Mastodon first gained my attention on the same night that I discovered Lamb Of God, as part of the short lived second edition of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. I witnessed them simply take over the second stage a few years later at Ozzfest and have been a gigantic fan ever since. Their magnificent Emperor Of Sand album (2017) is an uncompromising and unflinching look at a desert wanderer’s ordeal with cancer. Several members of Mastodon had various loved ones and family directly affected by cancer, and the songs deal with death, survival, and run the gamut of emotions. I draw inspiration from this, having lost my father and other dear friends to the deadly disease. As with all Mastodon albums, the playing and singing are masterfully executed, with 3 lead vocalists weaving in and out of various songs. My favorite tracks are Jaguar God, Scorpion Breath, Ancient Kingdom, Steambreather, and Word To The Wise. This is progressive metal at its finest, music that challenges and rewards the listener with each successive playing.
Written By Braddon S. Williams