Once More 'Round The Sun - REPRISE
FILTER Grade: 78%
By Kurt Orzeck on June 26, 2014
Props to Mastodon for deviating from the well-trod metal path of making every new album heavier than the last. Continuing down the road they embarked upon with 2011’s The Hunter, America’s most mainstream metal act has doubled down on melody, harmony and verse-chorus-verse, and crafted something of a sister album, albeit with less adventure. Every song on Mastodon’s sixth album cops at least a little from the band’s past material—sometimes a lot. And while Sun has a sinister tone à la Blood Mountain or Crack the Skye, it doesn’t take the risks that those masterpieces did. “High Road,” “The Motherload,” “Asleep in the Deep” and “Halloween” are keepers, but they don’t quite put Sun in the same solar system as past albums. It’s never taken Mastodon this long to put out a new record, but that time seems to have affected the output, making this the first album of theirs that seems longer than it actually is. Though, nothing lasts forever—especially when it comes to heavy metal.