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Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun CD (album) cover

ONCE MORE 'ROUND THE SUN

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.78 | 94 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
4 stars What really can I say about Mastodon. Ever since these guys came out, they have been receiving nothing but praise. I even have seen people describe them as the most important metal band out at the moment...and I have to agree. These guys have been surprising audiences and critics alike for over 10 years now have been wowing pretty much anybody who listens to them.

After the success and absolute madness that was 'Crack The Skye', the band returned to their metal roots with 'The Hunter' but where showing some slight touches towards a more contemporary style. Now they have pretty much gone fully contemporary. Musically the album has the band going towards the light of...popular music. Now don't get me wrong, they aren't doing songs with Avici or Nicki Minaj, but the band are sounding a lot more polished and poppier. The songs definite have a lot more focus on chorus and standard song structures with melodic phrasing. Drummer Brann Dailor's vocals are now way more prominent, which I believe to be a good thing because I think he has a brilliant voice. I have heard a few people criticise Brent's vocals on this album, but I think his vocals are better than ever. Now and then his vocals can be rather hard to interpret, but melodically they sound great. And as always, Troy's vocals are getting better album by album.

Now, this album isn't perfect, I do have some gripes. The first half does slightly eclipse the second half, but I overall don't think there is a bad song on this album. One slight gripe I have is with the production. Now having a lot more noticeable and catchier vocal hooks, I do feel that the vocals are a bit too low in the mix. While I do like Brann's vocals becoming more prominent I feel his drumming is lacking on this album. On albums like 'Leviathan' and 'Blood Mountain', Brann's drumming was almost Keith Moon in nature. On this album, they are pretty normal. Still impressive but nothing mindblowing sadly.

The opening track 'Tread Lightly' is a brilliant opener. An all out riff fest, the song also shows off the vocals from Troy and Brann, with some nice hooks and musical moments throughout.

One of the albums best tracks has to be 'The Motherload.' Having a rather 80's Ozzy Osbourne feel to it, Brann gives off one of his best vocal performances singing a great chorus. Probably the catchiest song on the album and a possible next single.

The album's lead single 'High Road' is the perfect choice. Starting off with a black metal influenced riff, the verses are heavy as hell before the chorus kicks in with a rather anthemic feel behind it. The real moment to shine on this track has to be the guitar solos in the middle 8. The music video for this song is also pretty great too.

'Chimes At Midnight' to me reminds me of previous track 'Black Tongue.' Packed full of kick ass riffs and boasting a brilliant vocal performance from Troy. One of the most interesting instrumental songs on the album and being more focused towards Mastodon's previous sounds.

'Asleep In The Deep' is probably one of the most unique songs the band have made so far. At times the song edges on pop/indie rock sounds before turning into a space rock mammnoth by the end. Some great vocals by Brann and Troy throughout too.

One of the oddest tracks on the album has to be 'Aunt Lisa.' Being rather ecclectic with its arrangements, it has some odd twists and turns, including an ending with female gang vocals.

The final and longest track on the album ''Diamond In The Witch House' is a song which features Scott Kelly from Neurosis. One of the least catchiest songs but musically interesting songs, it truncheons along like a Mastodon would do if they where still walking about today. I do think this sounds too familiar to Kelly's band Neurosis, but it does have some nice moments throughout.

In conclusion, this album pretty much proves the band can't make a bad album. Going into a more mainstream direction can be dangerous territory for certain artists, but Mastodon have been able to 'Tread Lightly' into a more contemporary style while still being true to themselves. Packed full of tunes and opening many doors for the band. Godspeed to them as they continue to make great music.

8.3/10

Genres: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Pop Rock, Sludge, Space Rock

Country of origin: USA

Year of release: 2014

arcane-beautiful | 4/5 |

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