Few legit metal bands have earned the sort of crossover cachet that Mastodon have claimed over the past 10 years. That's usually a death knell for bands coming from deeply protective musical subcultures, and Mastodon's most recent high-profile release — a Record Store Day split 7-inch where they exchanged cover versions with Feist — doesn't exactly fall under typical hesher-gatekeeper doctrine. But it's good to remember just who crossed over to whom here: Mastodon's conceptual themes, high-art allusions, and indie-friendly persona are all inseparable from their deep identity as a band who know how to pin you to the back of the room with sheer force. And their tendency to stick with trend-independent virtues like heaviness and technical chops not only help them maintain a framework to build new permutations around — last year's The Hunter was a fine integration of formative touchstones from Zeppelin to Maiden — it gives them a sincerity that pulls outsiders toward them instead of simply meeting them halfway. Co-headlining with Mastodon are Swedish death-metal-turned-everything-metal icons Opeth, another crucial example of a band branching out without dying at the roots. The recent reissue of four early '00s albums — Blackwater Park, Deliverance, Damnation, and Lamentations — is a good opportunity to (re)familiarize yourself. All ages.
Mon., May 7, 7:30 p.m., 2012
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