The latest by Mastodon sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age than the sludge or progressive metal that fans expect. But when the song’s this good, who cares?

This is a driving, aggressive, headbanger that makes great use of Brann Dailor’s and Troy Sanders’ vocals. Dailor’s voice is clean and frantic, whereas Sanders’ is far more of a belter. The different voices on Mastodon’s tracks are part of what makes this group stand out and that dichotomy works perfectly here.

Oh, the music’s good too! It’s got no frills, no wasted space. It’s a verse-chorus-verse-chorus type of track that’s made for driving too fast, moshing too hard or singing too loud. Of course, they still make room for another shredding, furious solo in the middle. It wouldn’t be Mastodon without it!

If this number is anything to go by, then the band’s seventh album, Emperor of Sand, should kick ass as much as their last six LPs. Like the beast the band’s named after, Mastodon appears to be unstoppable.

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