Monday, March 28; Launchpad (all ages, 8 p.m.): Having nabbed the 2004 album of the year award from Kerrang! magazine, Leviathan, Mastodon's newest full-length offering, has been making, and please indulge me, a mighty big splash. Perhaps history's only 45-minute metal song cycle based on Melville's impenetrable opus Moby Dick, the new record pays little attention to elementary heavy metal cliché. That shouldn't suggest that Mastodon doesn't proudly weave the influence of bands like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath into their angular, post-hardcore sound, because they do. Nor should one assume that a literary metal record need be any less dark and frightening, because it's plenty dark and plenty frightening. Somehow Mastodon manages to appeal to people who don't necessarily listen to heavy music, while still blowing the minds of the most staunch metal purists. With the unavoidable saturation of the contemporary music market, that sort of quality is rare and reassuring. Having built a reputation as a technically and emotionally explosive live act, their stature should only continue to grow. Add to this that Mastodon has enough musicianship to live off the interest, creating expansive soundscapes, virtuoso guitar riffing and time changes that'll make your stomach drop, and it becomes pretty clear that Monday's show isn't one to miss.
with the Burning Brides and the Hidden Hand