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Mastodon Hushed And Grim Album Review

Mastodon Hushed And Grim Album Review

CD and album reviews are not anything this site usually takes on; however, Hushed and Grim is one of the most anticipated heavy metal releases of 2021. As soon as it came out, I saw all other metal blogs racing to be the first to weigh in on the 8th full-length release from the Atlanta prog metal quintet. So I decided to hold my thoughts and take some time before publishing my opinion.

Full disclosure, I have been friends with Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders since I was 18 (and so were they) and had known Braun and Bill for the better part of two decades. Even coming up in the Atlanta music scene with these guys, I never was a serious fan until Blood Mountian. I felt they hit their stride on this album. The subsequent Crack The Skye is an absolute metal masterpiece.

The album’s following also had moments of greatness, and the focus on Braun Dailor’s vocal added a whole new dimension to the band’s sound.

So What About Hushed and Grim?

At over 86 minutes in length with 15 songs, Hushed and Grim is far from easy listening. There is a lot to unpack. A common thing I’ve heard from many of my friends is, “I listened to the whole thing the day it came out and thought it was great and then never listened to it again.” Oddly enough, I found myself doing the same thing. That said, is Hushed and Grim a disappointment?

Not at all.

Let’s start with the good points. One notable element is Troy Sander’s bass playing that has sat in the back over the past few releases is now pushed up much louder in the mix, and his playing jumped up a notch, even boasting a bass solo on “Teardrinker.” Troy even penned 4 of the tracks after taking a backseat on songwriting duties for much of the last decade.

Brent Hinds shines, as usual, with many tasty guitar solos done in a style that is all his own. One of my favorite tracks on the album is “The Beast,” a Brent composition and features some excellent Jimi Hendrix-like guitar parts you rarely hear in metal.

The lyrics primarily deal with longlime manager Nick John’s death, an awesome guy I had the pleasure of knowing over the years.

For me, the standout track is the first single, “Teardrinker,” which is somewhat commercial and incredibly catchy. “Skeleton Of Splendor” is a close second and ventures in some fantastic, atmospheric stuff similar to my favorite Mastodon song, “The Czar.” The opener “Pain with an Anchor” and the second single, “Sickle and Peace,” are also great.

Once you get into the second half of the album, it does start to drag, especially near the end.

All in all, the album is well worth a listen; you might want to make a playlist of the songs you really like and maybe not listen to some of the rest.

Hushed and Grim Full Album Stream

That concludes my first album review. I hope you liked it.

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Four Hour Fogger Demo – Featuring​ Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders from Mastodon

four hour fogger demo tape
four hour fogger demo cover
Cover Of The Four Hour Fogger Demo Tape Circe 1994

The Story Of Four Hour Fogger

Four Hour Fogger is a local Atlanta band that Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds were in prior to Mastodon. I used to be in a band that played with them quite often. Brent or Troy gave me this back in the 1990s, but I never listened to it because we always played together and even rehearsed in the same building. The vocalist is Gary Lindsey who would go on to be in Assjack with Hank 3.

four hour fogger

The style is more punk/hardcore than Mastodon, but this is when Brent and Troy started playing together. In 1994 Braun and Bill moved up from New York, and Mastodon began.

Four Hour Fogger’s 90s demo cassette features Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders from Mastodon and is very hard to find.

Probably Made At Kinkos – This Tape Is Hand Written By Troy Sanders

The writing on the tape is handwritten by Troy Sanders, who was the most was of the guys and the defacto “manager”.

Troy Sanders MASTODON

Four Hour Fogger YouTube

This rare footage is from a show in New Orleans.

Refernces In WikiPedia

Here is the Wikipedia reference from Brent’s Wikipedia page;

Hinds left Alabama for Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue a music career. At this time, he met Troy Sanders, a future member of Mastodon. According to Sanders, he “lived in his van for the next five years,” becoming a member of Sanders’ then band, Four Hour Fogger. The first practice he attended with this band, he allegedly “showed up so wasted he couldn’t even play”.

Once Four Hour Fogger fell apart, they stuck together, eventually meeting Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher at a High on Fire concert in “their friend’s basement”. The four began a new musical venture with then singer Eric Saner, touring the southern USA, working 40-hour weeks, and committing to the band in their spare time. The band’s mainstream success would ensue after Saner left the band, pushing Hinds to the forefront not just as a guitarist but also as a vocalist, the duties he would share with Sanders.

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Mastodon – Crack The Skye LP 2006 Reprise Records – 459132-1

mastodon crack the skye era band photo 2009

Crack the Skye is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Mastodon, released on March 24, 2009, through Reprise, Sire, and Relapse Records. The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200, selling 41,000 copies in its first week in Australia. After that, the album debuted at number 19. It had sold 200,000 copies in the US as of September 2010, making it one of their highest-selling albums to date.


A1 Oblivion

A2 Divinations

A3 Quintessence

The Czar

A4a Usurper

A4b Escape

A4c Martyr

A4d Spiral

B1 Ghost Of Karelia

B2 Crack The Skye

B3 The Last Baron

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Mastodon – Blood Mountain 2006 Relapse Records – RR 6676-1

mastodon blood mountain era band photo

Blood Mountain is the third full-length studio album and major-label debut by American heavy metal band Mastodon. The album’s recording finished in April 2006, and it was released on September 12 in the UK and September 12, 2006, in North America through Reprise Records. 


A1 The Wolf Is Loose

A2 Crystal Skull

A3 Sleeping Giant

A4 Capillarian Crest

A5 Circle Of Cysquatch

A6 Bladecatcher

B1 Colony Of Birchmen

B2 Hunters Of The Sky

B3 Hand Of Stone

B4 This Mortal Soil

B5 Siberian Divide

B6 Pendulous Skin

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Mastodon – Crack the Skye – Was This Mastodon’s Classic Album Or Can The Top It?

mastodon blood mountain era band photo

Crack the Skye is the fourth studio Atlanta prog-metal band Mastodon. It is both their highest best album to date and held in the highest regard by critics and fans.

Since Mastodon put out several subsequent albums. Crack the Skye (as of this blog post) is now 10 years old. Their follow up follow-up efforts have all been good, but no Crack The Skye.

Was “Crack the Skye” Mastodon’s High-Water Mark Or Can They Top It?

My question to you is: is this their Reign In Blood, or do they have a better one in them?

Listen To The Whole Album


No | Title | Length

  1. “Oblivion” 5:46
  2. “Divinations” 3:38
  3. “Quintessence” 5:27
  4. “The Czar”
    I. “Usurper”
    II. “Escape”
    III. “Martyr”
    IV. “Spiral”
  5. “Ghost of Karelia” 5:24
  6. “Crack the Skye” (featuring Scott Kelly) 5:54
  7. “The Last Baron” 13:00

Now It’s Voting Time

Does Maston Have Another Album As Good As "Crack The Skye" In Them?

View Results

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Buy This Album On Vinyl

This vinyl is brand-new and has never been opened or played. Mastodon’s manager sent it to me as a gift after he fell in my pool. I dried his iPhone out and saved it with some rice. Perfect condition..

Additional Info

Brann Dailor – drums
Brent Hinds – lead guitar
Bill Kelliher – rhythm guitar
Troy Sanders – bass, lead vocals

Also credited:

Rich Morris – keyboards, synth, and mellotron
Scott Kelly – lead vocals on “Crack the Skye”
Brendan O’Brien – production, mixing, backing vocals