Rarely do metal fans have to complain that their favorite bands deviate from their preferred style too often, for an album or even a single song. That's before Mastodon enters the conversation. From fantasy metal (perfect for mastering that new level on Dungeons & Dragons) to twangy, cock-stroking guitar lines (think Toby Keith attempting a metal album while on a tequila bender), the anything-goes sludge rock band is as close to outfitting its schizophrenic sound in a straitjacket as any metal posse out there. The Atlanta-based, decade-old group — who will soon embark on a European summer tour with alt-metal gods Metallica — just dropped an aural ode to the Russian Empire titled Crack the Skye, which is chock-full of butt rock-esque, falsetto-approaching vocals and hardcore-punk drum fills. As far as the venue for Mastodon's appearance in the Valley, there have been some metal shows at curious places in town — The Shitty T Pot on the Salt River Indian Reservation, The Slurp warehouse space in Tempe — but Martini Ranch has got to be weirdest, most ill-fitting venue ever. But, alas, Mastodon's hard-swinging music will certainly purge any Scottsdale types wandering around.
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