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  • First Reaction: Mastodon – "Once More 'Round The Sun"

    Thu, 15 May 2014 08:47:31

    First Reaction: Mastodon – "Once More 'Round The Sun" - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino…

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    • Mastodon - HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 17: Musician Brent Hinds of Mastodon arrives at premiere of Warner Bros.'Jonah Hex'  held at ArcLight Cinema's Cinerama Dome on June 17, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
    • Mastodon - ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29:  Troy Sanders of US band Mastodon performs on stage during the Big Day Adelaide at Adelaide Showground on January 29, 2010 in Adelaide, Australia.
    • Mastodon - ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29:  Troy Sanders of US band Mastodon performs on stage during the Big Day Adelaide at Adelaide Showground on January 29, 2010 in Adelaide, Australia.

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    Mastodon know something that the rest of rock 'n' roll doesn't.

    That's more lucid than ever on their sixth full-length album, Once More 'Round The Sun—out June 24. In fact, the secret that these Atlanta boys hold within their music is the same one that Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Tool, and Black Sabbath all held. So, what is that little secret?

    Well, it's the ability to architect a complete musical vision from top-to-bottom that pulls the listener in more like a great film or novel than a record. That's precisely what Once More 'Round The Sun does. It's a defining moment for Mastodon up to this point as it encompasses the polyrhythmic thrashed-out heavy trudge of Remission, the eloquent bludgeoning of Leviathan, the psychotic prog bliss of Blood Mountain, the sweeping grandiosity of Crack the Skye, and the succinct songwriting of The Hunter. If you've been a fan of the band at any point in their illustrious career or are new to the party, there's something for you to completely obsess over at the circular heart of Once More 'Round The Sun.

    Galloping forward in bombastic fashion, "Tread Lightly" begins with a faint acoustic intro that quickly materializes within the bright six-string tapestry of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, while Brann Dailor's drums propel an enchanting rhythm. Troy Sanders delivers one of the band's biggest hooks ever chanting, "Open your eyes".

    Soon after, high-flying rocker "The Motherload" delivers an equally massive refrain, "This time, things will work out just fine. We won't let you slip away". Dailor's vocals haunt and hypnotize as Kelliher and Hinds trade intricately infectious riffs between Sanders's vocal response. The first single "High Road" elegantly swings a sludge hammer, while "Once More 'Round The Sun" dips from a punk-y stomp into an airy bridge that floats off into the ether so sweetly.

    "Chimes At Midnight" remains one of the most powerful, passionate, and poignant moments. Sanders growls come after a soaring refrain from Hinds that instantly strikes a chord—"Will I ever see your face again, or will black be all I know?". "Asleep in the Deep" and "Feast Your Eyes" shift into progressively impressive land, while "Aunt Lisa" remains an invigorating anthem in tribute to Dailor's aunt.

    Cruising into the crushing "Ember City" definitely leaves a mark before crash landing into the Hinds-led ode to Halloween, aptly titled "Halloween". Now, there's nothing quite as epic as the finale "Diamond in the Witch House". Pairing Sanders with Scott Kelly of Neurosis once more, it's a ponderous and potent close to this roller coaster ride 'Round The Sun.

    Now, Once More 'Round The Sun isn't just Mastodon's most shining moment to date, but it's a milestone for modern rock 'n' roll. The secret is out…

    Rick Florino

    What's your favorite Mastodon song?

    See our recent feature on Mastodon's tour with Gojira and Kvelertak here!

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    Tags: Mastodon, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Tool, Gojira, Kvelertak, Neurosis

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