Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand remains a mystery

Mastodon, the well-known masters of diverse heavy metal music, will be releasing their seventh studio album in late March. Considering the span of styles and genres the group has explored and their determination to make every album different from their last, it is hard to say with certainty what exactly this next album will be like. Over the course of nearly two decades, Mastodon has covered genres including sludge, progressive, groove metal and stoner rock. Although Mastodon could go in a variety of directions with this release, we have an idea of what that direction might be thanks to two singles included in the album and what the band members have already said about the album.

Mastodon’s album, Emperor of Sand is scheduled to drop March 31. The two lead singles from the band’s latest installment were released over the past two months. “Sultan’s Curse”, track number one on the album, is very reminiscent of the Mastodon sound that a fan might expect from albums like “Blood Mountain” or “Crack the Skye” which both feature aggressive distorted vocals, heavy guitar riffs with a hook, and constantly changing textures for that progressive feel. It is certainly up to par with some of Mastodon’s other great works and proves to be an exciting start to what I am hoping is another great album from the group.

The second track “Show Yourself”, which charted 29th in the Billboard U.S. mainstream rock charts, unsurprisingly takes a turn from the first. Featuring mostly clean vocals, simpler guitar riffs and a more straightforward song structure, this track may prove to be the poppiest song on the album. “Show Yourself” may not exactly be Mastodon’s characteristic sound, but it still showcases their progressive skill set with a sweet guitar solo sprinkled on top of some very well utilized time signature changes.

The two tracks that have been released, so far, from this album are very diverse in style, so I am very excited to see what the rest of the album will have to offer come late March.