Mastodon Debut (Slightly) Mellower Epics at Bonnaroo

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Unlike Metallica last night, Atlanta's Mastodon showed off some killer new epics from their forthcoming album due out later this year. For the new tunes — one of which was titled "Quintessence" — the group was joined by a keyboardist, who added some swelling, blippy atmospherics. Brent Hinds, who typically squalls and shrieks, even changed up his singing style, showing off a relatively mellower croon that works. But make no mistake: these new tunes were classic Mastodon, with Hinds, Bill Kelliher and Troy Sanders showing off interlocking riffs that shifted from mellifluous elegies to deep guttural grooves over drummer Brann Dailor's masterful time-shifting beats.