Finally, I had the available time to listen to Mastodon‘s final piece, Hushed and Grim, yesterday while driving at night, and the first thing that came to my mind was that this is most probably the greatest metal album of 2021. I have been a big Mastodon fan since I discovered them for the first time in 2013, and they are one of the few special established bands in my book, whose new music deserves a listen doesn’t matter what kind of music style that is.
First of all, I am more than happy Mastodon has decided to get back to their roots sonically, visually, and in terms of sound. To be honest with you, I was a little bit drawn away with the brightness and positive vibe of their latest releases, Emperor of Sand (2017), and Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014). I listened to both of these albums numerous times, and that positive vibe never seemed to disappear in my head. Hushed and Grim, in this way, is back to the authentic Mastodon strength, darkness, mystery, and excitement. They are once again dark, and sonically creating the proper Mastodon image in the listener’s memory.
Musically, the album deserves the top mark without any doubt. This is one of the richest and fantastic sounding sludge/progressive metal albums I have listened to for a long long time. Hands down. Unconsciously, as an artist myself, I constantly thought about the number of elements they put together here, in each song, and it is unbelievable. Compositions never let you down, Mastodon, doesn’t offer anybody anything poor to hear in this album. That’s it. This was the task, and Mastodon created a timeless classic piece.
Additionally, I have to mention a few more things that start with the vocals. I have never enjoyed Mastodon vocals this much before, and especially this is because of how much every single member improved their vocals. I am blown away by every single vocal line they have written for each section. Troy Sanders, is probably the greatest metal singer of the 21st century, at least my favorite. However, these qualities weren’t good enough for a band like Mastodon, and they worked on each section’s vocal channels separately.