Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun


Review by Raymond Westland

Reprise Records

Release date: 24 June 2014

Mastodon’s previous album The Hunter caused a lot of division among the band’s fan­-base. Some accused Troy Sanders and Co. of selling out, while others appreciated their newfound emphasis on writing actual songs. Many songs off The Hunter grown to staples in the band’s setlist and one cannot deny the staying power of tracks like ‘Curl Of The Burl’ and ‘Black Tongue’. 3 years later and Mastodon are back with Once More ‘Round The Sun, another album that may test their fan-base…

The album title is a dead ringer for the overall musical direction of this record. This time around Mastodon chose to stay in familiar waters instead of branching out like they did on Crack The Skye and Remission, for example. In the case of Once More ‘Round The Sun, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the album is loaded with balanced and well-written tunes that can rival with the finest moments of all the previous Mastodon records.

Take ‘The Motherload’ and ‘Chimes At Midnight’. They have the same bluesy rock and roll swagger as some of the finest tracks from The Hunter, while ‘Asleep In The Deep’ and ‘Diamond In The Witch House’ are very reminiscent of the more complicated and layered material from Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye. The latter track also features some guest contributions from Scott Kelly of Neurosis fame. Other highlights on Once More ‘Round The Sun are ‘Aunt Lisa’ and ‘High Road’, mainly because of their attitude and anthem-like quality, this latter track retaining the feel and vigour of Remission and Blood Mountain.

Once More ‘Round The Sun is very much a traditional album on which Sanders and Co. choose to play to their strengths instead of really venturing out of their musical comfort zone. This makes the new Mastodon album a rather “safe” record, but it features enough twists and turns and high quality cuts to make it one of the finest releases in otherwise a rather dull year for rock and metal.

Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun8.5 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Tread Lightly
  2. The Motherload
  3. High Road
  4. Once More ‘Round The Sun
  5. Chimes At Midnight
  6. Asleep In The Deep
  7. Feast Your Eyes
  8. Aunt Lisa
  9. Ember City
  10. Halloween
  11. Diamond In The Witch House