Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand (Warner) 2017
The aftermath of 2012’s epic Crack the Skye revealed Mastodon more willing to keep things more or less direct. Emperor of Sand, the 3rd album post–Crack The Skye, sees the Atlanta quartet operating in a balanced world that takes cues from the colossal sounds from the band’s “classic era” and the directness of the two previous efforts, with a clearly refined take on it. In the reunion with producer Brendan O’Brien the band tackles mortality and does it strikingly with huge melodies, crushing riffs, and their inimitable signature sound. In a way, Emperor Of Sand seems like the “end of an era”, closing the circle thematically and sonically. The present is thrilling and the future couldn’t be more exciting.