Sound — 9
Ok so first off, Mastodon has probably one of the most unique sounds in metal today. It has everything you need, but all wrapped in a progressive tone. This album is a clear progression from Leviathan. The difference between the two is that this album has a lot more to it. There isn't a song like Blood And Thunder, where you can listen to it once and it will immediately kick your ass. But there are definitely amazing guitar riffs that will, but right after it will go into something completely different. The guitars are just one of the many highlights to this album. Songs like Capillarian Crest just destroy you. It's a complete mindf--k. Imagine Megalodon on acid, and then you have this song. My favorite songs have to be, Circle Cysquatch and The Wolf Is Loose. They both almost sound like a symphony. Huge epic songs. There are quite a few slow songs such as: Sleeping Giant, Colony Of Birchmen, This Mortal Soil, and Pendelous Skin. Each one different from one another. All of this is wrapped up in some of the most amazing drumming in music today. Brann Dailor is extremely creative. Crystal skulls stands out for me the most. Starting off with 50 second tribal drum intro. Fans of the band will easily enjoy this.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics for Mastodon is a love/hate relationship. Some might think that the lyrics are a bit comicish. But that doesn't matter at all, because once Brent and Troy start to sing and yell, it will completely put you in a trance. There is quite a bit of singing in this album. Almost every song has some sort of actual singing. So fans of the yelling might be put off. But I enjoy it very much. It's very different from what they have been doing. There are also a lot of guest singers on here. Josh Homme from QOTSA singing on Colony of Birchmen, Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Marst Volta singing on The Siberian Divide, and Scott Kelley from Neurosis singing on Crystal Skull. Cedric's is the most interesting. You wouldn't even be able to tell it is him. Each of them add interesting bits to their respective songs.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is simply incredible. I would hope all Mastodon fans would pick it up and fans of metal in general. It will have a bit for everyone. The songs are huge. Each with a sound unlike anything else out right now. This is probably my favorite release of this year next to Tool's 10,000 days. Go buy it!