Rating:
8.4
Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun
24 June 2014


01. Tread Lightly
02. The Motherload
03. High Road
04. Once More 'Round The Sun
05. Chimes At Midnight
06. Asleep In The Deep [feat. Valient Himself & Ikey Owens]
07. Feast Your Eyes
08. Aunt Lisa [feat. The Coat Hangers & Gary Lindsey]
09. Ember City
10. Halloween
11. Diamond In The Witch House [feat. Scott Kelly]


A new album from Mastodon always promises fresh material, and the band dutifully oblige with the tantalising colour of their latest release. So here we go again, in riff raving fashion, Once More 'Round The Sun.

It's difficult to imagine stoner metal that lives up to the vividness of that album cover, but Mastodon are determined to deliver something uniquely their own as well pushing their sound somewhere new and just as attention seizing. The further they move away from the style of their sludge era, the more they embrace the tendencies of recent trends in progressive metal. This is especially the case on this effort, and while technical proficiency has always been their calling card, such operates as the core of Once More 'Round The Sun. Understandably, things get more than a little heated, with the expected trailblazing guitar work bringing in some sweet melodies and readily scoring an impression. It won't mention your name, but it'll leave your ears burning all the same.

The notion that the band has taken a "lighter" stylistic path over their most recent albums, and followed a more hard rock driven energy, does survive scrutiny here. Though this one isn't without their heavy and metallic tones coated in psychedelic colours, as well as the distinctive band-wide (plus guest) vocal force belting out lines that retains some of the hardcore edge to their sound. These tunes punch with the usual forward drive and rhythmic propulsion. The kit is lit and terrific drumming delivered as the nimble variations of Brann Dailor are scattered throughout, more than sure to please the listener with scintillating beats, all vibrating about the focused melodic song structures.

With melody reaching such a high point of emphasis on this album, they continue to work in close territory to Baroness without actually occupying the same soil. It's very much Mastodon's own turf, which contains heavier metal elements and is unrelenting in delivery as things move at a consistently swift rate from open to close. Variation to the pace is minimal and gives way to clear determination and assurance in a new direction, evidently the band have somewhere to be, somewhere to go and they'd see themselves and listeners there with a dynamic set of up-tempo numbers leading into the longer finale "Diamond In The Witch House." Running near to an hour, Once More 'Round The Sunmakes the passage of time taken to listen to it pass by with flowing ease of enjoyment.

"Renewal" might be the word some would use to describe this album, others perhaps opting for "change" or even "continuation," of all things good and distinctively Mastodon that is. Whatever the case may be, this album is sure material and another excellent effort from a band that continues to take stoner metal places in a way only they can.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Mastodon
Album: Once More 'Round The Sun


 



Written on 02.07.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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SyntheticBreed - 02.07.2014 at 17:26  
Loooove The Motherload!
Troy Killjoy - 03.07.2014 at 03:33  
Not much else to say - this is a fantastic release that combines elements of prog and stoner metal perfectly but still retains the heavy foundation from their sludge days, especially towards the end of the album. It's groovy and melodic and atmospheric in the way only Mastodon seem capable of.
tea[m]ster - 03.07.2014 at 03:58  
I still miss Crack The Skye's grandeur prog metal approach, wish they'd return to that type of song writing but at least this is better than their last album. Nice review and thanks.
deadone - 03.07.2014 at 05:34  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.07.2014 at 03:33

Not much else to say - this is a fantastic release that combines elements of prog and stoner metal perfectly but still retains the heavy foundation from their sludge days, especially towards the end of the album. It's groovy and melodic and atmospheric in the way only Mastodon seem capable of.



Interesting coming from you as I know you like the first two.

I need to check this out.
Troy Killjoy - 03.07.2014 at 05:44  
Written by deadone on 03.07.2014 at 05:34

[Interesting coming from you as I know you like the first two.
I need to check this out

this is one of the few bands that i like everything they do

it took me a while because i hated ctack the skye when it came out and then the hunter i only liked curl the burl, but once i started to get into more of the sludeg and stoner stuff in general it really opened me up to liking mastodon as a whole

i still dont' like prog but i love their prog stuff so i dunno how you wannt take that, i guess if anything thats likea compliment to how good they are?

sorry for drunk typiing
BitterCOld - 03.07.2014 at 10:56  
Eager to check out.

this review doubles that desire.

liked their last, but wonder if completion of coherent threads (earth, wind, fire) have hampered their most recent releases.
R'Vannith - 03.07.2014 at 13:36  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.07.2014 at 03:33

Not much else to say - this is a fantastic release that combines elements of prog and stoner metal perfectly but still retains the heavy foundation from their sludge days, especially towards the end of the album. It's groovy and melodic and atmospheric in the way only Mastodon seem capable of.


If there's a track which brings back some sludge, I'd say the final one does the job well.
R'Vannith - 03.07.2014 at 13:38  
Written by SyntheticBreed on 02.07.2014 at 17:26

Loooove The Motherload!


That one is definitely a highlight for me as well. It has a fitting title really.
R'Vannith - 03.07.2014 at 13:40  
Written by tea[m]ster on 03.07.2014 at 03:58

I still miss Crack The Skye's grandeur prog metal approach, wish they'd return to that type of song writing but at least this is better than their last album. Nice review and thanks.


I think this is a step up from both The Hunter and Crack the Skye, personally. Nearly ousts Leviathan out of my favourite Mastodon album spot.
R'Vannith - 03.07.2014 at 13:43  
Written by BitterCOld on 03.07.2014 at 10:56

Eager to check out.

this review doubles that desire.

liked their last, but wonder if completion of coherent threads (earth, wind, fire) have hampered their most recent releases.


Judging by this one they're still managing excellent material having left those themes behind, but The Hunter was cause for concern in that respect I suppose. This one less so from my perspective.
Sword_Chant - 03.07.2014 at 15:01  
I agree with the review, very fair score and a decent album. Mastodon is a lot proggier than most bands I listen to... this is the first album of theirs i've listened to since Blood Mountain!! But I have to say I really enjoy listening to this album, though admittedly it took a couple of weeks to grow on me.
R Lewis - 03.07.2014 at 19:00  
For unknown reasons, I've never checked out Mastodon, and this review convinced me to do. Holy hell. Thanks a lot, man.
Iron M'Hael - 03.07.2014 at 21:47  
Mastodon doesn't grab me like other bands but they are awesome musicians. After seeing them at Mayhem Fest I was intrigued. I didn't care for The Hunter as much as previous albums but I do feel that this album is better. I would like to hear a more prog metal approach to some of their songs because I thought they did well with it in Crack the Skye (as tea[m]ster mentioned). If you've never seen them live.....DO IT! Slowly but surely I am becoming more of a Mastodon fan and this album is helping.
SmokyPeat - 04.07.2014 at 00:34  
It's a damn fine album. Good review.
SyntheticBreed - 04.07.2014 at 01:31  
Written by R'Vannith on 03.07.2014 at 13:38

Written by SyntheticBreed on 02.07.2014 at 17:26

Loooove The Motherload!


That one is definitely a highlight for me as well. It has a fitting title really.


Could not agree more. The fuckin Motherloooooooooooooooooooooaddd!
deadone - 04.07.2014 at 08:03  
I'm surprised but I like this. I loved the first two but not anything else.

This one is really interesting - there's shades of metal but also 1970s hard rock and alternative rock. And it's all still very Mastodon.
R'Vannith - 04.07.2014 at 09:49  
Written by deadone on 04.07.2014 at 08:03

This one is really interesting - there's shades of metal but also 1970s hard rock and alternative rock. And it's all still very Mastodon.


It's a bit more like Baroness' latest in that respect, with more of a hard rock influence on the sound. But yeah, still very much Mastodon.
Fallen Ghost - 07.07.2014 at 16:53  
A very fresh and pleasing record I must say, not one single bad or boring song on it IMO!
Ag Fox - 07.07.2014 at 17:16  
Nice review. I am looking forward to checking out the music!
Daniell - 07.07.2014 at 22:30  
Veeeery good.
MichaelAngeloT - 08.07.2014 at 15:16  
8.4 is too much from my point of view...
Ace Frawley - 09.07.2014 at 06:12  
Written by MichaelAngeloT on 08.07.2014 at 15:16

8.4 is too much from my point of view...


It's quite close to what it is actually rating on the site at present (8.48 from 172 votes). I haven't listened to it yet, so can't really comment on my personal rating for the album.
Super_Greg - 10.07.2014 at 07:33  
Cant really get into it

Then again, couldn't get into Blood Mountain right away neither.
BitterCOld - 05.10.2014 at 04:02  
Really continued to grow on me.

Love the Motherload video and subsequent controversy.
deadone - 06.10.2014 at 03:06  
Written by BitterCOld on 05.10.2014 at 04:02

Really continued to grow on me.



Same. This is my surprise for the year, especially as last album of theirs I liked was Leviathan.

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