brent hinds

Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher (guitar), Troy Sanders (bass/vocals), Brann Dailor (drums/vocals), and Brent Hinds (lead guitar).

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

With a gripping new album and a new direction in their music, the band continues to raise the stakes for what it means to be one of America’s most feverishly creative—and unreservedly beloved—heavy-rock guitar duos.

It’s a chilly night in late November, and the line for ticket holders has snaked all the way around the block. “Wow, that’s what I call dedication!” yells a passerby, marveling at the size of the crowd. Strict COVID protocols are causing delays at the doors to New York City’s sold-out Hammerstein Ballroom, but no one here seems to mind. After all, it’s been more than two years since the four prog-metal horsemen of Mastodon last descended on Gotham. What’s another half-hour in the cold, especially when the payoff is a sweat-soaked live set packed with brand new songs and some of the band’s most feral old-school headbangers?

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Rig Rundown - Moon Tooth's Nick Lee

The "aggressive progressive" guitarist chases "peanut-butter tone" with a pair of Vigiers, some fine-tuned drives, drifting delays, and ping-ponging pitch shifters.

Guitarist Nick Lee handles the instrument like a Porsche 911 hugs the road. The German sports car is as equally deft at carving through the Big Sur coastline as it is accelerating out of corners and showing its top-end, straightaway velocity. Similarly, in just two Moon Tooth albums (2016's Chromaparagon and 2019's Crux), Lee has flexed the same versatility. In a single song (much like the 911 rips through a lap of the Monaco Grand Prix), he'll nimbly navigate a clean, precise, fingerpicked melody reminiscent of Chet Atkins before dropping the hammer and flying down the fretboard like Pantera's Dimebag Darrell or Mastodon's Brent Hinds.

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