Mastodon
The Hunter


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 26th, 2011 | 1560 replies | 125,660 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The workhorse chronicles

There are few things that get the metal masses burning with anticipation more than a new Mastodon release. After winning over basically every metal head in some way or another with either the crushing down tempo maelstrom of Remission, the raging literature class by way of riffage of Leviathan, or the nu-prog complexity of Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye, it's really no surprise that their latest album The Hunter is one of the finest metal releases of 2011, but the real question here is how will their sound evolve this time? Their last two albums saw the tweaked out Georgians eschewing the monolithic slabs of southern sludge that they built their brand on in favor of greater emphasis on technicality and production techniques to thicken out their sound. The Hunter takes the last few years of Mastodon's career and says to hell with it. While it still embraces their obvious progressive influences, it drops the studio wall of sound and the pretentious veil of mystical concepts making The Hunter the first album since their debut that doesn't get lost in its own underlying concept. This leads it to be a much more cathartic affair for both the listener and the band themselves as its lyrical impetus can mainly be traced to the personal trials faced by the band members since the release of Crack the Skye.

Furthermore, The Hunter's more organic sounds are a welcome relief from the clustered soundscapes presented in Crack the Skye. Yet, The Hunter still manages to retain the same evil atmosphere even if it's now formulated a more “classic” metal vibe. Take for example “Dry Bone Valley" which is able to recapture all the mood of a track like “Oblivion” while injecting it with a new sense of groove and some of the biggest vocal hooks Mastodon have ever put on tape. It's a rather stunning reminder that even through all of the smoke and mirrors Mastodon are still the same band that released the mighty Remission a decade ago. If anything, The Hunter is the album that shows that as long as Mastodon stay true to their selves, they have the creative wherewithal to not only endure but keep themselves in the spotlight for years and years to come.



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user ratings (1746)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Systemunfolded (3.5)
    Blasteroid? Stargasm? I suppose next it'll be Constipllation...

    BugZoid (4)
    The sound of expansion....

    drewcordova (4)
    Brief, accessible, songs with thundering drums and crunching riffs. The Hunter is a must f...

    Will C. (4.5)
    "The Hunter" offer listeners another chance to hear a new side of Mastodon, reinvented bas...

  • tsomitso (4)
    Four albums after the magnificent “Remission” and Mastodon still manage to create some...

    Nicholas Johnson (5)
    The Hunter will some day be launched into space, and will be deemed responsible for billio...

    Jake C. Taylor (3.5)
    How exactly does a band supplant old for new, or prog for succinct? They simply don’t....

    Eli Kleman EMERITUS (4)
    "The Hunter" is everything a great metal album should be, as Mastodon have shed their more...

  • BigHans (4.5)
    Masto-pop? You bet your ass....

    Edwin Damen (4.5)
    Mastodon continue to challenge themselves, and doing so without losing any bit of consiste...

    Dakota West Foss (4)
    I'm not exactly sure what a Stargasm is, but I'm pretty sure I just had one....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Polymath
September 26th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Brilliant review man, well done.

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011



10020 Comments


great minds post reviews at the same time

Digging: Woods - With Light And With Love

cinaedus
September 26th 2011



26204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Dry Bone Alley"

*valley

Polymath
September 26th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Lakes hitting up again with a good musical taste.

"Dry Bone Valley" one of the best tracks.

jabberwockyGC
September 26th 2011



116 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's just the curl of the burl....what does that even mean Mastodon?!

wabbit
September 26th 2011



6763 Comments


digging this hard.

DominionMM1
September 26th 2011



8864 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The burl is the knot that’s found in various trees — it’s almost like a cancer of trees. Within that burl are unique swirls or curls. A lot of people will cut those down and sell them to wood-makers, wood sculptors, and furniture makers because it’s got a unique design to it. And this is a true story which happens in the Pacific Northwest — a lot of people go out in the woods with chainsaws, they find these burls, they cut them down, they load their pickup trucks with these burls, take them in to town sell them to various wood-makers, take the money from that, purchase more meth, go back in the woods and continue that circle of insanity. So it’s based on a true story. People will steal your cars, steal copper…and people will go out there in the woods and steal burls.


Digging: Clutch - Blast Tyrant

Polymath
September 26th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Rabbit is m/ing

I'm so proud of him.

psykonaut
September 26th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The burl is the knot that’s found in various trees — it’s almost like a cancer of trees. Within that burl are unique swirls or curls. A lot of people will cut those down and sell them to wood-makers, wood sculptors, and furniture makers because it’s got a unique design to it. And this is a true story which happens in the Pacific Northwest — a lot of people go out in the woods with chainsaws, they find these burls, they cut them down, they load their pickup trucks with these burls, take them in to town sell them to various wood-makers, take the money from that, purchase more meth, go back in the woods and continue that circle of insanity. So it’s based on a true story. People will steal your cars, steal copper…and people will go out there in the woods and steal burls.

that's pretty metal

Polymath
September 26th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Psyko...

psykonaut
September 26th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

chuck testa

Rev
September 26th 2011



9302 Comments


more metal than josh

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2011



17130 Comments


As a redditor I want nothing more than to see Chuck Testa's head mounted on a wall with a plaque underneath it reading "never again".

Digging: LCD Soundsystem - The Long Goodbye

Ovrot
September 26th 2011



10263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope!



Chuck Testa

Polymath
September 26th 2011



3836 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Everyone loves my Chuck Testa avatar, gonna get a new one later.

Rev you're too hipster for this thread.

Ovrot
September 26th 2011



10263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha lol

bloc
September 26th 2011



34502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Dude Oblivion destroys a track like Dry Bone Valley.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

DominionMM1
September 26th 2011



8864 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know about that. Dry Bone Valley is growing on me.

Ovrot
September 26th 2011



10263 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oblivion destroys half of this album but not the other half

bloc
September 26th 2011



34502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Dry Bone Valley is a great song of course, but I can hardly compare any Mastodon song to Oblivion. I just love that song that much.



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