Leviathan (album)

Leviathan is the second album by American heavy metal band Mastodon, released in 2004 on Relapse Records. It is Mastodon's first concept album, loosely based on the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. The songs "Iron Tusk", "Blood and Thunder", "I Am Ahab" and "Seabeast" were released as singles. Three magazines awarded the album Album of the Year in 2004: Revolver, Kerrang! and Terrorizer. In 2009 and 2015 MetalSucks named Leviathan the best metal album of the 21st century.

Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 31, 2004
Recorded2004 at Robert Lang Studios, Studio Litho, and the Electrokitty Sound Studio, Seattle, Washington
ProducerMastodon, Matt Bayles
Mastodon chronology
Call of the Mastodon
Special edition/Vinyl cover
Leviathan special edition cover.jpg
Singles from Leviathan
  1. "Iron Tusk"
    Released: August 2004[1]
  2. "Blood and Thunder"
    Released: 2005[2]
  3. "I Am Ahab"
    Released: 2005
  4. "Seabeast"
    Released: May 18, 2006

Leviathan was also released with an audio DVD of DVD-Video format in a limited edition set with a black and gold slipcase. The album brought Mastodon widespread critical acclaim and together with the ensuing tour greatly extended their fan base. It sold 106,000 copies by September, 2006.[3] Guitarist Bill Kelliher considers this album a representation of the water element, in keeping with the elemental tetralogy of the band's first four albums.[4]


The "Tour Edition" CD was released in 2005 which in addition to the main album contained the videos for "Iron Tusk" and "Blood and Thunder". The Tour Edition is presented in a slipcase which shows the complete cover artwork, rather than the detail of the whale shown on the standard edition. This is also the cover for the vinyl edition. A video for "Seabeast" was completed in 2006.[5]


Cover art and booklet artwork was done by Paul Romano.[6] The white tower seen in the artwork on the inside cover of the booklet is a revamped version of Martin Heemskerck's 16th-century interpretation of the Pharos of Alexandria.[citation needed] The wave seen in the full picture of the artwork is a reflection of Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa.


The vinyl edition of Leviathan has a slightly different track listing. The songs "I Am Ahab" and "Ísland" are taken out of their respective place and replaced as tracks 7 and 8.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [7]
Blender     [8]
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles9.0/10[9]
Drowned In Sound9/10[10]
Pitchfork Media8.5/10[12]

Placing Mastodon "among the elite of bands" on the strength of Leviathan, Avi Pitchon wrote in Terrorizer that the album "rampages through in a shining epic flow, the 'crazy' parts never separate from the classic metal parts".[13] Online music magazine Pitchfork Media placed Leviathan at number 126 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.[14] In 2009, MetalSucks compiled a list of the "21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century So Far" based on the opinions of various musicians, managers, publicists, label representatives and writers, where Leviathan was placed at number one on the list.[15] The album was honored with a 2004 Metal Storm Award for Best Alternative Metal Album.[16] In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Leviathan as 46th on their list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.'[17] German magazine Rock Hard ranked Leviathan ninth on the list of the 15 most important progressive metal albums.[18]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Mastodon.

1."Blood and Thunder" (featuring Neil Fallon)3:48
2."I Am Ahab"2:45
5."Iron Tusk"3:03
7."Naked Burn"3:42
8."Aqua Dementia" (featuring Scott Kelly)4:10
9."Hearts Alive"13:39
10."Joseph Merrick" (instrumental)3:33
Total length:46:43
Mastodon box set vinyl bonus tracks
11."The Bit" (Melvins cover)Osborne, Crover8:29
12."Emerald" (Thin Lizzy cover)Gorham, Downey, Robertson, Lynott3:52
13."Orion" (Metallica cover)Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton8:25
1."Naked Burn"3:42
2."Aqua Dementia"4:10
3."Hearts Alive"13:39
4."Where Strides the Behemoth" (Live)3:17
5."Battle at Sea" (Live)4:11
6."Thank You for This / We Built This Come Death" (Live)4:01
7."Crusher Destroyer" (Live)2:06
Total length:35:06

Songs in video game soundtracks and moviesEdit

"Blood and Thunder" was featured on the Alone in the Dark and in The Cave film soundtracks, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Saints Row, Rocksmith 2014, Project Gotham Racing 3, Splatterhouse and Guitar Hero Metallica in addition to the film The Big Short. The song was available as downloadable content for Rock Band and features an optional Pro Guitar upgrade for Rock Band 3. "Megalodon" was featured as downloadable content for Rock Band and was released through the Rock Band Network.

"Iron Tusk" was featured in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland and NHL 2K9.

The song "Ísland" was featured in a brief scene in Monsters University.[19]



Guest musiciansEdit

Other creditsEdit

  • Matthew F. Jacobson – executive producer
  • Alan Douches – mastering
  • Paul A. Romano – artwork, design


  1. ^ "Mastodon Iron Tusk (Single)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "Mastodon Blood & Thunder (Single)". Spirit of Metal. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Rock Climbing". Billboard. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  4. ^ "MASTODON (TROY SANDERS/BILL KELIHER) INTERVIEW". Terrorverlag GbR Musik Magazine. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  5. ^ "MASTODON - 'SEABEAST' VIDEO AVAILABLE". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. March 20, 2006. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Mastodon - Leviathan Standard Ed. CD". Workhardened.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  7. ^ Kergan, Wade. "Leviathan – Mastodon". allmusic. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Blender is coming soon". Archived from the original on October 19, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Popoff, Martin (September 8, 2004). "MASTODON - LEVIATHAN". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Hocking, Mat (November 19, 2004). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  11. ^ Ayers, Chris (October 2004). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  12. ^ Isaiah, Violante (16 December 2004). "Mastodon: Leviathan". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  13. ^ a b Pitchon, Avi (September 2004). "Mastodon - Leviathan". Terrorizer (123): 54.
  14. ^ Pitchfork staff (September 28, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  15. ^ Neilstein, Vince (2009-07-07). "The Real #1: Mastodon - Leviathan". MetalSucks. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
  16. ^ "Metal Storm Awards 2004 - Metal Storm". www.metalstorm.net. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rolling Stone Share Their Choices For 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time'". Theprp.com. June 21, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Boris Kaiser/Michael Rensen: Die 15 wichtigsten Progressive-Metal-Alben. In: Rock Hard, June 2010, p. 95.
  19. ^ "Disney-Pixar's "Monsters University" Hits Campus with Music from Randy Newman and Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia". PR Newswire (Press release). May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2018.