Mastodon - Fallen Torches - Song Review - Progressive Sludge Metal from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Mastodon - Fallen Torches - Song Review - Progressive Sludge Metal from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Mastodon - Fallen Torches - Song Review - Progressive Sludge Metal from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Today, we embark on a journey through Mastodon's latest offering, the powerful and dynamic song "Fallen Torches." Join me as we explore its character, style, story, potential, and more, and delve into the world of this influential progressive sludge metal band from Atlanta, Georgia.

Mastodon, undeniably one of the most influential metal bands of our era, holds a special place in my heart. I vividly recall the moment I first discovered them while watching Jason Newsted's interview, where he acknowledged the band's impact by stating, "Metallica took metal to many different parts of the world for the first time and made it possible for many metal bands like Mastodon to go and play shows there." Mastodon's contributions to our musical landscape cannot be overstated—they have left an indelible mark through their unique musical character, distinct personalities, remarkable instrumentation, and innovative approach. They have truly paved the way for the future of metal.

Recently, they released "Fallen Torches," a new song from their upcoming album, "Medium Rarities," set to be released on September 11. As a devoted Mastodon fan, I have mixed feelings about this song. On one hand, they maintain their high standards of instrumental prowess, as demonstrated by Brann Dailor's incredible drumming showcased in the track. Additionally, "Fallen Torches" emanates vibes reminiscent of their earlier albums, particularly the raw and captivating sound found in "Crack the Skye" (2009). Many of us, myself included, hold a deep affection for Mastodon's earlier works, characterized by their stoner-progressive rock essence. However, I found their last two releases, "Once More 'Round the Sun" and "Emperor of Sand," to fall below the band's usual musical standards in various aspects. It appears that Mastodon is aware of this sentiment and has resurrected the fierce and captivating old-school Mastodon sound with this song.

"Fallen Torches" caters to the desires of any Mastodon fan, featuring Troy Sanders' remarkable vocal skills that we all adore. It offers the long-awaited return of the Mastodon we've come to know and love. The song does deviate from the classic Mastodon character in its chorus section, incorporating additional electronic elements. While this aspect didn't entirely resonate with me, I don't find myself opposed to the band's experimentation.

Furthermore, the song not only displays progressive elements in its instrumentation but also in its structure. Mastodon exhibits a greater sense of cohesion and unity, which hints at its potential as a soundtrack. Simultaneously, it imparts the sensation of listening to a short story with three distinct chapters. While I am thrilled to hear their new music and have enjoyed "Fallen Torches" on repeat, I do have some reservations regarding the seamless integration of these three distinct parts. At times, it feels reminiscent of a Mastodon medley. Additionally, "Fallen Torches" serves as the first official release from Mastodon's upcoming album, accompanied solely by a visualizer. As one of the most influential and creatively talented metal bands of our modern era, it is unfortunate to see them presenting their music solely through visuals, neglecting the opportunity to showcase their creativity through music videos.

Technically, "Fallen Torches" meets reasonable standards, although it may not reach the greatness one would expect. I am unsure whether this is due to budget constraints or a deliberate artistic choice. Allow me to clarify— "Fallen Torches" is a sonically impressive song, no doubt. However, Mastodon's sound has remained relatively unchanged over the past decade. I question why they have ceased to evolve the technical aspects of their music. Countless exceptional producers have collaborated with underground metal bands, producing awe-inspiring works. Yet, it appears that Mastodon consistently works with the same individual in the same studio. It could be just my perception, and I remain uncertain.

In conclusion, it is a pleasure to experience new music from Mastodon once again. I wholeheartedly appreciate everything Mastodon represents, and I eagerly await the release of their new album, "Medium Rarities." To Mastodon, I extend my congratulations for their inspiring work on "Fallen Torches" and wish them continued success in their future endeavors. Thank you for reading.

Medium Rarities Tracklisting:

1. Fallen Torches (Previously Unreleased)
2. A Commotion (Feist Cover)
3. Asleep in the Deep (Instrumental version)
4. Capillarian Crest (Live)
5. A Spoonful Weighs A Ton (The Flaming Lips Cover)
6. Toe To Toes (Instrumental version)
7. Circle of Cysquatch (Live)
8. Atlanta (Butthole Surfers Cover)
9. Jaguar God (Instrumental)
10. Cut You Up With A Linoleum Life (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
11. Blood & Thunder (Live)
12. White Walker (from Game of Thrones mix tape)
13. Halloween (Instrumental version)
14. Crystal Skull (Live)
15. Orion (Metallica Cover)
16. Iron Tusk (Live)


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