Mastodon
The Hunter


5.0
classic

Review

by Nicholas Johnson USER (5 Reviews)
September 28th, 2011 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Hunter will some day be launched into space, and will be deemed responsible for billions of erections across the universe.

Until 2009's Crack The Skye, Mastodon's music was kept, for the most part, impersonal. You could look at Remission as a form of therapy for drummer Brann Dailor, who at the time had just lost his kid sister, but you would never think such a thing if, like me, you were too busy trying to comprehend the band's borderline morbid fascination with Joseph Merrick. Rather than inject lyrical content with personal experience as most bands do, Mastodon stuck to their one concept per album rule and ran with it for three releases. If you're reading this review you will know this formula has worked immensely well in the past. Finally, though, Mastodon releases an album, sans concept, that is still a brilliant throwback to a number of Mastodon's past achievements, while also managing to allow its 13 songs to each shine individually, rather than as a part of one greater being.

You could argue that because the band opted out of a concept (which they did have planned before realising it may be a tired formula 4th time around) they needed a much larger focus on personal content. This approach would have appealed to loads of the people who favourite Crack The Skye whilst alienating the many Remission/Leviathan elitists who think that Sludge can't be personal. But The Hunter is not really meant to be another sludge album, or another Remission, as is reflective in the level of ambition the album showcases. For tracks as bombastic and largely impersonal as "Blasteroids" the album needs tracks like "The Hunter" and "The Sparrow" to act as a kind of anchorage. The Hunter achieves a perfect balance between these two extremities, ultimately the album appeals to everyone, including themselves, which is perhaps the element of The Hunter that warms my heart the most.

It is difficult to choose one Mastodon LP that The Hunter most reflects. When you look at tracks like "Stargasm", the Title Track and "Bedazzled Fingernails" you recognise the spacey timbre that was present on Crack The Skye, and Sci-Fi horror elements that would have fit in nicely with the downright weird storyline that was explored on Crack The Skye. Tracks like "Black Tongue", which are finally given a context, seem like more of a throwback to the doom-style riffage of Crystal Skull, rather than a risky delving into Trivium-style two-part guitar harmonies over chugging power chords; a formula that has been well flogged over the years and is as boring now as it sounds. Furthermore, Thickening, the immediate standout track, takes elements of the rollicking, nautical guitar rhythms that were so well executed on Leviathan, and runs with them just long enough to surprise listeners when they then launch into a "Last Baron" style tempo change. Finally, as seen in tracks like "Curl Of The Burl", "Spectrelight", and "All The Heavy Lifting", The Hunter features the most songs written in Drop A since Remission in its entirety. That's enough to make anyone happy.

The Hunter is a brilliant throwback to the things we love most about Mastodon, while still being highly effective in keeping the band's fanbase on its toes in terms of what to expect next. The Hunter is sensible enough to retain some of the elements we've seen in the Georgia quartet before - something which bands are almost never praised for.


user ratings (1955)
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...

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

    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 
BornIIHula
September 28th 2011


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

PURSUIT happiness? God, what was I doing?

*fixed.

Piglet
September 28th 2011


4659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Posting your first review is always scary

BornIIHula
September 28th 2011


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, but I feel pretty confident that Sputnik won't be as cruel a user base as something like pitchfork.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2011


7098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's still the internet ya know?

BornIIHula
September 28th 2011


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Exactly, it's just the internet.

I'm yet to get an opinion on the review yet, I'm pretty curious.

taylormemer
September 28th 2011


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Yeah, but I feel pretty confident that Sputnik won't be as cruel a user base as something like pitchfork."

lolololololololololololololol

zxlkho
September 28th 2011


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think 4.5 is just right.

BigHans
September 28th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

really good for a first review. Album rules.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Wow. What? Excellent summary.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2011


22014 Comments


"Yeah, but I feel pretty confident that Sputnik won't be as cruel a user base as something like pitchfork."

lolololololololololololololol [2]

also there is no way this deserves a 5

Digging: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

balcaen
September 28th 2011


3183 Comments


this NEEDED another review? good first review, you kept it pretty succinct. but lol a 5

bloc
September 28th 2011


34925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, but I feel pretty confident that Sputnik won't be as cruel a user base as something like pitchfork.

Sputnik is by far the worst of them all

psykonaut
September 28th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

disagree with the rating but i have to admit i like the summary

RosaParks
September 28th 2011


14926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol balcaen
SO COOL

KyokushinMaster
September 28th 2011


182 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great album i think its more a 4-4.5 though. like the review too good job.

DominionMM1
September 28th 2011


10108 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good first review, you kept it pretty succinct. but lol a 5 [2]


Acanthus
September 28th 2011


9543 Comments


this NEEDED another review?

My thoughts too, but his review was interesting enough.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

FreePizzaDay
September 28th 2011


1526 Comments


"The Hunter will some day be launched into space, and will be deemed responsible for billions of erections across the universe."

Maybe the billions that haven't moved out of their parent's/hivemother's basement.

amanwithahammer
September 28th 2011


498 Comments


666 views m/

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2011


7098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0



m/



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