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Mastodon did not let time fly to release the next album. Once again they satisfy their audience and perhaps win a few new fans, since their music is not considered exclusively metal but has a more relaxed approach to progressive rock. “Emperor Of Sand” was released on March 31st, 2017 via Reprise Records. Perhaps they are being punished for some reason by the change in their approach to the genre but I think they are rewarded by the majority.

The album is a concept album. It refers to a lonely man wandering in the desert who symbolizes the fight with cancer. “Emperor Of Sand” makes a commendable effort to remain thematically consistent with the sounds appearing on it.

The two guitars fill the room with lovable riffs and along with the bass and the drums they deliver a groove that you hardly meet anywhere else. Solos are expressive and fit perfectly in each song. Vocals are delivered from three of the four band members and you can notice an unbelievable match, with melodies ranging from song to song.

I listened to the album many times and every time it left me even more impressed with how good work they have done. A mystical atmosphere is hanging around and causes shivers. “Emperor Of Sand” seems to be a sum of what has been released over the last ten years. They put a question on what the band will follow in the future. What I see is that they have done well so far. (8,5)

Konstantinos Paizanos