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Mastodon

mastodonOnce More ‘Round The Sun
Reprise/Warner

While many band’s discographies go through peaks and valleys, it’s more like one towering mountaintop after the next when it comes to Atlanta’s woolliest beasts, Mastodon.

It’s hard to think of many other contemporary metal bands that have remained this consistently excellent for this long – six albums deep and they’re yet to release anything that could be deemed even remotely sub-par. Naturally, this extends into Once More ’Round The Sun – another fresh batch of expansive, dynamic and throat-tearing metal tinged with psychedelia and prog-rock.

Tracks such as High Road and Chimes At Midnight rank among the best singles the band has ever released, while songs such as the title track and Ember City keep the fire in the proverbial belly aflame. If that weren’t enough, guest spots from the likes of Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, Valient Thorr frontman, Valient Himself, and The Mars Volta/Jack White keysman, Ikey Owens, add some spice to what is already a very tasty brew indeed.

Nearly 15 years into their career, there’s still plenty left in the tank for Mastodon. As a matter of fact, the trip we take ’Round The Sun might as well be a victory lap.

David James Young