Recording information: Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (2014); Rock Falcon Studio, Franklin, TN (2014); The Quarry Studios, Atlanta, GA (2014); Tom Tapley, Atlanta, GA (2014); Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (2016); Rock Falcon Studio, Franklin, TN (2016); The Quarry Studios, Atlanta, GA (2016); Tom Tapley, Atlanta, GA (2016).
Illustrator: Richey Beckett.
2017's ambitious full-length Emperor of Sand saw the progressive/sludge metal veterans delivering a heavy-hearted concept album about grief, and while Cold Dark Place's title would suggest an extension of that narrative, it's more of a loosely knit addendum that illuminates the latter outings' soul-searching proclivities by proxy. Only the second proper EP from the band -- the songs on 2001's Lifesblood eventually made their way onto the 2006 compilation Call of the Mastodon -- three of Cold Dark Place's cuts ("North Side Star," "Blue Walsh," and the brooding, acoustic- and pedal steel guitar-heavy title track) were recorded during the sessions for 2014's Once More 'Round the Sun, and they reflect that LP's somber tone and predilection towards accessible hard rock songcraft. The one semi-outlier is the thunderous and almost affable "Toe to Toes" -- recorded during the making of Emperor of Sand -- which contrasts its nostalgia-driven tale of coming to terms with losing someone you love with meaty, Torche-esque major key riffage and copious earworm melodies. ~ James Christopher Monger
Spin - "[A] four-song EP that spans heavy metal, Southern rock, and symphonic prog rock without a trace of the band's harsher thrash days."
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