Metal bands that transition from the underground to the overground can suffer painful backlashes. Thus far, though, Mastodon – part of a massive Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival lineup that includes Slipknot, Disturbed, Machine Head, Underoath, Dragonforce, Five Finger Death Punch, The Red Chord, Suicide Silence, 36 Crazy Fists, Airbourne, Black Tide and Walls of Jericho – has avoided too much harm. The 2006 disc Blood Mountain, the group's first for Warner Bros., may have been somewhat more accessible than the quartet of albums issued under the auspices of the Relapse imprint, but the results were plenty brutal enough to satisfy all but the least open-minded fans. In fact, a beating vocalist/guitarist Brent Hinds took during a run-in with System of a Down's Shavo Odadjian and another musician in Las Vegas last September constitutes pretty much the only real damage Mastodon has sustained of late. And wounds to the body heal faster than ones to the reputation.


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