Mastodon are just one of those metal bands that you can foresee would have been at home in any by-gone era of metal. Their sound does the difficult job of bringing fans from both ends of the metal spectrum in: those that are a little more closed minded and find it difficult to give credence to anything released after the 90’s, and those that love a heap of hook and groove mixed in with their stomping metal.
Having already released a full LP this year, in the way of the critically acclaimed ‘Emperor Of Sand’, new EP ‘Cold Dark Place sees Mastodon in a nonchalant, flamboyant mood – with four tracks that lean heavily into progressive metal, and it’s a refreshing turn of pace from a band well versed in mixing their tones up.
As expected, the musicianship of the band stands tall throughout, lead guitarist Brent Hinds floats in and out of ‘North Side Star’ with solos and lead guitar lines that could have been plucked out of a showdown in a Clint Eastwood film, constantly changing the intensity of the track with a moments notice. The quick change up in style has done nothing to effect the drumming of Brann Dailor either, who just never seems to put a foot wrong, regardless of the type of release.
‘Toe To Toes’ best tells the tale of what this EP is for Mastodon, with its playful opening before floating itself into being an all out, thickening rock beast – this is simply the Georgia quartet showing you the depth of their repertoire.
Cold Dark Place doesn’t feel like it’s a release that Mastodon are hoping changes much in terms of their career projectory. It very much is what it says on the tin: four unreleased tracks from a mightily accomplished metal band showing they’re a dab hand at writing something a little more progressive too. At this point, we can probably trust Mastodon to do whatever they want going forward.