Mastodon have released a new single called Andromeda. It is the third single released from their new album, Emperor of Sand. Emperor of Sand is due to be released on the 31st of March via Reprise Records. It will be Mastodon’s 7th studio album and follows on from 2014’s Once More ‘Round the Sun.
The first track released, Sultan’s Curse, was a good song. It was a little uninspiring and safe, but still a good song. You can read our thoughts on it here. The second song, Show Yourself, wasn’t great. Again it was an okay song but just didn’t really reach passed okay. You can read our thoughts on that one here.
The problem with the releases so far is that, while they are okay rock songs, we all know the talent and ability Mastodon possess. Because of that, I have pretty high expectations of them. We all do. So far, they haven’t reached the bar they have set for themselves. I was hoping for a bit more with Andromeda. I am pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.
Andromeda is just over 4 minutes long and has one of the heavier starts to a Mastodon song that I have heard in a long time. It fades in before a mighty crash of drums introduces a rough and ready sounding riff. Troy Sanders let’s loose on vocals, shouting over the thundering drums and really off beat sounding guitars and bass. Brent Hinds throws in multiple old school sounding solos and leads to bridge verses and choruses. There is clean singing in the chorus which is really catchy and the singing sounds great over a slower lead guitar but still quick drumming.
Andromeda is chock full of heavy rhythm. There is a huge instrumental section that starts with slow lead soloing over gentle drums but transforms into a really fast, sludgy rhythm. There is riffing, shredding and drum blasts galore before it moves back into the clean chorus. This time with extra layers added by Brann Dailor. What I love though is that rather then just play out the chorus through to the end, it returns to the heaviest Mastodon sound in years. Hinds is shouting, the music is hard and heavy and I can see myself moshing to this.
What a welcome song this is. It is the polar opposite to the safe and flat rock songs of the first two singles. This is a mighty return to form with inventive riffing and a clever song structure. Also, it is as heavy as you are going to get from Mastodon. They keep their retro rock charm in the choruses and in some of the guitar solos but, in Andromeda, they also pull in elements from places like Once More Round the Sun and Crack The Skye.
Andromeda is a great track and it is very different to the first two. It is a well balanced track with heavy, sludgy moments, intelligent solos and catchy choruses. It has a really heavy breakdown with speed drumming and riffing over shouted/screeched vocals. For the first time with Emperor of Sand, I am genuinely excited for this album. I just really hope there is more Andromeda and less Show Yourself on the full album.
Check the track out for yourself here. It’s well worth it. Why not preorder the album from Mastodon’s website. Check the band out on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with news on the album and the band. Be sure to give them a like or follow while you are there too.
The Final Score - 9/10
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