New Record Proves Mastodon Not Extinct

by on August 26, 2014
 

Mastodon share a name with the most notorious of megafauna, and honor it justly by bridging treacherous continental divides. With Once More ‘Round the Sun, metal and mainstream accessibility gather on the glacial plains of Beringia and embark on an aural diaspora into uncharted lands.

Previous efforts have featured vocals from all four members, but guitarist Bill Kelliher’s death growls have been eschewed for the latest release, accentuating their Sabbath-y roots. Trumpets of disapproval may blare across the fanscape, but the group’s instrumental prowess remains unassailable. Each limb of the quartet moves in synchrony, providing ambulation for their robust wooly chassis of chunky riffage and technical progression. Drummer Brann Dailor is an over-caffeinated hellcat, dropping percussive cherries on top of nimble fretwork and evenly displacing the lower clef’s punch like a cloven footpad in alluvial clay.

Once More ‘Round the Sun finds Mastodon plodding away from the Siberian winter of metal purists’ expectations into a New World. They’re still capable of crushing skulls under hoof, but temper their brutality with glimpses of celestial wonder. Some might even call it positivity. Regardless, it’s evolution, and it makes their record a “natural selection”.

Album art by Skinner.

  • Brandon

    Crack the Skye had no Bill vox (I can’t think of any on Blood Mountain or Leviathan, either). Wikipedia says he’s on the final [bonus] track of the Hunter, but to my ear it sounds like Troy.