Emperor of Sand
With their customary cross-breeding of rock genres, the Georgians reflect on mortality and serious illness via the story of a condemned man wandering the desert. So far, so prog. Indeed, “Jaguar God” spends eight minutes running the gamut from folk-rock and psychedelic abandon to iron-plated riffs and acrobatic fretwork. This deeply emotional record isn’t a wholesale return to the intricate epics of 2009’s Crack the Skye, though: the punchy hard rock of “Show Yourself” and the melodic sludge of “Steambreather” deliver instant, fun-sized thrills.