Mastodon : Live At The Aragon
Recorded in late 2009, Live At The Aragon is Mastodon's first official live CD/DVD release, and presents the band's powerful performance at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago while performing Crack The Skye in its entirety.
Mastodon aren't the sort of band that generally 'promote' themselves on stage with huge spotlights or allowing the camera operators to spend large amounts of time focusing on the members themselves (although there are plenty of shots of the band performing). No, Mastodon are all about sticking to the shadows and allowing the music to do the talking, and the huge projection screens at the back to give those attending something to feast their eyes on.
Admittedly, the band start off the show a little shaky on the vocal front with the opening track Oblivion, but it certainly doesn't derail proceedings with the band's musical performance standing out as nothing short of stunning throughout.
For the next hour, the band perform Crack The Skye in chronological order, without missing a beat, with songs such as the multi-chaptered The Czar, the huge riff-fest Quintessence and the energetic epic The Last Baron given a whole new lease of life when played live.
Of course, Mastodon also offer up some gems of the past for old-school fans, with favourites such as Circle Of Cysquatch, Aqua Dementia, Where Strides The Behemoth, Mother Puncher and a cover of the Melvins' The Bit to finish the show up with.
As an added bonus, the DVD also comes with the 51 minute Crack The Skye: The Movie, which features the entire visual being played behind the band during the show.
Overall, despite some rough patches on the vocal front at times, and a general lack of theatrics from the band, Live At The Aragon is a testament to the brilliance of Crack The Skye, and an absolutely worthy addition to any Mastodon fan's collection.
Best Track: The Last Baron
If You Like These, You'll Like This: The Way Of All Flesh GOJIRA, Blue Record BARONESS
In A Word: Powerful