Best of Metal 2017: #7 Mastodon-Emperor of Sand/Cold Dark Place

Merry Christmas, you bastards!

So, Mastodon is one of the higher profile bands on the list this year and also one of the more prolific.  They managed to drop a full LP in Emperor of Sand in March and then whipped out a surprise release with the EP Cold Dark Place in September.  You just don’t see bands putting out new material this quickly anymore and it was really cool to get this much new quality music out of them.  So, I’m going to slot both of these gems at #8 in the list.  Emperor of Sand is a definite reclaiming of Mastodon’s former glory in my opinion.  It really feels like it was a statement record for the band after a somewhat lackluster prior release, Once More Around the Sun.  It’s got all the trippy, grungey, spacey slogs that you’ve come to expect out of Mastodon.  Cold Dark Place is a completely distinct and original piece of music from Emperor of Sand.  It is a quieter and less chaotic Mastodon than you are used to, but it really works.  My only complaint is that it wasn’t a full album of material.  The songs on this EP are some of my favorites to come out this year.

Emperor of Sand release date:  3/31/2017

Cold Dark Place release date:  9/22/2017

Personnel:  Brent Hinds-guitar/vocals, Bill Kelliher-guitars, Troy Sanders-bass/vocals, Brann Dailor-drums/vocals

Origin-Atlanta, GA

Rating:  Emperor of Sand:  4.5 flip flops out of 5
Cold Dark Place:  5 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:

7.  Mastodon-Emperor of Sand/Cold Dark Place
8.  Wolves in the Throne Room-Thrice Woven
9.  Quicksand-Interiors
10.  Alluvial-The Deep Longing for Annihilation
11.  Byzantine-The Cicada Tree
12.  Sorcerer-The Crowning of the Fire King
13.  Zaius-Of Adoration
14.  Royal Thunder-Wick
15.  Steven Wilson-To the Bone
16.  Pallbearer-Heartless
17.  Spotlights-Seismic
18.  Cavalera Conspiracy-Psychosis
19.  Ancient Ascendant-Raise the Torch
20.  Galactic Cowboys-Long Way Back to the Moon

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