Mastodon - Hushed And Grim (2XLP Vinyl)

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The album represents the next step on Mastodon's endless path of natural evolution. They've once again progressed exponentially as songwriters and musicians who transcend genres while unapologetically refusing to conform and preserving the integrity that transformed them into an iconic and influential forces in modern rock music. By removing boundaries and creating in a free form they evolved with a combination of newfound melodic confidence and their signature musical intricacy intact.


Mastodon is currently one of the only bands that I seem to trust enough, that I actually buy their new release on the day it comes out without listening to it beforehand. They seem to be a band manages to create music that gives me the fizz time after time, and “Hushed and Grim” is no exception to this rule.

“Hushed and Grim” is the most ambitious Mastodon release since the release of their masterpiece, “Crack the Skye”, and that is the most comparable album for this new one. Both have a majestic epic soundscape on most of the songs, and both have an underlying 70s prog rock vibe, mixed with the more familiar sludgy prog metal sound of theirs.

But if “Crack the Skye” was a wild and a rather violent beast - “Hushed and Grim” is its tamer and more domesticated sibling. There seems to be more focus on creating songs with melancholic atmosphere - examples of this are “Skeleton of Splendor”, “Dagger” and “Had It All” - than on creating crushing riff-driven songs. Thankfully songs like “The Crux”, “Pushing the Tides” and “Savage Lands” still offer us some solid metal riffage to balance things out, but on average the pace is slower than on any other Mastodon album. There are even moments that flirt with doom metal.

The biggest problem on this album is probably the sparsity of true highlights. While Mastodon managed to avoid the usual double album syndrome, where the bands quality control is so loose that every creative fart ends up on the release, they also didn’t create that many highlights either. Especially the second half of the album suffers from this issue. The sparse usage of Brent Hinds’ vocals is another thing that bothers me. There is only two songs with him singing, and especially when there is over 80 minutes of music, every way of creating variety is more than welcome. I could also see some people disliking the airy, but still very loud, production as a problem, but I do think the airiness does a great service for the more atmospheric songwriting.

I usually aren’t the biggest fan of double albums, but Mastodon thankfully managed to create an album that is listenable from start to finish. It isn’t perfect, but in my opinion it might be their best since the amazing “Crack the Skye”. It is also cool to hear a band evolving and challenging themselves this far in their career.

By: TheMaikkeli

A1 Pain With An Anchor
A2 The Crux
A3 Sickle And Peace
A4 More Than I Could Chew
B1 The Beast
B2 Skeleton Of Splendor
B3 Teardrinker
B4 Pushing The Tides
C1 Peace And Tranquility
C2 Dagger
C3 Had It All
C4 Savage Lands
D1 Gobblers Of Dregs
D2 Eyes Of Serpents
D3 Gigantium

Reprise Records