There is a lot to enjoy about Remission; from Brann Dailor’s especially fast and complex drumming, to Bill and Brent’s sludgy one minute, extreme the next guitar styles.
There are only two downsides on Remission, the first is that it is very brash, and on the faster songs the production and near constant snare drum rolls can become uncomfortable to the listener. The second is that the vocals are muddier, vaguer and lower in the mix than you may expect, a problem which Mastodon reversed on all their subsequent albums.
These minor flaws should not be too distracting, and won’t really compromise your enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic album.
It would be easy to argue that Remission is Mastodon’s heaviest album, and their least progressive, the majority of the material is very direct and harsh. ‘Trampled Underhoof,’ and ‘Workhorse,’ would fit perfectly in any extreme metal collection while still retaining the trademark Mastodon sound.
‘Ole Nessie,’ and excellent closer ‘Elephant Man,’ are cleaner and provide some diversity, while still displaying the same inspired song writing and virtuosic musicianship that makes the album such a rewarding listen.
Songs like ‘Trilobite,’ and ‘Trainwreck,’ mix the two styles successfully and are perfect examples of what Mastodon do well. Slow hypnotic arpeggios in unusual tuning giving way to heavy Neurosis inspired choruses, with many interesting stops along the way.
Every fan of Mastodon should check out Remission, especially those from a more Metal than Prog background.