Once More 'Round the Sun - Mastodon (2014)
Mastodon maybe don't want to Crack the Skye, but definitely achieve it. And they're trying to do it their way. I admired them from the beginning: I've always looked at them like as a band certainly not boring but very professional. I mean, you can see around funny photos of them, definitely they are strong drinkers, but they don't give the idea of getting in and out of rehab. And above all, they give the idea of being great workers of music. Records well conceived, and many, many live concerts, no matter whether like headliner or like opening act, the important thing is to play, and bring their music around the world.
Another important thing, I don't think they gave a shit about most of the criticism and about the fans lost with the previous album The Hunter, accused of lightness. It was only a passage, a necessary piece to get to the next step, indeed, this new Once More 'Round the Sun, a record that seems to mix Black Sabbath and Journey, if you know what I mean.
Take for example the song The Motherload, a small masterpiece, five minutes of a thrilling metal, dense, full of good vibes and technical mastery, harmonies and melodies blended with a hardness unassailable, even by those who regarded The Hunter like a crap. All the rest is hard work and variations on the same theme, looking for an unmistakable style, already found, and respect for the sacred monsters of the past.
And certainly due to Mastodon, and bands like The Swords, that metal in its classical sense has been able to survive, and become practically a genre of music that has nothing to envy to others.
Play it loud, and do not regret it.