Mastodon might seem an unlikely act to be sitting atop the metal heap, what with their arty leanings and un-metal concept-album approach. Then again, their brutal reassemblage of the best moments of the discographies of Neurosis, Melvins, and assorted stoner/sludge-rockers amounts to a realignment of what is considered good metal after the doldrums of late-'90s/early-'00s nü-metal. Like Vikings hitting virgin shores, the bearded burly-men of Mastodon have been rampaging through the world of metal, taking the aggression of more underground acts and polishing it to a sheen in a way that endears them to year-end lists — as well as the car stereos of heshers worldwide. The result is a band who can rock international stadiums without having to wear stupid top hats or dress like clowns —thus earning the gratitude of serious metalheads everywhere for elevating the genre to within a fraction of respectability.
2. High on Fire
3. Sunn O)))