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Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun

Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun

One of America’s hottest metal bands has finally finished their new album. But with Once More ‘Round the Sun it is clear that we do not need to fear the prehistoric beast called Mastodon thrashing around. When the foursome starts of with ‘Tread Lightly’, their days of sludge or even the Crack the Skye prog-rock seem to be long gone. Not a surprising move, but The Hunter had some memorable riffs and heavy passages. Once More ‘Round the Sun is more a rock record, with guitar melodies and especially solo’s that seem to come straight from the seventies, harkening back to times when Thin Lizzy or King Crimson before their first hiatus.

Sometimes the band speeds up, such as during Chimes at Midnight but overall Once More ‘Round the Sun is the perfect soundtrack for a psychedelic, vocal harmonies, crazy solo night. Rarely does Troy Saunders scream and even the guest appearance of Scott Kelly sounds a bit underwhelming. The final song, Diamond in the Witch House, is an amazing closer though. Much better than the terrible female vocals at the end of Aunt Lisa, the downpoint of the album. The guitars are cool and all, but the lyrics at that point and the delivery are childish, not what you would expect from a band from this caliber.

Once More ‘Round the Sun bores at times however. Without the blood of the first albums and thunder of the latter two, Mastodon at times sounds like a college rock band. A rock band that finally have struck commercial gold with this radio friendly gem. Did you felt The Hunter or even Crack the Skye was already a step back? Then this album is not for you.


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