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Mastodon - Emperor of Sand CD (album) cover

EMPEROR OF SAND

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.67 | 157 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

InTheFlesh
4 stars Oh, yes! This is Mastodon's best album since "Crack the Skye" and for me an instant like. It seems like a return to melody without abandoning their heavy side. It's melodic (well, by Mastodon standards) and it rocks as hard as hell. In fact, this is what I expected to hear right after the magnificent CtS. After two solid efforts, they came back with this new gem. With these guys I especially find it interesting how three of the four band members provide the vocals. None of them is a true lead singer, but they make it work and the transitions between the voices are spot on. The musical formula works just as well; when you are not treated with beautiful melody, you get blasted with amazing riffs and rhythm. Song starts with killer riffs only to explode again into beautiful melodic passages. Rinse and repeat.

"Sultan's Curse": Instant like! Almost makes me feel like I'm listening to Crack the Skye volume 2.

"Show Yourself": Another beautiful melody somehow reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age.

"Precious Stones": Killer riffs, song flows beautifully!

"Steambreather": Cool rhythm followed by Brann Dailor's pleasant and higher pitched voice and shortly explodes into a majestic chorus.

"Roots Remain": Starts heavy as hell with Troy Sanders providing the intro vocals somewhere between growling and singing. Dailor again sings during the chorus. Good, complex song with a B section that's more on the mellow side continued with a beautiful solo and ending with what sounds like a piano section.

"World of the Wise": Slightly weaker track. Still rocks nicely and the guitar work is beautiful.

"Ancient Kingdom": Another grower. If this would have been on the previous album, it would have been one of my favorites. On this one it's just a good track.

"Clandestiny": Brent Hinds, whom we don't hear as much on this album, provides the chorus here. The song is heavy but in the middle it changes rhythm and moves into a progy section with synths only to return to heaviness one minute later. This middle section works amazingly well and it's my favorite part of the track.

"Andromeda": Don't really know how to comment on this one. I like it. It's complex and it moves through many short sections.

"Scorpion Breath": Interesting rhythm section with beautiful guitar work as usual. This one runs you over like a steamroller.

"Jaguar God": The most complex song on the album. It starts as a ballad with acoustic guitar, drums, bass and Hinds on vocals, but don't let that fool you. Two minutes in, the beast starts stirring. Rhythm is picked up and Dailor provides the vocals for this section. As the song gets heavier, Sanders helps with the vocals. Amazing riffs and rhythm at almost five minutes in. A beautiful guitar solo helps the song mellow back down.

I still think "Crack the Skye" is the better album, but this is as close at they got to that masterpiece. Very solid and well deserved 4 stars!

InTheFlesh | 4/5 |

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