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Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun CD (album) cover

ONCE MORE 'ROUND THE SUN

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.64 | 162 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Once More 'Round the Sun" is the 6th full-length studio album by US metal act Mastodon. The album was released through Reprise Records in June 2014. "The Hunter (2011)" proved to be a big success for the band, and theyīve spend a lot of time touring in support of that album, which is part of the reason why there are 3 years between the two albums, but Mastodon have never been a band to release anything unless they are fully satisfied with the material theyīve composed, so theyīve also taken the time necessary to write the best possible material for "Once More 'Round the Sun".

"The Hunter (2011)" featured a less complex and more catchy and straight forward heavy metal sound, than the musical style on the earlier more raw, sludgy, and progressive releases by the band, and that stylistic change is continued and developed upon on "Once More 'Round the Sun". While the music on the album certainly is memorable with catchy choruses and powerful riffs, itīs not simple by any means and mainstream appeal is only present in smaller doses. Mastodon have not completely forgotten their sludgy past either and while the most hard edged tracks on "Once More 'Round the Sun" donīt compare in rawness to earlier material, some tracks are still pretty harsh.

And the variation of the material is one of the things that makes "Once More 'Round the Sun" such a great release. On the album youīll find both heavy/stoner rockers, darker psychadelic tinged rock/metal tracks, and the above mentioend harsher sludgy tracks (and often all styles are combined). Another great feature is the attention to detail in the songwriting, which is something Mastodon excel in. While the music generally flows naturally and doesnīt sound constructed, these guys have obviously been through every second of music on this release to see if they could do anything different to make it sound better.

All material on the album are as a result well written and intriguing (even the most simple vers/chorus structured tracks are detailed and interesting). The music is well performed too. Great organic interplay between all involved, and the vocals, which on the bandīs early releases were a bit more one-dimensional, are now more varied with both clean and raw vocal styles featured in the music. Mastodon have obviously worked a lot on their vocal melodies and how they perform them, because the vocal part of "Once More 'Round the Sun" is more catchy, powerful, and memorable than ever.

The organic sounding production is also a winner and helps bring out the best in the music, so all in all "Once More 'Round the Sun" is a high quality release by Mastodon. With the success of "The Hunter (2011)" I was wondering if Mastodon would strip down their sound and aim for an even more mainstream oriented sound on "Once More 'Round the Sun", but I donīt really think thatīs the case. "Once More 'Round the Sun" is equally as adventurous as "The Hunter (2011)" and itīs nice to hear that the band havenīt completely abandoned their progressive ways in search of commercial success, even though the more simple sound on this one and on "The Hunter (2011)" are a far cry in sound and style (not in quality) compared to the more progressive predecessors. Mastodon seemingly insist on not settling or getting too comfortable and I find that greatly charming. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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