It’s well-known in these parts that I am a huge Mastodon fan, right from seeing them live in 2011, and then I went back and got all of their back catalogue and have been rocking them ever since.
When I heard there was a new album coming out this year, I was ecstatic. And then brother Craig texted to say he had tickets to their Toronto show in May (with Gojira) and we were going. Of course we were!!
For some reason that seemed (at the time) to be cruel and unusual, the album’s release was delayed until after we saw them at that show, when it supposed to have been prior. Which meant, sadly, that they only played the one new song at the show, High Road, which had already been released as the single. I’m not complaining, mind you, we got another 17 other great tunes spanning their whole career, in that set. But it would have been awesome to have heard more of these gigantic new songs in a live setting. Ah well, next time!
Recently, I got a text from brother Craig, who was streaming the album on iTunes before its release. He loved it. He said the song The Motherload is one of the best rock songs he’d heard in ages, period. That, with High Road, was only adding to the excitement for me. Craig, of course, was waiting for the super-deluxe gorgeous vinyl edition, as is his wont. While that would be awesome, I would be happy with the CD. And when the CD release happened and I got my copy, I took a photo of it and texted Mike with the message “Ooooooooo!” Finally!
I was telling our ever-lovin’ HMO that, when I was trying to write-up a review for this new album, I was running out of enthusiastic adjectives to describe what I was hearing. I found I was writing THIS FUCKING ROCKS!! for every single song. Go figure.
I know there has been some consternation about the direction in which Mastodon has been going since The Hunter. It is far enough away from the older stuff to make fans wonder, hell, some of it’s almost rock radio-friendly! But to me, it all fits together as part of Mastodon’s master plan to rock your fucking ass off. Besides, a band has to grow. They can’t keep doing the same old tricks or people would tire of them anyway. To me, these new songs are perfectly Mastodon, built to destroy, melodic and gorgeous, and the sound production is absolutely perfect (crushingly huge). Mixed into a live set, these gems would fit perfectly with the old songs (as did the songs from The Hunter, in 2011). I see no cause for concern.
Here is all you need to know about the songs on this album:
Once More ‘Round The Sun
Chimes At Midnight
Alseep In The Deep
Feast Your Eyes
Diamond In The Witch House
Yes, all I did was list the song titles. And that’s because that’s all you need to read. Going in, you have to know that this album is gonna knock you backwards and have you shouting along and waving your metal horns with it from start to finish. This sounds like Mastodon, resplendent and huge and I LOVE IT.
This is THAT good. Well done, Mastodon, and THANK YOU.