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!
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
11. Diamond In The Witch House