Man, it must suck being in Mastodon.  Every time they release a new album, critics go nutzoid over it, hailing it a masterpiece of the genre.  I'm not here to argue with them, but when critics and fans put you high on a pedestal, it has to be hard to live up to those expectations.  Again, it has to suck being in Mastodon, trying to come out with records that the critics drool over.  Then again, I have a feeling Mastodon don't make records for the critics.

It took me awhile to get into Mastodon.  I love doom/stoner metal, and Mastodon has a lot of sludge to their music, but they're also very progressive.  I'm not the biggest progressive rock fan, so some of their songs with crazy time and tempo changes tend to bore me.  The new album, Once More 'Round the Sun is far from progressive.  Actually, it's more of a straight ahead rock album, which is why I like it so much.  Don't get me wrong, there are songs with progressive elements, but Once More 'Round the Sun sounds more like a Maiden album than a Genesis one.

The first single, High Road, is probably my least favorite track on the album, which is saying something because that's the single!  The opening track, Tread Lightly, is a great album opener that really sets the tone for the album (which again, is a good 'ol fashion rock album vs. a proggy one) and The Motherload is so damn catchy, that I found myself singing along by the end of the song.  And the last track, Diamond in the Witch House, is so killer, that you want the members of the band to have sex with your wife just for writing it.  Plus, look at that killer album art!

It's easy for a band to release a killer first album, because they have their whole career to write it, but it's hard for a band to release a great follow up.  Mastodon have proven they live up to the challenge, and they grow with each album.  Every time Mastodon release a new album, rock critics go crazy because it's better than the last.  For once, I'll agree with the critics.  A band's song writing and musicianship should grow with each album, and Once More 'Round the Sun proves that Mastodon's tank has not gone dry.

Side note: Chris from Green Light Music didn't care for this, so when you buy this album at his store, call him a poser.