Mastodon has done it again with the release of their seventh studio album, Emperor of Sand.
Prog-metallers Mastodon are masters at having lyrics that hit you straight in the heart, coupled with music that puts your brain to work trying to figure out “how did they do that,” all while making your body move to the beats. Emperor of Sand is a concept album inspired by and dedicated to the untimely passing of guitarist Bill Kelliner’s mother.
The album/story is set in the deserts of early Arabia and the band does a remarkable job painting this picture with the lyrics. Using sand as a representation for not only the passage of time, but our mortality. The band has created a story everyone can relate to on some level.
Emperor of Sand is filled with the classic Heavy Mastodon sound that in some ways feels more evolved, dare I even say mature, and more refined. Your senses are hit from all sides with the big ever-changing drums paired with the soaring guitars and bad-ass bass lines. Mastodon has found the perfect balance to show there is a way to use hard hitting, heavy riffs, and beats to tell a beautiful story.
After listening to the album over and over (because it is just that damn good), I came away not only loving the album, but also reminded life is fleeting and we should live it to the fullest. You never know when your sand will run out.
Be sure to pick up this album, out now via Reprise, and let a kick-ass metal band remind you how music can and should make you feel.