Over the past five albums and twelve years, Atlanta's metal heavyweights Mastodon have climbed bloody mountains, explored under the oceans, and hurtled through time itself. It seems only logical then that album number six finds them flying Once More 'Round the Sun.
Mastodon have always been about defying expectations and challenging themselves musically. This time around some of their sludgier elements have been toned down to allow a little more polish shine through. 'The Motherload' is not only catchy as hell but also representative of a new, more radio-friendly approach. But do not fear - Mastodon haven't forgotten what brought them to the dance in the first place.
Their muscular riffs, punishing percussion, and varied voices are still intact. 'Chimes at Midnight' and 'Halloween' are very much in their stoner-rock wheelhouse of old, but things certainly get weirder from there. 'Aunt Lisa' establishes a whiplash groove and then impregnates it with blasts of white noise and cheerleaders chanting out a foul-mouthed battle cry. It's a hedonistic celebration of the band's creativity. Expect to find brutish prog-metal ('Asleep in the Deep') and vintage doom ('Diamond in the Witch House') as you venture deep into the album's b-side. Now that they have blasted into space nothing is off limits.