AOTY 2021
Mastodon - Hushed and Grim
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2021 Ratings: #52 / 666
User Score
Based on 134 ratings
2021 Ratings: #432
Liked by 12 people
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Musically, Mastodon illuminate the emotional heft of their subject matter in gorgeously architected compositions rendered with abundant creativity, massive power, and searing honesty.

Metal Hammer

Hushed And Grim is 86 minutes long and, thankfully, never less than completely fascinating. It’s also a return to top form, their finest album since Crack The Skye and a rich and resonant salute to those we have lost.

'Hushed And Grim' is a reminder of what makes the band so beloved while boldly stepping into a new chapter. They've never sounded so good.

It's not at all what anyone could have expected back in 2000, but controlled, tactful dynamics allow Hushed and Grim to succeed at both brutality and accessibility. Mastodon have crafted the fullest realization of their artistry, revelling in primal, visionary euphoria.

Metal Injection
It's Mastodon at their most mature and poised, with an almost endless amount of invigorating musicianship, meditative songwriting, and endearing interplay between the three vocalists. It's not their absolute best record, but it's certainly the one they—and we—needed right now.
The Line of Best Fit

Hushed and Grim is proof, if any were needed at this stage, that this is an untouchable, unquestionably excellent band that are deserving of their status as one of the most important rock bands of their generation, and one of the most inventive bands of all time.


With so many callbacks to other albums over the years it’s little to no wonder as to why Mastodon’s latest offering is such a worthy gem. Both new and older fans should find more than a moment to enjoy.

Consequence of Sound

There’s constant musical variety and a three-pronged vocal approach that is like getting three bands for the price of one. Hushed and Grim could have used a trim, but overall, it was worth the wait.


Atlantan heavies deliver their weightiest, most majestic opus yet.

Hushed And Grim is a triumph from a band who have long been the final word in balancing the intelligent and the primal.
Rolling Stone

Hushed and Grim never stops giving, and the album’s energy, depth, and power make it a completely unique addition to the band’s mammoth catalog.

In ‘Hushed and Grim’ we are presented with a more contemplative Mastodon, a band who have come to the natural end of toying with existential concepts and are now finding motives to progress their narrative from real world experience.
The Young Folks

Defined by complexity and poise, Hushed and Grim is elusively familiar yet still innovative, sustaining Mastodon’s reputation for refusing to allow their sound to rust.

The Needle Drop

While a lot more impressive than the preceding Emperor of Sand, Hushed and Grim does buckle under its own weight.

The Atlanta metal band’s new double album is its least ambitious collection yet: an inoffensive, occasionally alluring, but overwhelmingly dull 90-minute slog.
Happy Halloween, and remember kids, listen to Leviathan, not shitty discount Dream Theater.

Don't listen to actual Dream Theater either, they're equally as bad.
Hushed and grim is parental sex while trying not to wake a sleeping baby in the same room believe me
Mastodon just sound like zombies at this point because there's barely a pulse to the dead music that we find on 'Hushed and Grim'.
Much better than expected from the leaked single. This has elements of 90's metal, horror elements, and an overall interesting, modern variation on the Mastodon formula that feels worthy of their catalogue. Though it does see them switching things up into more gothic-sounding, doom metal stylings the sludge audience and stoner progressive-metal crowd usually don't care for, which feels like an attempt at more radio play than their last 2 albums got.
Mastodon are easily one of the best and most forward-thinking sludge metal bands out there, being so ahead of so many others in the genre in the 2000s. With that in mind though, it is still hard for me to get excited for a new Mastodon release these days due to the band's 2010 output, even if I think Once More Round the Sun is a decent album. It pains me to think of albums like Emperor of Sand, where for some reason it seemed like Mastodon would rather be a radio rock band or a 90s grunge ... read more
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Added on: September 7, 2021