Mastodon is one of the most influential metal bands of our era. I still remember the day I discovered them while watching Jason Newsted’s (Ex-Metallica) interview. He said, “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.” I believe that Mastodon deserves to be one of the greatest bands of our time with everything they have brought into our world. They have made a big difference with their musical character, personalities, instrumentation, and understanding of music. Briefly, they have opened the door to the future of metal.
About two weeks ago, they released a new song, Fallen Torches, off from their upcoming album, Medium Rarities, which will be released on September 11. As a Mastodon fan, I have mixed feelings about this song, to be honest. First of all, they maintain their high standards with their instrumentation. I watched Brann Dailor playing Fallen Torches’ drum tracks, and it was truly incredible. Additionally, there are so many vibes from their first albums, mainly from Crack the Skye (2009). Many people, including me, love Mastodon because of their strong character in their early periods where they sounded super raw, kind of stoner-progressive rock. You might disagree with me on this, but I don’t consider their latest two releases, Once More ‘Round the Sun and Emperor of Sand, as a success because they were below Mastodon’s musical standards in so many ways. It seems like the band is also aware of it, and brought back some badass old-school Mastodon vibes with this song.
Fallen Torches has the necessary dynamics which will satisfy any Mastodon fan out there. We all love Troy Sanders and his incredible vocal skills. And Fallen Torches is almost what we were waiting to hear from them in this way. The song is separating itself from the old-school Mastodon character in the chorus section, where they have decided to use some additional electronic elements. I can’t say I liked it so much, yet I am not against it.
On the other hand, the song is not only progressive with its instrumentation, but also with its structure as well. The band sounds much more compact and collective here, which immediately made me think of its potential as a soundtrack. At the same time, it gives you a feeling that you are listening to a short story with three different chapters. As I said earlier, I am happy to hear their new music, and I enjoyed listening to Fallen Torches about a hundred times. But it doesn’t mean that I am satisfied with everything they have done here. I still feel like there are some slight issues with the togetherness of these three different parts in this song. It sounds like a Mastodon medley to me. And also, Fallen Torches is the first official release from Mastodon’s upcoming album, and released only with a visualizer. Mastodon is one of the most influential and creative metal bands of our modern era, and It’s so unfortunate seeing them releasing music only with visuals instead of seeing their creativity in their music videos.