YouTube right now! Sam Abbot’s piano tribute to Mastodon

Watch in awe as a pianist transforms Mastodon's metal classic, Leviathan


Austin Powell


Published Mar 23, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:34 pm CDT

In YouTube Right Now, the Daily Dot looks at videos that catch our eyes, push our buttons, and move our dials—and that you’ve just got to watch. Right now!

By most accounts, Mastodon’s Leviathan is a perfect metal record.

Based on Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick, Atlanta-based quartet scripted an epic odyssey that followed Captain Ahab’s relentless quest for the enigmatic white whale—dual guitarists Bill Kelliher and Brent Hinds churning like oars in motion against the riptide percussion of drummer Brann Dailor. It’s the band’s most thrilling, timeless, and conceptually complete work to date.

Who would have thought all of that could be translated to piano?

Apparently, Sam Abbot.

A YouTuber known for translating metal classics across 88 keys, Abbot has garnered over 100,000 views for his tributes to Meshuggah and Opeth, among others.

But his recent revision of Leviathan as one furious and uninterrupted, 39-minute suite is clearly a new watermark.

“Absolutely incredible. You win YouTube,” posted ResurrectRenfield in a top comment.

“The fact that this guy isn’t a famous musician while the likes of Kesha, LMFAO, and The Black Eyed Peas are makes me weep a little bit for humanity,” furthered Wavanova.

Call him Ishmel.

Here’s the intended epilogue, “Joseph Merrick,” which completes the album.

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2012, 6:22 pm CDT