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Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand album review

Album Review

Crack The Skye revisited? Perhaps. The Atlantan quartet bring forth the biggest theme of their lives, but have they smashed their own boundaries?

There are two Mastodons out there. One is the prog metal behemoth of their early years, the acclaimed musical visionaries who bridged the musical chops of Rush with the intensity of cult US underground metal heroes Neurosis and wrapped it all around mind-bending concepts about whales (2004’s Leviathan), crystal skulls (2006’s Blood Mountain) and mad, dimension-hopping Russian monks (2009’s Crack The Skye). Let’s call this Old Mastodon.

The other Mastodon is the one that appeared on their two most recent albums, 2011’s The Hunter and 2014’s Once More ’Round The Sun. This Mastodon are an altogether more streamlined proposition: concept-free and epic of chorus, they’re closer to Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters than the restless musical questors of old. Let’s call this – you guessed it – New Mastodon. The question is, which Mastodon will turn up on their seventh full-length album?

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