Ever since I attended their show with KVELERTAK and GOJIRA at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia I have been highly anticipating MASTODON‘s new album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. I will put it this way for instant references sake: if you liked The Hunter, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy Once More ‘Round the Sun. Both albums go hand in hand almost perfectly, with Once More ‘Round the Sun acting as the perfect successor to MASTODON‘s previous release, The Hunter.
As was stated in an April interview with Metal Injection, MASTODON has moved away from the screaming and yelling vocals that advocates of Blood Mountain, Leviathan, and Remission might miss. Guitarist Bill Kelliher stated that the screaming and yelling vocals are “kind of a thing of the past.” To be totally fair and completely unbiased, I enjoy Once More ‘Round the Sun as much as I enjoyed the older albums. In fact, I would go out on a limb to say that Once More ‘Round the Sun is actually better to me than The Hunter.
The fact that I had the opportunity to review an album by one of my truly favorite bands was incentive enough to give this record my undivided attention. The album lived up to the hype in my opinion. Granted, it was no Crack the Skye, but nonetheless a very fun album to listen to in its own, separate, unique sort of way. Whereas Crack the Skye revolved around a more spacey theme and feeling throughout the album, yet kept the listener along for the adventure, The Hunter seemed to have a more fictional, fairytale feeling to the album that had joyful undertones with songs like “Creature Lives.” In keeping with the adventures of each album and to set new moods, MASTODON did it again with Once More ‘Round the Sun by selecting a theme of that of an acid trip, but a very happy trip at that. Just listen to the calming vocals and choruses that are so easy to sing right along with, mixed with the amazing guitar solos that just shred for days, intertwined with the tight drumming that has been a staple of the band for years. Every single member is worth your attention live because of how well they perform their craft.
To go along with the album art for Once More ‘Round the Sun, which looks like Chinese New Year on acid, the tracks stood out remarkably throughout the entire album for the most part. In fact, the only song that really didn’t hold my attention was “Aunt Lisa.” With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed every other song on the album. Even the singles that were originally released held up to that merit and deserved every bit of exposure they received. It is legitimately too hard for me to pick a favorite track from this album and I have not said that in a while, the last time coincidentally being a record that has Troy Sanders playing bass, from a band called KILLER BE KILLED.
I highly advise that every goes out and picks up a copy of this album or buys the vinyl if you are a collector like I have become. Whatever you are able to do, make sure MASTODON‘s new album, Once More ‘Round The Sun is close by at all times for your listening pleasure.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL except “Aunt Lisa”
WRITTEN BY MR. REESE