Once More 'Round the Sun [LP+CD]

Once More 'Round the Sun [LP+CD]

by Mastodon
     
 

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Given the title of its sixth release, it's fair to wonder if Mastodon is hinting at 2011's The Hunter or its back catalog. Many of the tracks on Once More 'Round the Sun dig into the band's seemingly inexhaustible historic bag of tricks to construct monstrous riffs and wonderfully fractured motifs. That said, as a collective,

Overview

Given the title of its sixth release, it's fair to wonder if Mastodon is hinting at 2011's The Hunter or its back catalog. Many of the tracks on Once More 'Round the Sun dig into the band's seemingly inexhaustible historic bag of tricks to construct monstrous riffs and wonderfully fractured motifs. That said, as a collective, they unapologetically explore the craft of more the polished and accessible songwriting found on The Hunter. This set marks a fork in the road where Mastodon evolve and cross from metal's angular, sludgy power to adrenaline-fueled, even hook-laden, hard rock. The album was produced by Nick Raskulinecz, best known for his work with Foo Fighters and Rush. The sound Mastodon pursues draws inspiration from the '70s, without being an exercise in nostalgia. There is one notable exception, and it's deliberate and obvious: "The High Road" boasts an aggressively updated Thin Lizzy worship. (Who better?) Its verse structure weds Lynott's rhythmic sensibility to Mastodon's dynamic aggression. The anthemic chorus melody and harmonies, and twinned lead guitar roar, were trademarked by Lizzy's Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham long ago. "Chimes at Midnight" is intense, fueled by a mammoth chugging riff. It lets the "drop D" freak flag fly, with a near-shouted vocal, harmonic chorus, and spacey six-string interludes. "The Motherload," with its swaggering guitar heroics, is a wound-out yet nearly hummable prog melody, with a relentless bass and snare attack. "Aunt Lisa," with its knotty guitar intro, contains processed vocals, a series of rising and falling key changes, and the Coathangers guesting -- cheerleader style -- in a chanted vocal chorus à la Faith No More's "Be Aggressive!" There are also some substantive guitar pyrotechnics in the extended solos in "Halloween" and "Ember City," which, due to their imagination and focus, add dimension to them as songs. "Diamond in the Witch House" is a sprawling, nearly eight-minute closing jam. Neurosis' Scott Kelly and his menacing growl guest as it lumbers, marches, and lurches ever forward (longtime fans will likely dig this). Once More 'Round the Sun furthers what Mastodon began on The Hunter: expanding their music past metal's rigid borders -- even with its many subgenres -- toward an integrative hard rock that doesn't leave metal out. The songwriting, playing, and production here are inspired, kinetic, and yes, far more accessible than ever before. [The LP version of Once More... added a CD.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2014
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624937678
catalogNumber:
543021
Rank:
109487

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mastodon   Primary Artist

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