Mastodon – Cold Dark Place (EP Review)

The Grammy Award-nominated Mastodon formed in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia. With a Progressive Metal sound chock full of truly meandering, unique instrumentation, the band has released seven studio albums over the past seventeen years, from 2002’s Remission to March 2017’s Emperor of Sand. Their newest offering, Cold Dark Place, is composed of four brand-new, previously unreleased tracks and will be released Friday, September 22nd on both digital and physical CD formats thanks to Reprise Records. For die-hard collectors, a limited-edition ten-inch vinyl picture disc will follow on October 27th.

Cold Dark Place is an anthology of sorts: three of its tracks – “North Side Star,” “Blue Walsh,” and “Cold Dark Place” – are leftovers from the band’s 2014’s offering, Once More ‘Round the Sun, and were produced by the Grammy Award-winning Nick Raskulinecz (KoRn, Sleeping With Sirens). The fourth track, “Toe To Toes,” is a remnant of the group’s most recent offering, Emperor of Sand, and was thus produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bob Dylan, Incubus).

This new offering from Mastodon – Vocalist/Guitarist Brent Hinds, Guitarist Bill Kelliher, Vocalist/Bassist Troy Sanders, and Vocalist/Drummer Brann Dailor – opens with the over six-minute-long opus “North Side Star.” A elliptical track that runs the gamut from Alt-Country twinges to something that might be entitled Progressive Funk, this is a beautifully unique experience. “Blue Walsh” is also a magical experience: clocking in at over five minutes in duration, this one weaves its path through Classic Rock feels into a melodic jam session that resonates heavily in the soul.

The shortest track, at just over four minutes, “Toe To Toes” is equally mesmerizing; something that could be categorized beside, say, classic Rush and yet feels fully modern in its approach. At nearly six minutes in length, the titular “Cold Dark Place” is a display of superb musicianship: gorgeous guitar-work and one truly soaring solo weave this haunting, epic tale. In fact, the entirety of Cold Dark Place is proof positive that Mastodon are at the very top of their game! Did you have any doubts?

Cold Dark Place is, in total, a superb experience that defies simple written words. Haunting, it is also beautifully orchestrated to evoke fever in the heart of any rocker. While it is only four songs, Cold Dark Place is still a solid offering from one of Progressive Metal’s most truly unique acts. Be certain to grab a copy when it is released, because CrypticRock give Mastodon’s Cold Dark Place 5 of 5 stars.

Tour Dates:
9/26 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
9/27 – Charleston, SC @ North Charleston Performing Arts Center
9/29 – Knoxville, TN @ Civic Auditorium
9/30 – Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life Festival (w/ Five Finger Death Punch)
10/1 – Janesville, WI @ JJO Sonic Boom
10/3 – Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
10/4 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
10/6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Fox Theatre
10/7 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
10/9 – Montreal, Canada @ Metropolis
10/10 – Rochester, NY @ The Armory
10/11 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
10/13 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/14 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
10/15 – Houston, TX @ Monster Energy House Open Air
10/17 – Albuquerque, NM @ Historic El Rey Theater
10/19 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues San Diego
10/21 – Sacramento, CA @ Monster Energy Aftershock (w/ He Is Legend)
10/23 – Garden City, ID @ Revolution Center
10/24 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Spokane
10/25 – Vancouver, Canada @ Orpheum Theatre

Purchase Cold Dark Place:
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Jeannie BlueAuthor posts

Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

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