The Sludge Metal band, Mastodon recently released two new singles, “Show Yourself” and “Sultan’s Curse” off of their new album Emperor of Sand.
“Show Yourself” is a departure from their more complex song structures and moves away from the progressiveness of their previous albums; it feels much like a song from the album Once More ‘Round the Sun with a bit of a more popish tone. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some signature riffs or melodies, there is even an awesome guitar solo, but overall the song feels a lot more streamlined and chorus focused, missing the signature harsh vocals.
“Sultan’s Curse” on the other hand is the complete opposite. It opens with a strange peaceful sound and gradually morphs into a sludgey guitar riff with harsh vocals. Then an alternation between soft and hard vocals enter into the song the guitar breaks its riff and enters into a new trance like rhythm and melody reminiscent of the work they did on, Crack the Skye particularly the song “Oblivion” and it’s wonderful.
These two songs seem to be representative of the two distinct styles that Mastodon has forged over their long career of making music. One is more melodic and catchy, the other progressive and intelligent in its design. This album seems to be blending the styles of Blood Mountain, Crack the Skye, along with Once More ‘Round the Sun. The only thing missing really is the extreme chugging and thrashing that was exemplified so well in Leviathan, but perhaps it will be there; after all there are only two songs out. We will have to wait until March 31st to hear the full story. If these singles are anything to judge by it will be a monumental achievement for this great band.