As we stated in last month's 'Ten Years On' piece, 2004 proved to be a pivotal year for album releases. Bands big at the time were churning out huge releases, and a newer breed of Metal bands were starting to surface with far more emphasis into the consciousness of the masses. Enter Mastodon. 2002's Remission was their announcement into the ring, 2004's Leviathan was the deadly uppercut to a scene needing a new, fresh avenue. The album, released ten years ago this month was the first in a series of concept albums written by the band with this one loosely based around one of the classic novels of all time, Moby Dick - a concept born out of the mind of the unbelievable Brann Dailor. With it being a concept album, listening to it in its entirety certainly makes for the best experience, as you genuinely become committed to the journey being undertaken in the lyrics. But that doesn't at all stop any of the tunes being stand out pieces all on their own. The lead singles from the album Blood And Thunder and Iron Tusk are still staples on most live sets.

As an album opener as well, what a statement Blood And Thunder is. If you look across Mastodon's discography, there probably isn't a more decisive, impactful first track. Many fans go back to this album when looking to the wrap their ears around some of the heavier and more savage tracks in comparison to the far more adventurous side we see today - but even then back in 2004 the seeds were being sown (Hearts Alive). The riffs were more brutal and harsh back then, but it didn't make them any less intricate, as the dual guitars from Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher lurched you in to one exciting direction after another. As far as the reception at the time is concerned, it was as strong then as you'd hear now. The critical acclaim and strong heightened interest in the band seen them touring on bills worldwide with the likes of Slipknot and Slayer and beginning to cement their reputation as one of the best live bands around.

So where are Mastodon now? Silly question, they've just released yet another masterpiece in Once More 'Round The Sun. If you listen to the two together, what a difference ten years makes! But the reason why both the newest release and Leviathan are such brilliant albums is the fact that the Atlanta four-piece have never been afraid to push boundaries - they've never really catered to anyone, instead writing an album which is right for them at the time. This was the case in 2004 and it is still the case in 2014. As far as the impact Leviathan is having now on the Metal scene, Mastodon fall into that category of highly influential bands who emerged in the early 2000's so that pretty much answers that one.

Overall then ten years ago this month we were treated to one of the best albums of the modern age in Metal. It is still such an important component to the scene and Mastodon's career - one of many masterpieces produced by them in recent years.