Mastodon
Once More 'Round the Sun


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (198 Reviews)
June 17th, 2014 | 426 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mastodon take the High Road, Once More ‘Round The Sun.

Mastodon has certainly developed a penchant for success. It’s like a stone rolling down a hillside, with each release the momentum builds, gaining speed. It started rather slowly with the group’s first releases (although the some-what instant cult following the band achieved in the early years would act as the push of the rock at the hill’s summit). Each release brought new success and new fans arguably culminating in Crack The Skye, a progressive record with more of a focus on the psychedelic and flowing melodies than Mastodon’s trademark brand of sludge rock. The shift in sound was a rare best of both worlds for fans new and old. The album maintained all the usual Mastodon sensibilities that would hold the fans of their early days captivated, while the more accessible and less harsh realities of Crack The Skye would bring many new fans to Atlanta band. For the rolling stone, the bottom of the slope seems nowhere in sight.

At this point it doesn’t really help to add background on The Hunter and the years between then and now. The band more or less followed the same path and toned down some of the abstract soundscapes to make a record slightly flatter than its predecessor. Given the amount of success this Atlanta based group has had, the sound has progressed naturally without becoming stagnant in the process. Once More ‘Round The Sun is a recreation of sorts without reinventing the group’s metaphorical wheel, becoming the band’s most accessible and mainstream studio effort to date. That’s not to say they have left themselves behind, rather it comes down to the natural progression of the band’s overall sound. Once More ‘Round The Sun is far from a reinvention of anything the group has put out since the debut in 2002. Rather the sound has pushed on the bands internal boundaries, becoming all the more comfortable with the soundscape they present over ten years later.

Despite all the talk of an album being listener friendly, Once More ‘Round The Sun maintains a certain Mastodon flair. In fact, the group’s 2014 release is easily the most coherent and consistent slab of music they’ve ever written. Tied together with punchy beats, sing-a-long phrases and infectious hooks (just check the title track for example), it’s no wonder Mastodon have the worldwide success they enjoy. For those with an ear for the instrumental dexterity presented throughout the record, you’ll notice that there’s a lot going on here. Once More ‘Round The Sun is a flamboyant display of rushed beats and dancing tom fills, atmospheric crooning and some very able guitar leads. It takes multiple listens to fully absorb each and every aspect. Take the album’s closer for example; ‘Diamond In The Witch House’ might as well be from the Neurosis play-book but that doesn’t stop Mastodon from claiming supremacy (each member has proved their ability to meld themes into riffs, melodies and instantly catchy rhythms). If fans are looking for an older Mastodon sound in today’s music, this is the closest thing to pre-Blood Mountain as Once More ‘Round The Sun will get. Not that that’s a bad thing, Mastodon have certainly grown over the course of the last ten years, it’s important that there music grows as much as they do.

Overall, Once More ‘Round The Sun is a welcome and highly enjoyable addition to the band’s catalogue, without conforming to modern day trends or forgetting the sounds they became famous for. With meticulous attention to detail, Mastodon has crafted one of the year’s highlights. It’s up-tempo, catchy and well… fun to listen to. Whether you’re a fan of new or old, there’s something to enjoy in Mastodon’s streamlined soundscape. It’s straight-forward but in no way is this a simple, bare bones approach to their progressive sludge. With Once More ‘Round The Sun, Mastodon show they have a few trips left in them.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


7100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

http://www.theprp.com/2014/06/16/news/mastodon-streaming-entire-new-album-once-more-round-the-sun/


Here we go,

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 16th 2014


13341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

...fuk

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2014


10288 Comments


If you don't go ahead and change that sound-off, every future comment on this review will be "ugh that sound-off". Figured I'd give you a heads-up.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


7100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

King Jacob! : ]

Dat Avatar!


What's up man, been a long time no talk.

edit: "ugh that sound-off"

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2014


10288 Comments


Haha hey man! Not a whole lot, working a fair bit and speeding thru school as best as i can. You gonna start writing more again?

Green Baron
June 16th 2014


20014 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what did the soundoff say, mr. ipod?

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


7100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You gonna start writing more again?


Yeah, I'd like to blame the declining quality of sput's user base, but it wouldn't come close to
what's been a turbulent last 6 months for me. Just qualified as a chef (no more "yes chef, no chef,
please don't throw anything cast iron at me chef"), got a wedding to plan and the biggest highlight
of my life is the child due at the end of the year!

Now that things are settling down (in a far from settled down manner) I can spend some time getting
back on the reviewing horse.

edit: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=163355#116154

LanternCore
June 16th 2014


30 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Hey ho, let's get up and rock and roll!"

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 16th 2014


13341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

teehee

Wizard
June 16th 2014


19524 Comments


Ugh that soundoff. Best review for this so far.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Cygnatti
June 16th 2014


21353 Comments


the soundoffs for this are pretty hilarious

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


7100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh that soundoff. Best review for this so far.


Won't be for long, I know which staffer is reviewing this...

fromtheinside
June 16th 2014


18717 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

horrible summary

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2014


7100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the soundoffs for this are pretty hilarious


Some of them are sad.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 16th 2014


13341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

mine is my favorite of all time

emester
June 16th 2014


3960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Enjoyed this way more than The Hunter. Its far from their best but it pretty damn good

Digging: Niechec - Smierc w miekkim futerku

Wizard
June 16th 2014


19524 Comments


Won't be for long, I know which staffer is reviewing this...

Doesn't mean shit if they don't do a great job ; )

PostMesmeric
June 16th 2014


389 Comments


How in the world can a band just go through the motions like this and still sound like gold?

Green Baron
June 16th 2014


20014 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never jammed these guys before tbh

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 16th 2014


13341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

check leviathan



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