To The Devil His Due
Review by Adam M on June 20, 2017.
Mastodon still has that groove that is able to completely wrap over top of a song and make it rollicking. This album brings back the memorable moments of earlier works. It has the same quality of memorability that made albums like Crack the Skye stand out so much. In fact, this is perhaps their strongest album since that one.
The gyrations found are of a top quality that only the band can muster. This can be found from such tracks as Show Yourself. When compared directly to their back catalogue this album is less cheesy than the last one Once More 'Round The Sun. It still panders too much towards the mainstream audience, however, and this is partially what holds it back from being as good as Crack the Skye or earlier albums. There is a balance struck that brings Egyptian elements to the mix that make it more interesting than its two immediate successors, however. The vocals are very distinctive, but somewhat put the listener off to the music. This is because there is a very mainstream quality to them now. Guitars swirl and make for addictive elements, but are a little too simplistic. The drumming is of a very high quality as is usually found with Mastodon albums. The entirety of the musicianship is fairly strong overall. There are more interesting rhythms added to the usual Mastodon formula here which makes this better than the last couple of works. I must emphasize that the band has lost the freshness that would make it stand out like it used to, however. They seem to be retreading too many similar ideas in not an interesting enough fashion.
I’m very pleased with how Emperor of Sand turned out and it restored my faith somewhat in the band. They still haven’t been able to reclaim former glories, however.
Rating: 7.4 out 10