What You Need To Know - October 28, 2021

Mastodon's Hushed and Grim - What You Need To Know
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Mastodon's Hushed and Grim - What You Need To Know

The cultured metallers return with their eighth studio album and their first since 2017’s Emperor Of Sand, here is everything you need to know about it...


A little background…

Even without the torrid time the world has endured over the past 18 months, Mastodon entered into the making of this new album in a dark place. 

The band’s manager Nick John, passed away in 2018 following a battle with pancreatic cancer and left them all stricken by grief. The band have channelled darkness plenty of times before, after all, their last effort Emperor of Sand followed a desert wanderer who has been handed a death sentence. But what's been delivered on this album is something far, far more personal...


Who’s producing it?

Mastodon have never been shackled to one producer with the likes of Nick Raskulinecz and Mike Elizondo among their past collaborators. On Emperor Of Sand, they returned to Brendan O'Brien, with whom they made 2009's Crack The Skye, but for this new one, it's another new face. 

David Bottrill, who started out working with Peter Gabriel, but also oversaw Tool's Ænima and Lateralus as well as Muse's Origin Of Symmetry and Stone Sour's record output. 



Any special guests?

A series. Soundgarden lead guitarist Kim Thayil helps out, Jody Sanders, mother of frontman Troy Sanders has played french horn, Municipal Waste drummer Dave Witte is on there, while much-admired blues guitarist Marcus King also makes a guest appearance. 


What does it sound like?

Mastodon have always leant into epic sonic leaps, but on this LP, they’ve dived right in. It’s a monster of an album, 88 minutes, 15 tracks and more genres than you’d think it was possible to traverse. 

Rock, psychedelia, punk, metal, alternative, and prog, sometimes in the space of one song. This is Mastodon at their genre-smashing best. 



Does it deliver?

Ever since they came to prominence with their second studio album Blood and Thunder, Mastodon have ploughed their own furrow. They signed to a major label and promptly delivered a concept album about a man being chased up a mountain by a series of mythic creatures, and, when that sold well, they followed it up with a proggy seven-track epic, which owed more to King Crimson and Genesis than it did to Metallica or Iron Maiden. 

Anybody who has followed the band through that era and beyond will find an awful lot to love in Hushed and Grim. It’s a meaty listen and it will demand repeated listens, but it also finds a band in supremely confident form, at some moments heavier than they’ve been since their earliest days, and in others wildly experimental. 

It is, in short, well worth your time. 


Mastodon’s new album, Hushed and Grim, is out tomorrow (October 29th) in hmv stores and available to pre-order here in hmv’s online store.

Hushed and Grim
Hushed and Grim Mastodon

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