Review Summary: mastodon are doing dope now
Do you know what a Cysquatch is? No? You don't? Ok, neither do I, but apparently it has something to do with a Sasquatch (but for ***'s sake, what is
a Sasquatch?) with one eye that can see into the future. Now imagine what the hell it would do in a circle? Can you just see them already, one-eyed divination-practising probably-smoking-a-***ton-of-herbs sasquatches, ready to beat our friend the protagonist (he is unnamed, probably called Kzurbatha Meyredick, or something similarly unintelligible) into a pulp, probably into mortal soil, after he's started his quest to the top of a mountain for a crystal skull? Can you? Eh?
Apparently you can if you're a member of Mastodon, and if you think that the lyrics are screwed up that way (stop the insanity, you make me want to buy a twenty-sided die and play Dungeons and Dragons), the music is pretty ***ing screwed up too. Apart from it being pretty hectic (time-sig changes on a dime, drum fills the size of Jupiter's moons, that sort of thing), it's also pretty crunchy, with power chord blasts that sometimes mimic the vicious speed of sky-hunting birds, but sometimes are as heavy as sleeping giants. This album sounds like the equivalent of a ten-ton-anvil dropping on your head, then slowly growing mythological legs and walking away, leaving your head in its injured psychedelia and snoozing on like a monster. But don't anger the beast, 'cos it'll drop another sleeping giant on you, or get you attacked by wolves, or travelling through a blizzard on the Capillarian Crest (where is that anyway?), or stomped by a colony of birchmen.
To be honest with you, even the vocals kind of sound like the wolves yowling, with some more melodic crooning here and there, but mostly the vocalists (there are more, this is like a pack-howl with high and low-pitched yells) sound like they are earthen "I'm trying to eject my larynx from my body" affairs. I hope it scares the wolves away. The yowling is pretty scary, but it's not like they are actually puking their guts out: this is more what you get when you howl to the moon, on a really, really, really angry day when you smell lots of blood prowling about the mountain.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the music is really, really good, quite technical, yet still groovy, as well as catchy, sounds like Neurosis on speed doing a jig with King Crimson while accepting alcohol from Slayer. Scott Kelly does a guest appearance somewhere, so does Josh Homme (yeah, maybe that's why the band sounds so doped out) and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of the Mars Volta is somewhere on it as well. They even have spaced out vocoders. This album may leave you doped, smoking and wondering "what the *** is going on here?", but it does it with such bite and crunch that you really wanna do it again, as fast as possible. It's for dopeheads, with or without attention span. It's not like the previous album, which was more like a good shot, this is a little more spaced out, but it still hits you straight in the face. If that doesn't make you rush out and buy the album right now, you don't have ears. You need to hear this album. Probably today, but if you can only find your joint tomorrow, then that will do too. It's pretty good, you see, even if it involves one-eyed Sasquatches that can see into the future.