Since I am old enough to remember when Metallica was an underground metal band (only the sketchiest, most burned-out dudes liked Metallica back in '85), I remember how their legend spread. It was not spread on MTV or radio. The internet didn't exist (except at the Gore's house). It was pure word of mouth based almost entirely on the band's live reputation. I have not heard as much rumbling inside the "metal community" as I have recently about Mastodon. The new album, Leviathan, is brutal.
This is HEAVY music. With an excellent singer -- not some dude grunting. Because what has turned so many people away from extreme metal since the 90s has been the vocals (or whatever sad excuse for them is being substituted). Mastodon is the real deal. They will be the biggest band in the world by 2007. For now, they are still playing clubs and small theaters (they just wrapped up an opening slot with Slayer). I get to see those fuckers on April 14 @ Sokol Underground in Omaha. If they come to your town, and you're not a pussy...see this band. Buy their album. You can get that Motley Crue Greatest Hits next time.