Mastodon

The Workhorse Chronicles DVD

Written by: MS on 23/04/2006 02:34:07

Finally Mastodon releases a DVD. It's entitled "The Workhorse Chronicles", and it's worth all your money. The DVD is devided into 3 parts. First, a documentary about the band, then live performances of all(!!!) their released songs from their 3 records; The EP "Lifesblood" from 2001 and the full-lengths "Remission" from 2002 and "Leviathan" from 2004. The third part is about the three music videos that the band have made.

The documentary describes how the band was formed in detail, what each member did before the band was formed, and what it's like to be on the road, and why Mastodon is such a successful band. Other than that, it's hilarious. Guitarist Brent Hinds is probably one of the funniest men alive, it's been long since I've laughed as hard as on "The Workhorse Chronicles". The first part of the documentary is about how Brent Hinds was in a band with Bassist Troy Sanders before Mastodon, and that drummer Brann Dailor was in a band with guitarist Bill Kelliher. They explain how the reason that the band works as well as it does, is because they all get along and never fight with each other, and do it for the fun of it, not caring about the money. Roughly the last third of the documentary is about farting, and how Brann Dailor's greatest dream is to "see one of my friends drink pee, and then vomit everywhere, God knows I've tried".

The second part is the live performances of every song the band have released, except the last songs on "Remission" and "Leviathan"; "Elephant Man" and "Joseph Merrick", which is actually the same person: A man with a deformed head who has become famous, and his remains are on display in a hospital in the UK. It is rumoured that Michael Jackson offered the Hospital 1 million dollars for the bones, but was turned down. In the video for his song "Leave Me Alone", he can be seen dancing next to a replica of them. On the subject, hardcore band "The Fall Of Troy", have a song called "Whacko Jacko Steals The Elephant Mans Bones", which is a reference to this. Enough sidetracking though, and back to the review. Some of the performances of the songs from "Lifesblood" are from the band was first starting out, and played in small clubs. Back then they had a lead singer named Eric Saner who left the band shortly after the startup. As the songs progress, you can see how the audience gets bigger and bigger, and their performance of "Mother Puncher" from "Remission" from the German With Full Force Festival shows how big they have gotten, performing in front of more than 50.000 people. This, by the way, is a must see, as it's an incredible performance.

The third part is a small documentary about the bands 3 videos. The first video the band put out was for "March Of The Fire Ants" from "Remission", which was shot in a single day on a low budget. The second video was for "Iron Tusk" from "Leviathan", and the third one was for "Blood And Thunder", the opening track on "Leviathan", which is probably their most known track. In between the videos, the band members explain how they were made, which is quite interesting, especially for "Blood And Thunder", which shows the band performing in front of a room full of drunken clowns. Originally they were going to have some homeless people from the street play themselves, but as Dailor explains; "they smelled too bad", so the idea was scrapped.

This DVD is a very good insight in Mastodon, and if you're a fan, I can only recommend it warmly. The only thing I feel is lacking a bit is a coherent show, since many of the live performances are bad quality recordings, and you don't quite get the experience of a Mastodon concert, which in my opinion is one of the greatest experiences one can have.

8

Download: N/A
For the fans of: Baroness, High On Fire, Isis, The Melvins, Neurosis

Release date 21.02.2006
Relapse Records

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