Whether it really makes the most of its 86-minute runtime is debatable, but immediately clear is that with Hushed And Grim, Mastodon have thrown all caution to the wind – it’s epic both in size and statue, stacked to the brim with fretwork as striking as it is sophisticated. In the six-minute “Sickle And Peace” alone, the band employ mind-boggling technicality, walloping shreddery and a truly empyrean solo.
Throughout the record at large, they expertly balance the prodigious might of their narrative prowess with the ashy bleakness of their sludge metal roots – there are stoutly cerebral moments that call for deep, contemplative reflection, but just as many moments that beckon an instinctive whipping up of the horns and thrashing of the head. It’s not a “heavy” record, per se, but it is positively intense.
Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.
Hushed And Grim is set for release on October 29th, 2021 via Reprise / Warner. Click here to pre-order.