New Mastodon Album and Single - "Hushed and Grim" October 29th

MaxOfMetal

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I’ve only had the chance to hear the first few songs and it was while I was getting ready for work. Very stoked to sit down tonight with some good headphones and listen to this front to back.

I can’t remember the last time I heard someone say, if ever, that an album was too long. Maybe Dream Theater’s 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence, which was primarily caused by the Ruddess wankfest that comprised the 2nd half the album.

I don't think folks mean that it's too many minutes, just that it's a slog to get through.

EDIT:

Alright, made it through my first full, non-stop listen. I think @KnightBrolaire pretty much hit the nail on the head.

The pre-release singles are the weakest tracks, and the best on the album are the slower more melodic tracks.

It's not a bad album, but it could have easily been paired down by 1/4. I totally understand the folks saying it's too long, but honestly, it's not egregious.

My biggest gripes: no big Mastodon guitars, the production is "interesting", vocals are probably the worst they've been, and there's just not a lot of hooks to keep you coming back.

It seems they're falling into the trap a lot of heavy bands do when they age, going for more ambience and soundscapes. Which a lot of people dig.

I don't know, it's better than I expected it to be, but I don't know how much I'm going to listen to it again. Maybe it'll grow on me.
 

ittoa666

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I plan on sitting down sometime soon and giving the album a listen. I heard a few of the songs before work earlier, and I have to say that I’m happy about the song lengths. Gigantium really stuck out though. I’ve never heard the guys get that majestic outside of This Mortal Soil.
 

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New album is great, colourful and adventurous yet cohesive. Would have liked some more singing and songs from Brent, his moments really shine through. Solos are fantastic especially in The Beast, so tasty! Dagger was a nice surprise, really well executed idea. Emperor of Sand was a tough album to follow but man did they deliver again like always!
 

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Album is okay so far to
I don't think folks mean that it's too many minutes, just that it's a slog to get through.

EDIT:

Alright, made it through my first full, non-stop listen. I think @KnightBrolaire pretty much hit the nail on the head.

The pre-release singles are the weakest tracks, and the best on the album are the slower more melodic tracks.

It's not a bad album, but it could have easily been paired down by 1/4. I totally understand the folks saying it's too long, but honestly, it's not egregious.

My biggest gripes: no big Mastodon guitars, the production is "interesting", vocals are probably the worst they've been, and there's just not a lot of hooks to keep you coming back.

It seems they're falling into the trap a lot of heavy bands do when they age, going for more ambience and soundscapes. Which a lot of people dig.

I don't know, it's better than I expected it to be, but I don't know how much I'm going to listen to it again. Maybe it'll grow on me.


Agreed with what you are saying guitars are barely there it feels like. Way more subdued. It's overall meh. New Trivium has much more of my listening time I'm guessing but I bought the CD will keep it in truck and see if it will grow on me.
 

thebeesknees22

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I've listened to the new album a few times since yesterday. I dig it. But I'm also getting old and like ambient soundscapes lol

I agree with others that the singles were the weakest songs.

You know, if you ya'll feel like the guitars are weak.... turn it up? haha i kid, i kid.

I dunno, I just popped it on again to refresh, and the mix sounds fine to me. It's nothing bad enough for me to complain about anyway. ...I don't know about the first part of the solo on teardrinker though lol.

It's a solid "music to have on in the background while you work" album. :eek:
 

RevDrucifer

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I fucking love this album. Holy shit do I love this album. I haven't even heard it all the way through yet, the most I got to listen was when I went to bed at 4:30 this morning and had it playing on my ipad next to my head. It kept me up because I was digging it so much.

Occasionally a lyric would catch me and I'd have to check the lyrics (love Apple Music for that) to make sure what I thought was being said was being said. Some of the content was really hitting home in regards to the last couple of years and my divorce. Revolver did an article on the album and apparently Brann had a marriage/relationship that ended as well. Some of the shit is freaky how close it gets. But none of it in a way that's made me sit there feeling like I was licking my wounds, thankfully, as I'm passed that part of it all.

There is some brilliant fucking guitar playing on here that you do not hear in modern metal music, or modern music at all. Brent's got some country and blues stuff on here that will wipe the floor with anything Bonamassa has ever put put out and he just tears it the fuck up on some of the leads. Lots of killer guitar tones that are different song to song, lots of Floyd elements with the keyboards and some of Brent's solos.

They said they purposefully didn't self-edit this time around and weren't trying to stick to the thing they've been doing the last few albums. It works for me! I still need to listen to the second half the album as I started dozing off around that point, but it seemed like it was getting into the heavier stuff as the album went along. I'm starting over right now in my studio and I'm digging the mix a lot more than I was from the YouTube vids, while it's not my favorite mix of one of theirs, it certainly works for the songs. There was one song that popped up with a bunch of synths and there was something about the way they were EQ'd that stood out to me as being very intentional to fit a mood, rather than to make them pop out or how one would normally treat synth parts and I assume that's how Botrill approached the entire album. I just switched to my DT-990's and it really sounds fucking great.

I can definitely understand how fans of the older, pre-CTS fans of the band will not dig this. They aren't that same band anymore and while it works out wonderfully for me, I get it. It sounds like they did exactly what I've wanted Dream Theater to do for years; get in a room and jam the songs out until the songs wrote themselves instead of being dictated via dry erase board or recording them section by section in Pro Tools and moving shit around until they had a finished product. I don't get the idea they were trying to make an album that was going to garner a shitload of new fans; it's not chock full of catchy choruses and quick songs. It's a slow burn with tons of brilliant moments and creates a mood.

There's very little standard song structure on here and I absolutely love that, some of the songs, sure, like the singles. I love that abstract 'here's a song and it's just going to stand on it's own without fitting a format' thing, that's something I strive for in my own music more and more.

I've never had a band that's progressively written better and better albums (IMO) as time has gone on. The use the word "gimmicky" to describe this album......gotta be fucking kidding me, there's nothing on this album that's trying to lure people under false pretenses. I think people get hung up on a band's past far too much (I do it with Dream Theater, admittedly) and if Mastodon doesn't sound like a bunch of cavemen, they see it as selling out. Fuck that, you can't sell this album to radio. Some of it, sure, but overall, this is closer to the idea of CTS with the songs being enjoyed in a whole setting rather than in individual songs. The album definitely has a flow to it.

How guitarists can listen to this album and not find it fucking killer is beyond me, there's so much variation in the playing and just great fucking guitar playing that it'd be a shame to relegate the band to their cavemen roots just playing a bunch of odd time grungy riffs.





I'm pretty sure this is the only album I'll be listening to for a while to come. I checked out the new DT a couple times this week.....moments got me, but nothing like this. There's so many layers and a ton of ear candy. I'm certainly a very happy Mastodon fan. They always seem to put out an album that lines up with something going on in my life at the time, which plays a huge part in my fanaticism for them.
 
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budda

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Checking the album out now. So far I dig it, but haven't had an "oh my god" moment yet.
 

RevDrucifer

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Checking the album out now. So far I dig it, but haven't had an "oh my god" moment yet.

There's a shitload of them all over the album for me. Whether it be a riff, a solo, a vocal passage, lyrical content....this album is hitting all the buttons for me, aside from the part of me that digs the 'don't bore us, get to the chorus' button, because there's none of that aside from "Teardrinker" or "Pushing The Tides". Some of it I just dig because it's so different from anything they've done before, like in "Peace And Tranquility", the 2nd verse at 3:00, it's got this bouncy, almost Beatles-like feel to it. Man, I can't stop listening to this damn album.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Man, I'm glad the album is what it is just for @RevDrucifer and I'm not even kidding. I've had albums touch me like that before and if he gets that from this, then that's just awesome.

I've been listening more and more, and while I'm not big on the album as a whole, there are some really good, damn great tracks (looking at you Beast, Skeletons, Serpents). I'm finding the heavys aren't doing it for me on this one, but literally everything else is pretty on point.

If this was a five song EP I'd say it was the best they've done in the better part of two decades.
 

RevDrucifer

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Man, I'm glad the album is what it is just for @RevDrucifer and I'm not even kidding. I've had albums touch me like that before and if he gets that from this, then that's just awesome.

I've been listening more and more, and while I'm not big on the album as a whole, there are some really good, damn great tracks (looking at you Beast, Skeletons, Serpents). I'm finding the heavys aren't doing it for me on this one, but literally everything else is pretty on point.

If this was a five song EP I'd say it was the best they've done in the better part of two decades.

I can totally see how longtime Mastodon fans wouldn’t be into this. They’re not the band they were pre-CTS and they’re just going headfirst into the 70’s prog thing. Conversely, I don’t dig a whole lot of old Mastodon. There’s some of it I certainly do, but given a choice, I’ll take anything after CTS over those albums any day of the week.

The moods they created on this album with the lyrical content are what’s pulled me in so much. Blows my fucking mind how this album feels like a diary to me. But outside of that, the musicianship with these guys is just so fucking good. I’ll take this over Dream Theater shit all day long.

I love how they take these different styles, “The Beast” is a great example, that’s like a total country blues song…..with Mastodon vocals. They’ll get this musical bed going that’s in an entirely different style than they’ve ever done and then do their vocal thing on top. I know there’s a big part of my Mike Patton fanaticism in hearing different kinds of voices on a record and between Brent, Brann and Troy, I love the way they all work together. I know the vocals are another sore spot with fans, but I just love ‘em. Killer fucking melodies and shit you don’t hear in modern music these days. I absolutely love Brann and Troy’s voice and Brent’s come a long way. Totally different voices and I love how they mix them up, especially when Troy and Brann and harmonizing together.

The only time this album has not been playing for the past 48 hours was when I was on my way to a King Diamond tribute show last night and checked out the new Whitechapel on the way. I can’t stop listening to it and not even in that “oh, this chorus is so catchy I need to hear it 100x” like I did with “The Motherload” or “Word To The Wise”…”Oblivion”….

If this album came out 4 months ago, I might not have the same reception to it. There was some stuff I couldn’t handle at the time and actually, even when they released “Teardrinker”, I heard it once and said “Yep, I love it but I won’t be listening to that for a while.”, but a few things occurred in the day following that cleared the path for me and now I can enjoy this album without re-living the straight up torture of the last two years.

Next time I meet Brann I’m just going to give that dude a big hug.
 

mongey

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I've been listening to it the last few days and I like it. Its def a long haul . But I like what they have done

I like that the production is different . its a little raw sounding like Leviathan, not as raw of course , but not as polished sounding as the last few albums . guitars are hairier and it suits the songs
 

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I think the new album is fantastic. To me, it feels like a natural progression from CTS. A lot of great tracks on this one. I'm surprised no one has mentioned "More Than I Could Chew", what a killer song, with some killer riffs. I love the synth work throughout the album. Definitely got some Pink Floyd vibes to it. I think is album is a great amalgamation of everything they've done so far. A good mix of heavy and prog, leaning more into the prog. A ton of emotion in these songs too.

The mix definitely takes some getting used to. I think my only gripe would be the guitars don't sound "big" enough, as someone mentioned earlier.
 

RevDrucifer

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I think the new album is fantastic. To me, it feels like a natural progression from CTS. A lot of great tracks on this one. I'm surprised no one has mentioned "More Than I Could Chew", what a killer song, with some killer riffs. I love the synth work throughout the album. Definitely got some Pink Floyd vibes to it. I think is album is a great amalgamation of everything they've done so far. A good mix of heavy and prog, leaning more into the prog. A ton of emotion in these songs too.

The mix definitely takes some getting used to. I think my only gripe would be the guitars don't sound "big" enough, as someone mentioned earlier.

I think the mood of the album is precisely why they picked Botrill to produce/mix it. The content and feel of the songs, I wouldn’t really want big ass guitars in them. Hushed And Grim is the perfect title for the album, it would kind of go against that if it were called Hushed And Grim but the album was mixed to be Bombastic And Grinding.

I know when I’m mixing my own stuff, I try to get the mix to match the feel and intent of the songs, which certainly starts getting into that “this is my art/vision” stuff that no one but me can really pick up on. IE- I tracked a song last year that has these disjointed guitar leads in between the verse/chorus, the tone I used was a bluesy/Gilmour tone, but when it came time to mix it, it didn’t really get the feel, sonically, until I cut out a shitload of high end and buried them back a bit more than they were.

Or in the last song I recorded, I wanted the snare to feel like an uppercut to the chin, so I set up the parallel compression a bit differently than I normally would so it pops as soon as the snare hits harder than I would for a normal song. Little shit like that instead of just going with, “I want the snare to sound as huge as possible.”

It also gives me the ability, when someone says they don’t dig the mix, to tell them, “Well, ya don’t know what I was going for.” :lol:
 

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I was critical of the singles and still am unsure what to think of the album. I'll need another few playthroughs for sure.

Ive decided if I just listen to this album for what it is instead of trying to compare it to their previous work that I will enjoy it more, and so far thats been the case! I really dig More Than I Could Chew and Peace and Tranquility. Theres lots of weird/wild guitar happening at different parts too that I enjoy. Brann's vocals are enjoyable for me.

I think this may be like Baroness's Yellow and Green to me - didn't get it or fully enjoy it right away, but eventually came back to appreciate it for what it was.
 

Ataraxia2320

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I think the new album is fantastic. To me, it feels like a natural progression from CTS. A lot of great tracks on this one. I'm surprised no one has mentioned "More Than I Could Chew", what a killer song, with some killer riffs. I love the synth work throughout the album. Definitely got some Pink Floyd vibes to it. I think is album is a great amalgamation of everything they've done so far. A good mix of heavy and prog, leaning more into the prog. A ton of emotion in these songs too.

The mix definitely takes some getting used to. I think my only gripe would be the guitars don't sound "big" enough, as someone mentioned earlier.

The second half of More than I could Chew made the hairs at the back of my neck stand up and it's been a long time since that's happened to me.

I'm enjoying it more and more as I listen to the album. As someone else said the vibe really is reflected by the title.
 

RevDrucifer

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I was critical of the singles and still am unsure what to think of the album. I'll need another few playthroughs for sure.

Ive decided if I just listen to this album for what it is instead of trying to compare it to their previous work that I will enjoy it more, and so far thats been the case! I really dig More Than I Could Chew and Peace and Tranquility. Theres lots of weird/wild guitar happening at different parts too that I enjoy. Brann's vocals are enjoyable for me.

I think this may be like Baroness's Yellow and Green to me - didn't get it or fully enjoy it right away, but eventually came back to appreciate it for what it was.

I got my first lesson in regards to the bolded part with Metallica. The clean guitar part in “Until It Sleeps” is what got me into Metallica. While I certainly knew of their bigger songs previous to the Load album, nothing grabbed me and made me want to listen more (keep in mind, I was 12 or 13 at the time). I bought Load and listened to the shit out of it and THEN went back and fell in love with the old Metallica stuff.

For me, it was just a collection of songs I dug as I had no preconceived notions of what Load or Metallica “should” have sounded like in 1996 and I think it was exactly that situation that made me appreciate bands changing over time.

I mean shit, if I were still writing the same kind of music I initially started writing, I probably would have quit out of boredom at this point. And if I were the same person I was in my teens, twenties or early thirties, I’d be dead.

Similarly, I’ve tried doing this with newer Dream Theater and it still doesn’t work for me, but I digress.
 

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I'm listening to this for the first time as it dropped while I was on my way back from vacation, and I've been decompressing from that these past few days; I'm currently up to 'Had It All', and this so far is the first track that seems to have brought the momentum down a lot. It's a bit of a gamble, as they could be doing it intentionally, but I'm a bit surprised that it got this slow compared to where it starts.

Scratch that, since as I type this, 'Savage Lands' kicked in and brings it back to life. I'm not against what they were doing with HIA, it's just surprising on first listen and I'm sure I won't recognize it on repeat listens. The only thing so far that has jumped out to me is the time, but again, the only time I've really been conscious of it was during Had It All, the rest of it flows together nicely so I think it's just the 'first listen quirks'. Seems in the same vein as the last few Mastodon releases, and I'm here for it.

Good to know the show in a couple weeks won't be a bummer for these new songs
 

Ataraxia2320

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Still digesting Hushed and Grim. There is a decent amount to take in, I could not give a proper opinion after two listens.

In other news, not a good look there from Brent. Dude is a bit of a wild card.
MASTODON Apologize For Brent Hinds' Use of Homophobic Language, Have "No Ill Will Towards DISTURBED" (metalinjection.net)

When you grow up with that kind of language being extremely common, it's pretty simple for something like that to slip out.

It's only in the last 5 - 10 years that most people have stopped using it casually, and I think a lot of people forget that. 90% of people who used it as a pejorative never meant any ill will towards the LGBT community it was just used as a synonym for lame.

Of course that doesn't mean it was right, but context matters here.
 

Dekay82

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I've only gotten through it once while I was absolutely TRASHED the other night, so I don't remember maybe like 1/2-1/3 of it. I actually like the production and I listen to chunks of it through out the day. I feel like The Crux deserves more love.

One gripe: Aside from one song, Brent seems so checked out and done. It's like the track is done, he comes in lays out a solo, then goes and jams with 30 other people. His solos are great but are starting to seem a bit repetitive on songs that aren't "his".

Regardless, from what I can remember hearing, I like this album a lot. It's very "mature" sounding, both in tone and scope. The songs are well written and build nicely. It's a good progression as these dudes get older.

Signed,
Anonymous Internet Asshole Critic
 


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