Artist: Mastodon Track: "Divinations" Album: Crack the Skye Listen

Since 2006, when Mastodon released the punishing Blood Mountain, I haven't gotten noticeably tougher. Older, maybe, but still no better in a bar fight. Ergo, if Mastodon has remained as powerful as they were several years ago, their new album should be as intimidating as the one prior. I should be scared of what I might find.

It is not. Crack the Skye is a decent album from the best metal band currently on tour, but it lacks the sucker punch and sustained attack of either Blood Mountain or Leviathan.

"Oblivion," for example, begins with some killer riffs -- then morphs into the smooth, radio-ready schlock Chris Cornell might've pooed out before be became obsessed with jumping on the Timbaland bandwagon. "Divinations" withstands ordinary critical barrage until you realize that this is Mastodon, reliable bringer of doom and ear-bleeders of the highest order.

It's like, Dude, go after my soul already. You attacked it before. What's the hold-up?

The band will play Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom May 2. Doesn't look like they're returning to Columbus. This could be the last chance to see them outside of a stadium.