Mastodon
Once More 'Round the Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by Peter K. Mark USER (17 Reviews)
June 17th, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An all-round improvement from its predecessor, mainly due to intricate song writing, ambitious vocal trade-offs and endearing consistency.

Since their Paleolithic and rugged debut album, Mastodon have continuously evolved, trading aggression in vocals for more melodic deliveries. "Leviathan" was a solid stepping stone into the world of sludge, something that Blood Mountain lifted to a higher level by introducing prog elements and technical prowess. "Crack the Skye" and "The Hunter" took a turn towards more psychedelic trips, something that Once More Round the Sun explores in greater detail. The result is a highly focused, consistent and accessible album that loses very little of the technicality and signature sound they managed to create over the course of 12 years.

While accessibility is the keyword here, the album still blasts a constant wave of energy for nearly an entire hour. There's a plethora of crushing riffs and solos that resurrect the nature of their live performances, with "Feast Your Eyes" and the title track emulating a persistent switch from sludge to raging doom in instrumentation. There's very little room for any slow burners, but tracks like "Asleep in the Deep" halt the album's momentum, allowing the listener to take a much needed breather before resuming the adrenaline-filled roller-coaster ride. Tracks like "The Motherload" and "Ember City" boast some of the band's catchiest and most captivating deliveries, while "Diamond in the Witch House" and "Tread Lightly" display monolithic appearances that traverse slightly more desolate landscapes.

That said, there's a preeminent and all-round improvement after "The Hunter" - the vocals sound richer and the instrumentation is more complex, without compromising the fun. The atmosphere resembles the Mastodon of the old fusing the poppy singing of the new, creating a modern take on their vintage signature sound. It's far more rewarding listening to the album as a whole: "High Road" and "Chimes at Midnight" sound better in context than as singles, while the flow is visceral as the record progresses through the psychedelic and the heavy without losing an ounce of focus.

By the time Mastodon bring the album to a halt, you realize this is an all-killer, no-filler. The consistency is admirable, though it often leads the audience feeling a sense of void. With no specific track that stands out, it's easy to get lost in this journey, because most of the songs appear to be sonically and structurally similar. However, that doesn't affect the quality of the record, which is aided by the crispy production and excellent song writing from beginning to end. In fact, it amplifies the evidence that Mastodon are far more complete and experienced musicians than 10 years ago. It might seem inappropriate to associate a metal band to a soft alcoholic drink, but the quartet are very similar to good wine - their music aged well and leaves you with a more delicious taste than the one you first experienced a decade ago.



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user ratings (957)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FCY
June 17th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hard to find something new to say about this, since the other two reviews pretty much summed this
album up perfectly. Record slays though.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014


7127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid review, pos'd. I'll go over this with more detail in the morning.

AdolfChrist
June 17th 2014


1822 Comments


"However, that doesn't affect the quality of the record"

kind of sounds like it does. looking forward to hearing this though.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
June 17th 2014


7127 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No it doesn't, also change "crispy" to simply "crisp" when describing the production.

osmark86
June 17th 2014


4548 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

solid review, have a pos.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 17th 2014


13454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

IM TIRED OF EATING SLOPPY, SLIMY EGGS

CaptainDooRight
June 17th 2014


30335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

FOR THE LOVE OF MEATBALLS AND CHEESESTEAK CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE LYRICS AND THE CONCEPT OF THE ALBUM. DO I HAVE TO START REVIEWING AGAIN!!!!

AaronBatt
June 17th 2014


113 Comments


There is no concept within the lyrics of the album.

DrGonzo1937
June 17th 2014


6852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Anyone got a stream link, guys?

Digging: Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

FCY
June 17th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Gonzo: It's only streaming on iTunes and you need an account: http://www.theprp.com/2014/06/16/news/mastodon-streaming-entire-new-album-once-more-round-the-sun/

@Nocte: Yup, that's what I meant to write, LOL. Will change, thanks for noticing.

DrGonzo1937
June 17th 2014


6852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers FCY.

Good review btw. Pos.

zulop
June 18th 2014


165 Comments


"There's very little room for any slow burners, but tracks like "Asleep in the Deep" halt the album's
momentum, allowing the listener to take a much needed breather before resuming the adrenaline-filled
roller-coaster ride."

Why the fuck do so many reviewers insist on writing in such nauseating nonsense? It looks tabloid,
avoidant and over-the-top, thus unbelievable.

DrGonzo1937
June 19th 2014


6852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

easy

FCY
June 19th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why the fuck do so many reviewers insist on writing in such nauseating nonsense? It looks tabloid, avoidant and over-the-top, thus unbelievable."

zulop has not written any reviews yet

Your move, brah

DrGonzo1937
June 19th 2014


6852 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Touche

zulop
June 19th 2014


165 Comments


So, because I haven't written any reviews, that means your writing isn't tripe? In that case, no-one
can critique anything they do not, or can not personally do. No talking about anything except personal
experience. Of course this is utter nonsense, just like your reply that avoids engagement.

Please, learn to debate, your pathetic ad hominem and tu quoque is cheap.

"Your move, brah"

FCY
June 20th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LOL, i'm not saying my review is perfect but i just don't get why it's nauseating non-sense, honestly. if you have some lines or paragraphs you wish to comment on or provide an alternative write-up, you are more than welcome. after all, we all improve after receiving and considering criticism.

but labeling it purely as 'non-sense' is not constructive criticism.



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