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Mastodon: Once More 'Round the Sun

As much as my levels of enthusiasm were raised in anticipation for their impending release, the most recent recordings by leading progressive acts Transatlantic and Ayreon just failed to win me over. Yes while they were clearly far from total losses, this time I just wanted to hear something else. I realise the masses wont share my view but despite those always star studded line-ups with stellar performances that so familiar tried and tested route they travel has lost its appeal these days. Same can't be said of the heavy and dynamic progressive rockers Mastodon. Their latest highly anticipated album is Once More 'Round The Sun as Mastodon's musical progression continues you never really know what to expect. Once More 'Round The Sun is another satisfying and varied release filled to the brim with Mastodon's coolest ingredients past and present.

Mastodon really are a group with their own sound incorporating different styles of metal and rock along with that progressive side throughout their musical journey. Mastodon's exciting musicianship and not to forgot those varied vocals which are less aggressive now days are on display once again. Brann Dailor deserves more accolades for his spirited drumming, like those awards that for the most part despite the competition are destined for the same winners. Mastodon's latest isn't a concept album like Leviathon or Crack The Skye instead the songs are about the band's members as "Once More 'Round the Sun means a year-in-the-life, lyrically, we were discussing things that happened to us recently, whereas in the past we looked further back for inspiration. It's about 365 days in this band".

Not Mastodon's most overly complex album as displayed on the single "High Road" which has such an addictive vibe, that guitar groove gets so entrenched in your head. Once More 'Round The Sun features some of Mastodon's best work, and instead of going over the top so to speak and throwing everything into the mix they are finely honing their song writing skills, and focusing on creating some of their most memorable melodic songs to date. "Tread Lightly" is the buoyant opener as each of the band's members contributions are heard loud and clear, and that lively feel continues on "The Motherload". Track five is one of my standouts as Mastodon's music ignites on "Chimes At Midnight" I just can't get enough of this song. "Feast Your Eyes" has plenty of spirited Mastodon style heavy rocking. There are guest appearances on two tracks firstly "Aunt Lisa" a song about Brann's late aunt which features vocals by Atlanta punk group The Coathangers, and "Diamond In The Witch House" the longest song on Once More 'Round The Sun has Neurosis's vocalist Scott Kelly.

Mastodon have given us another cracking release with Once More 'Round The Sun maintaining that outstanding run of fine albums, and another must have for fans of great rocking music.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track listing
1. Tread Lightly
2. The Motherload
3. High Road
4. Once More 'Round The Sun
5. Chimes At Midnight
6. Asleep In The Deep
7. Feast Your Eyes
8. Aunt Lisa
9. Ember City
10. Halloween
11. Diamond In The Witch House

Added: July 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2114
Language: english

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Mastodon: Once More 'Round the Sun
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-07-02 10:13:45
My Score:

I have to say, 2011s The Hunter was a slight disappointment for me. Sure, as a Mastodon album, it was still a very good one, but the band seemed to streamline their sound a bit and go for more straightforward sounds, leaving some of their progressive tendencies behind. And I can totally get that, as they previously spent a lot of time & energy crafting such challenging albums as Crack the Skye, Blood Mountain, and Leviathan. Here in 2014 comes Once More 'Round the Sun, and the band seem to be wanting to come to a happy medium between the prog and the more accessible, and that's quite ok with me. It's a formula that works, with adventurous progressive metal tracks like "Tread Lightly" and "The Motherload" saddling up alongside catchier fare such as "High Road" and "Chimes at Midnight". No matter which way they turn, the results are still pretty damn heavy and original, as Mastodon certainly have their own sound and continue to develop their style. The title cut features their trademark intricate guitar passages meshing with catchy rhythms and hook laden vocal passages, while "Feast Your Eyes" contains no shortage of blazing drum & guitar work in grand Mastodon fashion. "Ember City" contains some of the albums heaviest and most addicting riffs, and the grueling, mysterious "Diamond in the Witch House" features some of the darkest, most ominous arrangements the band have created in some time, and includes a guest vocal from Scott Kelly of Neurosis.

Good to see Mastodon back in top form, and this release will easily keep their fans busy for the foreseeable future.

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