Mastodon
The Hunter


3.5
great

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
September 27th, 2011 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How exactly does a band supplant old for new, or prog for succinct? They simply don’t.

Fifth album in, a new type face, a new surrealist animal depiction on the cover - Mastodon must mean business. But step back a little, keeping in mind that they are just a band with a trove of ruffled scales and cool drum fills (oh, and a banjo) and you’ll find that The Hunter is no more a conception than anything they’ve ever done before, really. It’s subsequently a surprise in passing that the adoration for this album comes from a “new-founded” form and a “new direction”. But where does this originate, given that The Hunter really sounds like just an abridged adaptation of Crack the Skye upon a first listen; its tone, form and style all reek of b-side fodder from 2009. The Dailor rhythm division, together with Hinds’ unique twang is omnipresent as always, as is the casual allusions to Animalia – so what’s the deal? Upon a closer, perhaps more thorough inspection, The Hunter does indeed reveal a diverse, less-disjointed beast, but not as transparently many have so far alleged.

Instead Mastodon presents an altered permutation of favouring thoughts established around a characteristic usage of clean vocals. Songs like “Stargasm”, “The Hunter” and “Dry Bone Valley” exemplify this, each with their own driven vocal harmonies, subtended by archetypal Mastodon riffage. In comparison, “Creature Lives” with a Moog intro reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s escapism, recruits Dailor’s and his unforeseen vocal abilities alongside moody leads and power chords. And finally, “The Sparrow” which is flanked by distant Between the Buried and Me vocalisations, beautiful chord movements, and a commanding mid-section, is easily one of the year’s most luminous closers, and the best the band have fashioned thus far.

So with all this, it’s apparent that the album’s accomplishment is the cliché love story of how a band discovers how to mingle with cleans. It’s managing to further entice these developments with equally engaging instrumentation that is the true revelation. The material together offers a collective breath of fresh air into Mastodon’s dangerously-close-to-convoluted-wankery tendencies, which made Crack the Skye a borderline crossover for some, and Opeth’s mid-term-sludge-cousin for others. Nevertheless, there aren’t many groups who can claim success following digression from a tailored prog-fest to their elementary origins; in this instance Mastodon answer the uncertainties by striding the contours between the best of both worlds. Whenever they’re not being recursive around the edges, they’re unquestionably nailing it.



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user ratings (1942)
Chart.
3.7
great
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...

    Adam Thomas STAFF (4)
    The workhorse chronicles...

    Eli 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 
taylormemer
September 27th 2011


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You know, I hated writing this, but I hated the thought of looking at it for another minute, so here you go.

EDIT: and yes I like to be fashionably late

BigHans
September 27th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review

taylormemer
September 27th 2011


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks dude

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2011


6148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This sounds really massive!!! (as in 3.5-4/5)

On vinyl, this will be a true blast...

However, the first i listened to it, I thought it sucked...



Why the first listening of a considerable percentage of new records must be a disaster?

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

Piglet
September 27th 2011


4654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lovely review jake

BigHans
September 27th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the first six songs on this just fucking destroy

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2011


6148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the first six songs on this just fucking destroy






this

KILL
September 27th 2011


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

m/

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

zulop
October 2nd 2011


164 Comments


Good review but some of the sentences are really badly written, eg. "Upon a closer, perhaps more thorough inspection, The Hunter does indeed reveal a diverse, less-disjointed beast, but not as transparently many have so far alleged."

Piglet
October 2nd 2011


4654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what's so badly written about that?

eleventhsun
October 4th 2011


1475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is written better than your Machine Head review, well done.





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