"Hushed and Grim" (Reprise; 2021)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a big fan of Mastodon for quite a few years and when the latest one came out, I jumped at the chance to review it.

Since a lot of the bands weren't touring because of the pandemic, they stayed home and wrote music and that is just what Mastodon did. The name of this recording is "Hushed and Grim." The band was busy during the pandemic because now what we have is a double release, a 1Ĺ hours and  15 song masterpiece.

I have always had a difficult time trying to put a label on this bandís music, so frankly I quit fucking trying. What I can tell you is that "Hushed and Grim" is a very well put together recording that blew my socks off right from the start. The bandís first release came out in 2002 and they never looked back. This recording is what a good a rock'n'roll band should be and the from the first cut to the blistering end ninety minutes later. Honestly, I cannot remember when I had a better time listening to a release for review.

Rock'n'roll is a treasured commodity and Mastodon delivers the product in spades. The songwriting is better than I have witnessed before with the band, well, since forever. I have to say ninety minutes worth of music was a bit much too get  reviewed all at once so I took my time and did this one right.

"Hushed and Grim" is good, solid metal with plenty of variety and, after all the bullshit and waiting to review this killer release, I have to give it a solid 3Ĺ guitarsaws.

I really need to see this band live, no shit. Check out the band's history online (I'm not going to waste my time doing that for you. Come on, you want a spoon fed review, go some place else.)

Check them out online here:

"Emperor of Sand" (Reprise; 2017)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a fan of Mastodon for quite some time. I think one thing that drew me was not only their exceptional musicianship, but their songwriting ability. Each song is a finely crafted delve into their personality. As near as I can figure, there must be three singers, each gifting this band with a unique presentation of their music.

The name of the recording is "Emperor of Sand" and it is one cool metal recording from start to finish. Back their songwriting and lyrical content; this shit is deep to the point I had to back up the music every now and then just to figure out what the hell they were talking about. That did not happen, by the way, the album, just progressed around me like a river of molten metal.

Mastodon is one killer metal band that is pushing the envelope on what metal should be. It becomes clear very early in a recording if you are going to like it or not; well, I liked this recording from the start. I still can't figure out what all the fricken songs mean, but it has been a fun ride.

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"Once More 'Round the Sun" (Reprise; 2014)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the sixth studio disc from heavy metal hitters Mastodon. I've been listening to their music since they've been cranking it out and I'm digging on this release as well. Reading about the recording process via the members of the band, I learned that it's got a lot of bottom but also plenty of fuzzy guitar. You can hear the hits and feel the jabs. The artwork for "Once More 'Round The Sun" is pretty cool too.

This disc also has some funky vids to accompany the tracks "The Motherload" and "Asleep In The Deep." They are definitely worth checking out if you love a little visual with your audio. Since everybody in the band lends their voice beyond their instrument you get a great range of emotion to the songs. I'd say it gives a layer that singo and screamo just can't match. There are guitar solos all over this disc and that's one of the things that keeps me coming back to Mastodon time and time again.

Snag these tracks: "The Motherload," "High Road," "Chimes At Midnight," and "Ember City."

Mastodon: Troy Sanders - vocals, bass guitar; Brent Hinds - vocals, lead guitar; Brann Dailor - vocals, drums; Bill Kelliher - rhythm guitar, backing vocals.

Check them out online here:

"Crack the Skye" (Relapse; 2009)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I discovered a lot about Mastodon when I reviewed "Leviathan." I really liked them when I first heard that record and they have just gotten better with age. 

Top-notch production values mix with dark and strangely expressive songs are par for this band and that makes them a must to any fan of great hard rock.  I have to admit that I used the printed lyrics on the CD cover to follow along and I am glad I did; it made the experience even better. 

The name of this hearty recording is "Crack The Skye" and, when you listen to this recording, you will be stunned at just how great this band is.  Another thing I liked about the band is well, frankly the name  ... I mean, come on! Mastodon, how can you not love that name?

Smart music full of gloom, doom, death and despair. "Crack the Skye" connects on so many levels and that's what makes this one of the best CDs I have listened to this year. 

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"Leviathan" (Relapse; 2004)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"Leviathan" is my first foray into Mastodon and let me tell you I was duly impressed. Mastodon portrays a wide range of emotions from song to song that kept my interest throughout and instantly made me a fan. If all their other releases are even close to this one, then this band's entire catalog is well worth the expense.

This is the real deal: fun and killer songs that are hard to describe, but really enjoyable. I can just image this band live, I bet they put on a killer show.

I've listened to this disc over and over to get this review written and I think I'll spin it again right now. It's that good!

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"Remission" (Relapse; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Mastodon's "Remission" sounds like what the bastard child of Sleep and Dillinger Escape Plan might sound like. The music is that heavy, ambient, stoner-ish crush that Sleep masters while the songs are written and performed with the intense, raging, technical style of DEP. I guess Mastodon could also fall into the Math Metal category but - since I have no idea how to identify that type of music except by what other people tell me - I don't think I can tell you why.

Bottom line is that "Remission" is heavy, pounding, powerful stuff. If you're looking to take over a small country, you might not need more than a wall of Marshall amps and a copy of "Remission."

The final track on the CD is a razor sharp, sledgehammer of a cover of Thin Lizzy's "Emerald." Also included in this edition is a live DVD of the band at the Masquerade in Atlanta, GA on December 1, 2002. As DVDs go, it's not the highest quality, but it does give you an idea of the band's explosive onstage prowess.

Mastodon: Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Bill Kelliher, Troy Sanders.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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