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Emperor of Sand Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Summary: A man sent to die in the desert is the concept behind the seventh full-length release from the Atlanta progressive metal band that was produced by Brendan O'Brien.
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Top Track

Show Yourself
Show yourself Show yourself I wanna see everything you're made of Tear it down Rip it down Shed your skin and float it down the river Lose... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 90
    While Emperor of Sand is amongst their heaviest, proggiest material to date, it’s also the quartet at their most emotionally bare. Mastodon have dug deep into their darkest moments and have surfaced with one of the best albums of their career.
  2. Mar 29, 2017
    80
    Drawing as much from their past as well as their present, Mastodon refuse to go extinct just shy of two decades of music-making. Emperor of Sand is at once emotionally powerful and musically arresting.
  3. Mojo
    Mar 21, 2017
    80
    This is Mastodon rediscovering both their edge and their emotional resonance. [May 2017, p.96]
  4. Alternative Press
    Apr 6, 2017
    80
    Mastodon prove they keep moving ahead with this rewarding album. [May 2017, p.80]
  5. Mar 31, 2017
    73
    While it won’t fill the void left all those years ago in the mighty Leviathan’s wake and features a few gratingly saccharine moments, Emperor of Sand is full of passionate performances and serves as one of Mastodon’s most surprising and relatable releases yet
  6. Mar 30, 2017
    70
    Mostly, they find a middle ground that pays homage to the burly heft of Mastodon past and the heady rock they've always aspired to make.
  7. Mar 31, 2017
    50
    Emperor Of Sand is both progressive and regressive, as Mastodon takes two different parts of its past and slaps them together. And while it occasionally works, more often than not Mastodon just sounds confused.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Jun 8, 2017
    10
    Incredibly melodious for Mastodon, but much heavier in my ears than Once More and especially The Hunter. The combination that just works.Incredibly melodious for Mastodon, but much heavier in my ears than Once More and especially The Hunter. The combination that just works. Sultan's Curse just might be my favourite here, wonderful opener. Show Yourself is the most polarising song here, with the beginning just not being Mastodonish enough. In the middle section however, the song has some pretty good heavy riffs. Steambreather crushes you with monstrous riff while Roots Remain has amazing melodies and is lyrically my favourite here, really shows the helplessness and supports both the storyline and the cancer theme well. I'll also mention Andromeda and Jaguar God as the highlights of the second half of the album, although I think all the songs from the beginning to the end are great. Consistent album, and although it didn't drastically change their sound (Mastodon still Mastodons as before), it did add the melodious flavour to their music. Expand
  2. Apr 1, 2017
    10
    Epic album, very diverse in sound but at the same time quite consistent with previous Mastodon work. A beast of an album that surpasses bothEpic album, very diverse in sound but at the same time quite consistent with previous Mastodon work. A beast of an album that surpasses both The Hunter and Once More 'Round The Sun while also reviewing the sounds explored before. Every song is a highlight on its own and in the big picture. Expand
  3. Mar 31, 2017
    10
    Emperor of Sand, no doubt, is Mastodon's most captive and emotional album yet. The melodies are dense, the riffs furious, epic refrains, deepEmperor of Sand, no doubt, is Mastodon's most captive and emotional album yet. The melodies are dense, the riffs furious, epic refrains, deep lyrics and stellar vocals, a perfect balance of melancholy beauty and euphoric apex. The ambiences of the songs are cinematographic, it feels like in the arid desert, or you come across a sandstorm and then plunge into a river of crystal clear water, although it is only a mirage. The choruses are the best already composed by the band, but despite containing a dense emotional level and an imbued melancholy, they manage to interact with more tense passages, full of anger and anguish, and even happy melodies that pass on a post-traumatic hope. It is a sum of elements that culminates in an epic and memorable work. Expand
  4. Mar 31, 2017
    9
    Incredibly rich album. The performances are mind blowing, the tracks are expertly written and deceptively epic. Mastodon is at the top ofIncredibly rich album. The performances are mind blowing, the tracks are expertly written and deceptively epic. Mastodon is at the top of their game and Brendan O'Brien lets all the details have their space. Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2018
    8
    The band's heaviness looks it's appearing here. Mastodon returns making concept album since sensational Crack the Skye. Mixing melodies soThe band's heaviness looks it's appearing here. Mastodon returns making concept album since sensational Crack the Skye. Mixing melodies so present in The Hunter, the band's beginning lapse of weight, interesting concept, vocal melodies, makes this album more worthwhile than its predecessor. Expand
  6. Apr 27, 2017
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Emperor of Sand is the 7th album by Mastodon, which tries to improve their convincing song-craft, which they have built since "The Hunter". As a fan of "Once more for the sun" I was excited to see if they could get it and improve their "new style" even more. Unhappy that this has not happened, the album is catchy and the abstract songwriting around the cancer-oriented album theme and technical instrumentals, make the album still solid and pleasant. The only problem I have with this album is that it feels worse than "Once More Around The Sun" cause of to edgy songs like "Show Yourself"
    Best Songs: Steambreather, Jaguar God, Word to the Wise
    Worst Songs:Show Yourself, Clandestiny
    Recommendations: I would recommend this Album defnetly for Fans of Mastodon and Metal and Rock listeners. its also a good get-into Album just like "The Hunter" and could even appeal to people who dont usually listen to Metal.
    Expand
  7. Apr 18, 2017
    3
    It sounds like a tribute album - dedicated to this wicked cool band - called Mastodon - but I don't know what garbage band made THIS album -It sounds like a tribute album - dedicated to this wicked cool band - called Mastodon - but I don't know what garbage band made THIS album - SmashMouthdodon? Expand

See all 19 User Reviews