20 Best Metal Albums Of 2017 (So Far)

2. Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand

For a great deal of fans this may not be saying much, but Mastodon's brand new Emperor of Sand record is the best thing the progressive metallers have done since Crack the Skye (2009).

Melodic with a more-than-fair share of crunching guitar riffs, the record isn't exactly the most progressive the Georgian rockers have ever sounded, but it's also a marked improvement over predecessors The Hunter (2011) and Once More 'Round the Sun (2014).

The clean vocals of Troy Sanders, Brann Dailor and Brent Hinds are all equally addictive and, while not exactly at Leviathan (2004) levels, the band's old sludgy ways are still somewhat prevalent on deep cuts like "Andromeda" and "Roots Remain".

As a summary of the entirety of Mastodon's career up to this point, you can't ask for better than Emperor of Sand.

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Writer for Metal Hammer, WhatCulture, Prog and more. Film student at the University of Winchester. Owner of many, many denim jackets. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @MattallicaMills

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