Mastodon has risen to the ranks of top metal bands for the 2000's
and beyond, and they've managed to do it purely on their own terms.
They formed in 2000 -- as the story goes, the pair of Brann Dailor
and Bill Kelliher, fresh from their previous band
met up with Brett Hinds and Troy Sanders at a
High On Fire
show, realized they had mutual musical interests, and the rest, as
they say, is history.
While their early work showed a bit of that Lethargy technicality,
they've progressed and matured since, moving toward clean vocals and
a kitchen-sink style of songwriting, incorporating elements of progressive
metal, sludge, even alternative and stoner rock traces can be found.
A comparison band in spirit and career path (though not a soundalike)
as both bands came from more extreme roots and found favor with the masses
by smoothing out rough edges and also by not being afraid to deviate from
one album to the next.