Mastodon have made their grand return after a 4 year wait with their 8th studio album ‘Hushed and Grim.’ A gargantuan monster of a double album, it is clear that many ideas have been accumulated and condensed in the 4 year run up to its release.
The Georgian quartet have incorporated every facet of their musical lexicon throughout their strong discography; progressive stoner rock, sludge metal and melodic to create a more sombre sound compared to earlier offerings.
This daunting 90 minute undertaking is occasionally alluring with fleeting moments of greatness however it remains a safe sound overall with a lot of filler.
They have maintained their 3 pronged vocal approach with this record creating calming harmonies speaking from the ether offset by more gruff, almost smokey vocals. They have taken elements of vintage heavy metal riffs interjected with progressive sludge rhythms.
In my opinion, the strongest tracks of the record are ‘The Crux,’ ‘Teardrinker’ and ‘Dagger.’ The former two tracks are very fluid and melodic with technical instrumentals and chugging riffs. ‘Dagger’ on the other hand is considerably more moodier and sombre setting a darker tone for the record.
Overall, ‘Hushed and Grim’ is a solid record but for a band who have consistently reinvented themselves at the risk of driving away their core fan base, this remains a relatively chilled and safe record. Progressive metal is a minefield with various hits and misses, much like this record.
I vibe with some tracks but not the overall record and I give it a 6.5/10.
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