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Mastodon - "Joseph Merrick"
on July 16, 2018 | Last updated July 16, 2018
Release Type: User Audio Type: Single-track Reductions: Yes (Auto/CAT) Pitched Vocals: (no vocals)
Leviathan’s final track, “Joseph Merrick,” concludes not with bombastic drumming or shrieking vocals, but with a quiet, duet of guitars. As the full band joins in, a watery solo takes precedence, backed by the faint chords from a pipe organ. It’s a conclusion that mirrors its literary inspiration’s ending scenes: adrift on the waves, trying to comprehend the beautiful and terrible monstrosity just witnessed. The real Joseph Merrick, better known as “The Elephant Man,” was a soul afflicted by horrific deformity and pain, subject to the harsh scrutiny of the public’s eye. In many ways, Leviathan’s last song is a perfect finishing statement to both Mastodon’s second album, and the band itself. There’s a harshness to the music that is both repellant and irresistible, and has since generated a surprising amount of debate, analysis, and, most recently, vitriol. But it’s easy to forget the underlying humanity in the music, and how that humanity managed to influence over 10 years’ worth of new, badass rock ’n’ roll.