Forget how critics initially jumped all over Mastodon with hysterical praise. The band actually earns it with Leviathan. Quite simply, this album is the hot buttered nuts at the metal county fair. Mastodon has earned acclaim for incorporating thrash, metal and Southern rock but has previously sounded stiff shifting among styles. Now the group's influences have truly blended; each new song rolls seamlessly out your speakers on the strength of the melodies -- but not pansy-ass stuff -- that texture the songs. Troy Sanders doesn't quite sing and doesn't quite scream, instead finding a hybrid that drives the melodies. Drummer Brann Dailor has found a way to keep his relentless, tornadic style from overpowering the rest of the material. Leviathan is the sound of Mastodon growing into the stature its name and the title of this fucking great album imply.