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Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand


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#1 scott14

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

The new album by Mastodon, Emperor Of Sand, released Friday and it's every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be.  Eleven songs of sheer prog metal bliss, it's one of those albums that feels more like a journey than a collection of songs, and by far their best sounding album to date.  The production alone is worth the price of admission, masterfully produced by Brendan O'Brien, their signature tones are sharp and clear, yet warm and beautifully balanced.  It's a gorgeous sounding album.  The drum production is sublime, highlighting Bran Dailor's tour de force performance throughout.

 

The five members are firing on all cylinders, and joining like the parts of a high performance engine.  Powerful vocal deliveries and bass-lines from Troy Sanders, massive guitar riffs from Bill Kelliher, blistering yet emotive solos and the signature twangy vocals from Brent Hinds, and the aforementioned Bran taking his melodic singing to new heights.  The album opens with a classic style Mastodon track, Sultan's Curse, reminiscent of their Crack The Skye album, then moves to Show Yourself, an extension of the pop explorations of their last album, and then the album evolves past anything they've done before.  It's heavy yet deeply melodic, relentless, psychedelic, artistic, very dark yet uplifting.  From my initial impressions, the early standouts are Steambreather, Roots Remain, Clandestiny, and Jaguar God, but there isn't a bum track to be found, and this is the kind of album that may take weeks to even begin to digest.

 

If you've been on the fence about, or dismissive of, this band in the past, this might be the album to make a fan out of you.  As I predicted recently, this is their Moving Pictures, a distillation of the best of everything they've been previously perfected, a band at the height of their game.  I highly recommend.


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#2 scott14

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 02:54 PM

On a side note, I went to see Mike Keneally at the Iridium in NYC last night (what an awesome performance!).  I was skimming the liner notes to Emperor Of Sand the other day and noticed Keneally plays keys on one of the tracks, and possibly the best, Jaguar God.  Crazy coincidence!



#3 GhostWriter

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:12 PM

If you've been on the fence about, or dismissive of, this band in the past, this might be the album to make a fan out of you.  As I predicted recently, this is their Moving Pictures, a distillation of the best of everything they've been previously perfected, a band at the height of their game.  I highly recommend.

 

My only exposure to them was seeing them open for Judas Priest just over a year ago. I couldn't wait for them to get off the stage as it was almost unlistenable. It was just a muddy wall of sound.  After reading this I'll give this new album a listen as I've seen several positive reviews now. Thanks.


It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

- Francis Bacon

 


#4 scott14

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

Went to see Mastodon at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan last night, and a packed house it was!  I've seen them a few times in the past, and they're always great, but they've never been known for the best live sound and have always impressed me as a "young band" with something to prove, out doing a stripped down show on a budget.  Last night was a band taking everything to the next level, newly upgraded sound system, top notch light show and video display, and a band on fire.  These guys are truly starting to show the command and performance confidence of band at the peak of their game.  Truly inspired playing, a huge improvement in the live vocals, great sound, and one hell of a setlist.  As a bonus, I met guitarist Bill Keliher randomly on the street a little before the show and he was very pleasant saying hello!

 

Side note, Eagles Of Death Metal were the supporting act, slightly odd choice for a metal show, but did a fine job with a lively set of boogie rock, and a very good cover of David Bowie's Moonage Daydream.






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