Fan Poll: Top 5 Mastodon Albums Ranked, From Worst to Best | Revolver

Fan Poll: Top 5 Mastodon Albums Ranked, From Worst to Best

Revolver readers voted for LPs across the band's career
mastodon HUBBARD crack the skye brent lift, Jimmy Hubbard
photograph by Jimmy Hubbard

Unlike many bands who've been around as long as them, Mastodon fans don't just care about the old shit. The Atlanta prog-metal behemoths — guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, bassist Troy Sanders and drummer Brann Dailor — have seven full-lengths to their name that have almost all charted higher than the last, and since they've never been a band who rehashes the same stagant sounds twice, each new record brings fresh ears into their thrilling world.

With that in mind, we asked our readers to choose their favorite album in the band's catalog. Every single record they've ever released earned a strong number of votes, but these were the ones that made the top five, ranked accordingly.

5. Remission

Mastodon's 2002 debut, Remission, is by far their heaviest — a shotgun blast of mangled sludge, Converge-adjacent hardcore fuckery and thrash riffs that rip apart at the seams before monotony is even conceivable. The band would go on to transcend metal's ugly trenches and use their technical gifts in other ways with future albums, but on these songs they're fully using them for sonic warfare.

4. Emperor of Sand

Throughout their run of albums in the 2010s, Mastodon traded much of the heaviness of their early years for refined hard-rock choruses and significantly more melodic riffing. 2011's The Hunter and 2014's Once More 'Round the Sun are controversial records to some fans for that very reason, but 2017's Emperor of Sand had enough songwriting diversity — undeniable hooks and whipping prog-metal thrust — to unite new and old fans alike.

3. Blood Mountain

If their first two albums weren't impressive enough as is, Blood Mountain made them household names. Mastodon's 2006 LP and major label debut dialed back the gruff vocal barks and riotous energy to explore more epic, sprawling arrangements that breathed new life into their sound on songs like "Sleeping Giant" and "This Mortal Soil" — while still letting rip on tracks like "The Wolf Is Loose."

2. Leviathan

These last two were a toss-up — for many Mastodon fans, it depends on the day. You either want the atmospheric grandeur of Crack the Skye, or the crackling "Blood and Thunder" of 2004's Leviathan, their masterful sophomore album that tells the tale of Moby-Dick through explosive prog-sludge with rampaging aggression and jaw-dropping virtuosity.

1. Crack the Skye

Crack the Skye earns its title. Mastodon's 2009 opus — to many fans, their magnum — marked a rare feat that most bands never achieve, which was piercing through the tall ceiling of their previous material and reaching a higher plane of creative achievement. Directly influenced by bands like King Crimson and Pink Floyd, Crack the Skye saw the band embrace the psychedelic side of prog and craft one of the most sonically nuanced, melodically tasteful and technically impressive metal records of the 21st century.