Musings from Mastodon’s dark heart…
Released on 22 September 2017
Review by Jason Guest
Cold Dark Place, the new EP from Mastodon. Well, they say new. It features four previously unreleased tracks, three of which were recorded during the sessions for 2014 Once More ‘Round The Sun, and the other, ‘Toe To Toe’, was recorded during the sessions for the band’s outstanding latest album, 2016’s Emperor of Sand. And when bands release material “from the vaults”, the quality of that material immediately comes into question: Why didn’t they release the tracks when they were recorded?
Elsewhere, however, the EP shines. ‘North Star’s shift from Mastodon psychedelic melancholy into prog drive is masterful; ‘Blue Walsh’s groove is as captivating as it’s solemn subject matter is moving; and ‘Toe To Toe’ sees Hinds baring his soul, that cold dark place at the centre of this beautiful EP. And for the title track, lyrics and music combine in an ethereal and emotive beauty that is irresistibly compelling from its disquieting opening to the wonderfully affecting guitar solo that closes the track and the EP.
Introspective, revealing, emotional, progressive, psychedelic, haunting, texturally seductive, phantasmagorical atmospherics, and funky and heavy in all the right measures, all the traits of the band are in play. And played very well. Again, Mastodon affirm themselves as musicians unafraid to boldly go, to explore, to discover and to deliver. All that remains is one question: why didn’t they release the tracks when they were recorded?
- North Side Star
- Blue Walsh
- Toe To Toes
- Cold Dark Place