It's hard to believe that this long-running progressive metal band has never put out a full-length concert film until now. This first-ever DVD + CD live experience package will make many of the Mastodon faithful very happy, especially fans who just jumped on board in 2009 when the Crack the Skye album came out. Live at the Aragon opens with a performance of Crack the Skye in its entirety and the band, augmented by a keyboard player, is in excellent form as they run through what must be difficult pieces to play live like "Quintessence" and the four-part "The Czar." Their ability to straddle the line between hypnotic stoner rock and quirky King Crimson-like play while infusing everything with the power of metal is what makes Mastodon special and if there is a flaw anywhere in this performance it is very well hidden. After the Crack the Skye portion ends with "The Last Baron" the band plays a few favorites: "Circle of Cysquatch" from Blood Mountain, "Aqua Dementia" from Leviathan and "Where Strides the Behemoth" and "Mother Puncher" from their days with the Relapse label. The show ends with the Melvins number "The Bit" and only then is a word spoken, a brief thank you. The fact that the band concentrates on musicianship instead of histrionics and between-song patter pays off as Live at the Aragon is aurally and visually riveting from beginning to end. Crack the Skye fans will be further elated by the DVD's bonus feature where the studio version of the album plays in synchronization to films specially-created for each song. Undoubtedly there are Mastodon fans that would rather see a live package containing lots of old material but realistically the guys can do that anytime; the experience committed to film here will never happen again.
Mastodon - Live at the Aragon
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