Death March (Alternate Version)
Clayton Boys (Alternate Version)
Don’t let the fact that there are only six songs listed fool you — Mastodon’s 2010 score for the Jonah Hex movie plays as long as most albums. Opening number “Death March” stretches out for nearly nine minutes as the Atlanta, Georgia prog-metal quartet slowly builds on a pulsing dirge of doomy foundations while rumbling bass drones patiently swell into a tension-taut mantra that’s reminiscent of Sleep’s “From Beyond.” Co-production with Oscar-nominated composer Mario Beltrami gives these instrumentals a deliberate cinematic feel without taking away from the band’s weighty riffage and complex arrangements. “Clayton Boys” injects a menacing guitar trill for two-thirds of the composition before galloping rhythms take over and carry the listener to the more tranquil “Indian Theme,” which makes good use of Native American-inspired rhythms pounding underneath intertwining serpentine guitarmonies. Halfway through, the band explode into a rumbling locomotive onslaught of High On Fire-inspired metal (guitar player Bill Keliher and Brann Dailor first met at a High On Fire show in 1999). “Train Assault” is easily the most powerful track here.