[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 9.5
Label: Reprise Records
Website: Link
Author: Kostas Tsotsanis[/colored_box]

If I was asked to mention a few bands which can never stay settled into specific ideas, the first band to come in mind would be Mastodon. Since their debut, ‘Remission’, the band has changed their style so many times, that none of their records are the same as the previous one. During the first years, they tried to experiment within the metal genre; however since ‘The Hunter’ and 2011 the band started to get influenced by rock genres, changed their vocals and tried to reach the psychedelic rock/metal sound they always wanted to reach for.

Once More Around The Sun’ comes three years after the release of ‘The Hunter’. Mastodon continue to support their decisions and the sound they embraced in their previous record. However, the band sounds more sophisticated than ever, knowing and planning exactly every detail recorded. ‘Once More around the Sun’ has also deep connections to records like ‘Blood Mountain’. While ‘The Hunter’ was more of a plain and primitive record consisting of hit-songs, the new one brings back the progressive elements which we all loved in the previous Mastodon records, combined with their new ideas and needs.

The record contains songs like ‘The Motherload’ or ‘ High Road’ which can be described as catchy songs, but there are many psychedelic moments, many progressive moments and a large amount of complex and unique riffs come together to participate in an orgasmic outcome. Brann’s vocal range has been extended and along with Brent and Troy switches the song’s impact just by reshaping the vocals to fit into every riff. The moments when more than two members sing along, just like in ‘Asleep in the Deep’ the outcome is absolutely fantastic.

Heavy guitars and psychedelic riffs are bonded together, shaping catchy songs and one can memorize every moment and lyric from the very first moment. Brann’s drumming fillers are simpler than they used to be, because the band focuses on melodies and guitar complexity rather than being technical. ‘Feast Your Eyes’, ‘Chimes at Midnight’, ‘Halloween’, are some fair examples of the intricate music structure which reminds of the Blood Mountain years.

The record is not officially based into a specific concept, nevertheless, Bill has stated that if there’s loosely a concept which characterizes ‘Once More Around The Sun’, this concept is death. Scott Kelly is participating in the vocals of ‘Diamond in the Witch House’ and The Coathangers in the ending of ‘Aunt Lisa’, a rather odd song for Mastodon.

Once More Around The Sun’ surely is not the best record Mastodon ever composed (Crack the Skye holds this title in my opinion). However, the record is fresh and bizarre. Mastodon continue to impress the fans with their inspired records and no matter how much some may disagree, they are one of the most influential and creative bands which represent the modern metal scene.

Track List Line Up
01. Tread Lightly
02. The Motherload
03. High Road
04. Once More Around the Sun
05. Chimes at Midnight
06. Asleep in the Deep
07. Feast Your Eyes
08. Aunt Lisa
09. Halloween
10. Diamond In the Witch House
Brent Hinds – Guitars, Vocals
Troy Sanders – Bass, Vocals
Bill Kelliher – Guitars
Brann Dailor – Drums, Vocals, Percussion