Mastodon
Once More 'Round the Sun


4.5
superb

Review

by Asslan USER (3 Reviews)
June 18th, 2014 | 20 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A Mastodon album comes with a whole lot of expectations...

A new Mastodon album comes with a whole lot of expectations. Having covered so much ground over their discography means they have picked up a diverse and demanding fan base. And whilst some want to see a return to their sludge roots, and others may want a reprise of their classic 2009 prog album Crack the Skye, the band themselves have steadily carved ahead.

Once More 'Round the Sun is a continuation of Mastodon's development into a 70s prog influenced sludge/hard rock band that was evident on 2011's fantastic The Hunter. The band (guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Kelliher, bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor) have made clean vocal melodies the focus of their sound on recent releases, and on this album this aspect of their sound now matches their instrumentals in terms of innovation and quality. The vocal melodies here, particularly from Brann, are haunting, strange, processed and generally wonderful. The Motherload has the band's biggest chorus to date, and Ember City and Halloween both feature huge, spaced-out interludes with vocals weaving in and out of thick guitar textures.

Musically, the band also appear to be having a fantastic amount of fun. Where The Hunter was deliberately reigned in, a response to the decadence of Crack the Skye, OMRtS is frenzied, intricate and diverse. On the title track, cascading arpeggios wrap around a ⅞ groove, with Dailor's drums never letting you find your footing. Aunt Lisa is particularly hard to follow, embracing a technicality that had been purposely sidelined. Asleep in the Deep is one of the most texturally interesting tracks Mastodon have ever written, layering subdued and creepy melodies over chiming guitar lines, urgent bass and march-like drums.

Brent Hind's solos are once again all over the album, although there is nothing here quite as soul-shatteringly good as The Hunter or The Sparrow. Nick Raskulinecz's is pleasingly raw and occasional effects keep the album interesting, maintaining the psychedelic feeling of the previous two efforts.

Perhaps the album's only negative is that it contains too few changes of pace. Feast Your Eyes is the only fast thrash number on the disc, and Asleep in the Deep and closer Diamond in the Witch House provide the only slow tempos, the latter being a doom laden descent into the abyss with a stunning vocal contribution from regular collaborator Scott Kelly.

Whether it deserves the classic status that Leviathan, Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye have been given remains to be seen. It takes to time to recognise a masterpiece. It is, however, unquestionably a shining addition to possibly the most impressive and all-encompassing discography in metal.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 18th 2014


13340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

lol i had no idea there were 3 vocalists

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 18th 2014


13340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

so like are all 3 of them singing different parts during that one thing in asleep cuz that part rules

BigPleb
June 18th 2014


37108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ye man haha, the one who has the best voice (Brann) sings solo on the Motherload.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 18th 2014


13340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

who sang seabeast

TalonsOfFire
June 18th 2014


8172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think every band member contributes vocals

Digging: Stella Luna - Stargazer

Asslan
June 18th 2014


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think it's Brent and Troy singing the layered bit, but Brann singing the verses on Asleep in the Deep. Great song! fucking weird song as well haha

Asslan
June 18th 2014


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seabeast = Brent for the verses and Troy for the chorus screamed bit

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 18th 2014


13340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this is a wag review dude pos thanks for teaching me things

DrGonzo1937
June 18th 2014


5921 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ye man haha, the one who has the best voice (Brann) sings solo on the Motherload.

Really? I always thought Troy had the better voice.

Digging: Ilenkus - The Crossing

BigPleb
June 18th 2014


37108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Troy is very grating on this album, have to say.

Underflow
June 18th 2014


2579 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What makes him grating here and not on every other album? Just curious, because it's not as if his voice has suddenly changed.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

BigPleb
June 18th 2014


37108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The production doesn't help his voice at all, sounds way too bright and his tone has shifted into a higher register.

DrGonzo1937
June 18th 2014


5921 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still haven't heard it yet, but this is very disappinting to hear, Leb.

Detritivore
June 18th 2014


271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Almost a Flaw album

Digging: Cro-Mags - Alpha Omega

Wadlez
June 18th 2014


4314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally heard High Road as my first exposure to this, surprised how much I enjoyed it after reading comments about how awful it apparently was. I have high hopes for the album.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
June 18th 2014


13340 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

yea not a bad track tbh

HeavyReviews
June 18th 2014


31 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Loved it. Something different from all the sameness in metal today.

conesmoke
June 18th 2014


5240 Comments


Oh pls heavyreviews. Chime out.

Porklips
June 18th 2014


88 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Beginning of Asleep is the only decent thing on this album.

DrGonzo1937
June 19th 2014


5921 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Heard half of the album and so far it seems as good as the rest of their discog



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