By Andrew Hunter
“Once More Round The Sun”
I have only ever dabbled in Mastodon Albums, I bought both Crack The Skye and The Hunter, and its not like I ever turn them off if they come on the radio or my generic Mp3 player. So with “Once More Round The Sun” I thought “I’ll give this a listen” (also my boss at my boring paid job, LOVES Mastodon and told me multiple times to listen to it). Their 5th studio album, recorded in Nashville Tennessee, produced by Nick Raskulinecz who produced bands like Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains and Deftones, (so he ain’t no slouch) captures Mastodon playing as heavy riffs as ever. I feel this album follows on from The Hunter but in a good way- it is, at it’s core, a heavy rock album and I can’t really think of many better consistent heavy rock bands right now than Mastodon. They may have a cleaner singing style than on earlier records, but moving forward when you have such catchy choruses as in the single “High Road” I feel it can only compliment the songs. The single “High Road” you will like it even if you’re not into Mastodon, but into live action role play… you know who you are! It is a really catchy single.
Sprawling riffs, epic solos is what I think of when I hear Mastodon, and this album makes me not only look forward to what they will do next, but to explore what they have done in the past. Song wise “Aunt Lisa” has some harsher vocals than other tracks, and also has some Ramones vibes with the lyrics “Hey Ho Lets Go, Hey Ho Let Get Up And Rock And Roll”.
This is an interesting heavy rock record, I feel you can hear the influence of Alice In Chains, it’s a heavy album, dealing with the mortality of life. “Asleep in the Deep” stands out for me, a trippy song, you can really get lost in. “Ember City” really teases out the guitars, and lyrically brings out the self doubt- “If I want you to stay, what do I say to you?” .
You can buy this on vinyl, a four panel gatefold vinyl at that… whereby you can experience and appreciate the album art work fully, which apparently deals with life, death, the universe and a huge monster. The world needs a hugely famous heavy metal band and what are Metallica doing? Mastodon have the beards, they know their way around a riff and they seem like nice dudes- let’s let them be the next huge metal band that everyone knows and buys.