RoD header


introEssigfabrik, Cologne, Germany
31st May 2013
Mastodon & The Ocean

AS you could expect, friends of Sludge and Metal around Cologne were eagerly awaiting the show of MASTODON at the Essigfabrik. The band already played the venue last year and also now, a lot of people showed up for the show which was opened by THE OCEAN – surely another plus point to attend the concert.

The Ocean

HE OCEAN started in 2000 when main founding member Robin Staps relocated to Berlin. The first release was a self-produced record named 'Islands/Tides' in 2002, almost immediately followed by the first official album 'Fogdiver' in 2003. The next evolutional step would be the release of the two album cycle made of 'Fluxion' and 'Aeolion', both exhibiting an increased harshness and complexity in sound, compared to their predecessor. After completing the second part 'Aeolian', the band spent several months on the road to promote the album properly. Works for the next effort 'Precambrian' started at the end of the same year. The last two albums 'Heliocentric' and 'Anthropocentric' continued the concept of two thematically entwined records. The latest album ‘Pelagial’ was out in April 2013. The current line-up of THE OCEAN is Luc Hess (drums), Robin Staps (guitar), Jonathan Nido (guitar), Louis Jucker (bass) and Loic Rossetti (vocals). / / http:///


Music & Performance
Within the 45 minutes given, THE OCEAN introduced their new album ‘Pelagial’ on this evening. This album is a conceptual work, dealing with a deep ocean ride. Already a few weeks ago, the band had given a show at a far smaller venue in Cologne, being sold-out. So, people surely were happy to have another chance seeing the band live on stage. And so, already at the start, the venue was really well filled. With their new record, the band released a varied and deep album which live sounded as great as on CD. The presented post-hardcore with some nods towards Prog metal and classical music was working very well. The vocal parts were really well performed. Lengthy instrumental parts, generating lovely melodies and coupled with hard shouts and riffs found a lot of admirers in the audience. And so, THE OCEAN really earned all applause they got after their show.

01. Intro: Epipelagic
02. Mesopelagic: Into The Uncanny
03. Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses
04. Bathyalpelagic II: The Wish In Dreams
05. Hadopelagic II: Let Them Believe
06. Shamayim
07. Firmament
08. The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts
09. Benthic: The Origin of Our Wishes

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 5
Total: 8 / 10



MASTODON from Atlanta undoubtedly have made a remarkable progression ever since they first entered the limelight with the debut EP 'Lifesblood', which is a sought-after collector's item by now. The following album 'Remission' was a bundle of anger, melding the complexity of progressive metal with the fierce spirit of thrash metal, and was the start of their elements album cycle, continued with 'Leviathan, integrating more melodic aspects and 70s influence. 'Blood Mountain' elaborating on the theme of Earth proved to be a major leap forward in sound with clean vocals and lots of quirky influences popping up. The last part 'Crack The Skye' from 2009 saw them venturing into Progressive Rock territory with some of the most epic moments recorded on CD from them thus far. For their latest album 'The Hunter', released in September 2011, they then abandoned the exceeding complexity instead of a back-to-the-roots approach. The band’s line-up consists of Brann Dailor (drums and vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar and vocals), Bill Kelliher (guitar) and Troy Sanders (bass and vocals). / /


Music & Performance
Soon, after a thirty minutes rebuilding break and a banner change, it was time for MASTODON, entering the stage accompanied with lots of screams and applause. In the past, the band was already touring a lot in Germany and also was playing three years in a row in Cologne. Any show was well-attended and also by now, the band did not lose any of its attraction. Today, there was much of excitement within the fans but also within the band on stage. Any song presented was received with lot of applause. And also loud sing-a-longs were on the schedule. MASTODON are surely an unique live band, combining progressive Metal with Sludge as well as Math- and Noise Core in their very special way, combining complex and still catchy rhythms with hard guitar riffs and the gloomy chant of Brent Hinds and Brann Dailor. It was especially impressing for me how latter one fuses his complicated drum play with his vocal parts. When it comes to the setlist being presented this evening, the main focus of course was on the latest records ‘The Hunter’, but also some beloved classics were woven in. So people could enjoy faves like ‘Blood and Thunder‘ or ‘Oblivion’.


After an quite long set, the band was screamed back for two more songs and really unexpected, MASTODON played ‘The Last Baron’ for the first time since 2010. The Cologne audience enjoyed this song from the ‘Crack The Skye’ record a lot, leaving the venue afterwards with a smile and happy feelings.

01. Black Tongue
02. Hand of Stone
03. Chrystal Skull
04. Dry Bone Valley
05. Thickening
06. Megalodon
07. Oblivion (First time live since 2010)
08. Octopus Has No Friends
09. Stargasm
10. Blasteroid
11. Crack the Skye
12. All the Heavy Lifting
13. Spectrelight
14. Curl of the Burl
15. Bedazzled Fingernails
16. Aqua Dementia
17. Iron Tusk
18. March of the Fire Ants
19. Blood and Thunder
20. The Sparrow
21. The Last Baron (First time live since 2010)

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / / /

Comments powered by CComment