Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun
“All my heroes, they’re all dead,” Troy Sanders bellows on Chimes At Midnight’s apocalyptic bridge. It’s another plunge into the abyss from the Atlantan behemoths; billed as a logical successor to 2011’s The Hunter, Mastodon return hard with a full clip of psychedelic sludge-rock bangers, firing up the lava lamp to find the middle ground between their heaviest hour (2006’s concrete shattering Blood Mountain) and their most accessibly progressive (2009’s cosmic odyssey Crack the Skye).
Of its various peaks, Brann Dailor’s haunting vocals add the right spice to The Motherload’s hypnotic, polyrhythmic stew, while Aunt Lisa even affords a welcome detour into glam territory and – as is their ritual – Neurosis man Scott Kelly lends his burr and howl to closing epic Diamond in the Witch House. For a band now in its 14th year – here lyrically meditating on a perpetual life on the road and the looming threat that it could all end tomorrow – the results are reassuringly invigorated.