"This time, things will work out just fine," drummer Brann Dailor sings in a rare moment of sunshine during the charging second track on Mastodon's sixth headbanging LP. The mercurial metalheads have improved on the lean hard-rock pummel of 2011's The Hunter with lattices of ornate riffs and primal vocals, but those intricacies verge on being too much of a good thing over the course of the album's 11 tracks. The band sounds best when taking cheerful risks, as with the "hey-ho" chant led by female guest vocalists on "Aunt Lisa." Judging from all the Sturm und Drang, Mastodon aren't happy just when things work out fine – they're happy when they work out at all.
From The Archives Issue 1212: July 3, 2014