Atlanta-based metal band Mastodon have just released the second single "Chimes At Midnight" from their upcoming album, Once More Round' The Sun, which'll be hitting record stores June 24th.
This track comes in after "High Road" as the second single to be released off of the forthcoming album. Both tracks have been released with an accompanying audio visualizer. Fusing gothic images over a psychedelic wash of vibrant colors, the visualizer lends a nightmarish quality to the already sinister sounding track.
Mastodon have garnered critical acclaim for their knowledge and execution of composition as a craft, allowing them to rise far above some of their contemporaries from the early-2000s metal scene. 2011 saw the group break into more accessible territory with their monumental album, The Hunter, which went on to help the band break the Billboard 200. Following the path that began with 2008's Blood Mountain, the group has chosen to utilize Troy Sanders' clean sounding vocals in opposition to the heavy screams that fueled the band's early years.
While the vocals might have been cleaned up in this newer, more mature Mastodon, "Chimes At Midnight" is rightfully dark and heavy. Lead guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher utilize their trademark marriage of sludgy picking patterns with intricate melodic lines that dance wildly over drummer Brann Dailor's thrashing percussion. Dailor transitions from the heavy usage of membranes to cymbals in the contrasting B-section that emerges just short of the halfway mark. The song enters a coda that recapitulates the intro's opening guitar howls, bringing to mind a pack of wolves howling at a full moon on a dreary night. This track is dark and menacing, but never dull. While the group might be cleaning house somewhat since their earlier, more primitive days in an effort to reach out to newer audiences, it's still nice to hear the ominous sounds we've come to expect from the band haven't been tainted with their newfound fame.