Posts Tagged ‘Brann Dailor’
It’s hard for me to believe that Mastodon’s last album, The Hunter, was released almost three years ago, but indeed it was. And now, looking back, I have to admit that my original 4.5 star rating was a bit too generous, by about 0.5 or 1 star. It’s not that I’ve grown to dislike the album in any way, it’s simply that now when I have a hankering to listen to some ‘Don, my first instinct generally leads me to Blood Mountain or Crack the Skye. Those records play much more like single, cohesive listening experiences, whereas The Hunter generally feels like a disjointed mixtape–not in quality, but in style. That record was all over the map in its sonic diversity, and it was easily the most accessible music of the band’s career; it just doesn’t lend itself quite as naturally to focused, in-depth listening sessions.
Of course, I’m not hear to re-review The Hunter. I’m here to talk about its successor, Once More ‘Round the Sun. But I think it’s important to establish the context into which this album–the band’s sixth studio record–is being released. OMRtS is, among all its predecessors, most related to The Hunter, maintaining much of the expert hard-rock and heavy metal songwriting chops that defined that record, but OMRtS also hearkens back to some of Mastodon’s earlier material as well, with harder chugging riffs, lengthier, blistering guitar solos, and, perhaps most importantly, creating a unified, immersive audio journey. It breaks new ground for the band as well, with some of their most directly personal lyrics yet.
I came across this picture while randomly perusing google images, and I just had to share it with you guys.
Now, in my mind, one of two things is happening here.
I imagine they may be having the follow conversation:
Troy: Hey kid, about that weed in your backpack…you’re gonna share it with us right? Right? Don’t make me keep tickling you…
Brann: What the fuck!? I thought reaching rock star status was supposed to land you pussy not pudgies!!
Or…Troy is distracting this poor kid because Brann just farted in his hand and is about to deliver a mean cup o’ cheese.
Weigh in with your own captions and scenarios.
Let’s get this out there right off the bat – Mastodon’s new album, The Hunter, is neither a sequel to its epic, proggy, mind-bending metal masterpiece Crack the Skye, nor is it a return to the band’s sludgier, thrashier, pummeling days of Remission or Leviathan. No, this is something completely new for the ‘Don. At this point, anyone who still views Mastodon as a band that has renounced its dirty and brutal roots doesn’t know jack.
With each successive album more diverse and broader in scope than the one that came before it, it’s quite obvious that the dudes from Atlanta never had (or perhaps never desired) deep, intractable roots to begin with. As those early sounds become increasingly marginalized in the band’s catalog, who now can say what the true Mastodon sound is? This isn’t like Metallica – a band that churned out an era’s worth of top-notch metal albums that all hewed rather closely to the same line before demonstratively changing up the sound (to the listener’s chagrin). Instead, Mastodon has, for the most part, been a band in constant sonic evolution.
“Purists” (or elitists) might have the urge to block their ears and renounce Darwin after catching a few licks of The Hunter, but Mastodon’s mission statement is clear – adapt or die.
Hear ye, hear ye!
Brand new Mastodon music has hit the web today and you can get it for free, courtesy of Adult Swim. Score! Technically it’s not brand-brand-new, as in, it’s not a track off their upcoming album, The Hunter.
But it is music that no one’s ever heard before. It’s called “Deathbound,” and apparently it was written for Crack the Skye, which surprises me a bit, quite frankly. The track doesn’t sound anything like the Crack the Skye material, hewing much closer to Blood Mountain territory instead. Now Blood Mountain is a great record in its own right, but it ain’t CtS, and after hearing this track, I am very thankful that the Masto-dudes decided to cut this one out of their masterpiece. It’s a pretty good track (though a bit nondescript), but it would not have fit in at all with the expertly crafted ebb and flow of CtS.
In any case, the video is awesome (gotta love Brann as Mr. Rogers!!):
(P.S. While it has nothing to do with metal or Mastodon, Best Coast is also giving away a free song on Adult Swim that’s pretty good, too. So check that out as well.)
Mastodon fans, read and rejoice. Seriously, how pumped does this make you?
Is there going to be a concept for the record?
Yeah, totally. It’s all worked out. I don’t want to talk about it yet, though. It’s not totally ready, but it’s gonna be cool. I feel like it’s a classic story about redemption. It’s a mythology that’s invented because we care so deeply as human beings for one another, it’s hard to think that you just go into a hole [after you die] and that’s it. So you want to see your loved ones be exalted in some way, or be a part of something that’s much more grandiose.
Do you hold any spiritual beliefs yourself?
I think you go into a hole and that’s pretty much it. It’s depressing, so I don’t want to think of life that way. As much as I try to fool myself that Bigfoot exists and there is a Santa Claus, and when I finally do pass away I’m gonna go somewhere awesome, I can’t do it. There’s just no evidence for it. I think we’re just a bunch of f—in’ animals and we live, then we die. But no one likes to think that way. If that’s your best friend or your mom or your grandmother, you want to think that she’s going to go to this amazing place, and that makes it okay for people, and that’s a big part of why religion exists in the first place. Everything dies and everyone dies and the last thing you want to think is, “Oh, well, it’s just over. There’s just darkness and nothing.” You want to think that Grandma is in a better place, and you say that to yourself to console yourself. And also, for people who are dying, it makes them feel better to think they’re going somewhere else. They rationalize. They go, “Well, that was really good, and I’m ready to go to this great place, so I’m f—in’ set. No problem.”
Full interview here. I really hope we get to hear this record before the end of the year.
On October 17, 2009, Mastodon played a show at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. The show was part of their tour in support of Crack of the Skye, and they fittingly played that entire album from start to finish.
But I suppose I should just say up front: If you haven’t heard the recorded version of Crack the Skye, first of all, what the fuck is wrong with you? Do you hate yourself? Do you not enjoy eargasmic music? And secondly, don’t even bother considering this live album without first procuring and then listening to CtS, oh, I don’t know, about a hundred times or until you fall to your knees and weep with exaltation and rapture – whichever comes first.
It’s OK, I’ll wait.
Ok, now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about what the live disc brings to the table.
Zoroaster is one of a seeming endless number of young bands to be coming out of the South’s heavy metal scene. And while they can safely be grouped in with such regional peers as Mastodon, Kylesa, and Black Tusk, these Atlanta, GA-based metallers bring their own specific flavor to the established sludge/stoner formula.
Specifically, they specialize in the psychedelic and drone doom genres of metal.
Matador is the band’s fourth release, and by far it represents their best, most complete effort to date.