2021 Best of Metal: #3 Mastodon-Hushed and Grim

Origin: Atlanta, GA

Release date: 10/29/2021

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

Mastodon’s latest is (well, it was for me anyway) one of those albums that gets better with each listening. Hushed and Grim is a double album. So, there’s a lot to absorb on the first few spins. This album tracks in the direction in which Mastodon has been trending over the past few albums in that it is presenting a more palatable version of their sound than their earlier work. That isn’t to say that things have been simplified or watered down in this effort. As I said, there is a shitload of stuff going on with this one and it’s a downright psychedelic trip in many places. Brann Dailor continues to show his range in taking on more and more of the vocal duties. It feels as though he and Troy Sanders are basically splitting the lead vocals at this point and Brent Hinds taking more of a backing vocal role. Overall, this builds quite nicely as a follow-up to Emperor of Sand. I’ve really enjoyed the growth and the choices this band has made going forward in their career.

4.5 flip flops out of 5

The list so far:

3. Mastodon-Hushed and Grim
4. Gojira-Fortitude
5. Tribulation-Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
6. Dream Theater-A View From the Top of the World
7. Exodus-Persona Non Grata
8. Khemmis-Deceiver
9. Carcass-Torn Arteries
10. Omnium Gatherum-Origin
11. Be’Lakor-Coherence
12. Hooded Menace-The Tritonus Bell
13. Quicksand-Distant Populations
14. Harakiri For the Sky-Maere
15. Converge and Chelsea Wolfe-Bloodmoon: I
16. At The Gates-The Nightmare of Being
17. The Vintage Caravan-Monuments
18. Nervosa-Perpetual Chaos
19. Baest-Necro Sapiens
20. Agrypnie-Metamorphosis