  13. ^ Pitchfork staff (September 28, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  14. ^ Neilstein, Vince (2009-07-07). "The Real #1: Mastodon - Leviathan". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  15. ^ PR Newswire http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/disney-pixars-monsters-university-hits-campus-with-music-from-randy-newman-and-axwell--sebastian-ingrosso-of-swedish-house-mafia-208499161.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)