Review Summary: Blasteroid? Stargasm? I suppose next it'll be Constipllation
Mastodon's inexplicit metamorphosis to the field of prog metal has unveiled the bands greatest works. Crack the Skye
was undoubtedly a classic upon first listen. It brought fans out of the earth and oceans, and instead, took it far away on a journey to the cosmos. Indeed the band has redefined evolution when it comes to the many forms of music they play in each of their albums, where at one moment you could be headbanging to heavy riffs from Remission
, and the next moment you'll be grabbing some shut-eye from the more mellow side of the band. In the end, the emotion expressed in all The Hunter's
predecessors is mixed in such a way that you'll be attracted back to them every time.
on the other hand is the first album by the band that isn't quite meant to take you on a journey, or at least not in the same bold fashion the band had become used to (or so we thought). The hunter
was an album built purely off of pride, and well-deserved pride at that. While Mastodon doesn’t seem to be as fond of putting faith into them, they still manage to put together a creative album that shows the band is still retaining some form of imagination.
One of the first things you'll notice about this album that automatically makes it different from every other one is the bands immediate entrance. If you remember the Jurassic Park Tyrannosaur yelling at in the beginning or Remission
, or the climactic rise to prog in Crack the Skye
, then you'll understand what changes the band is making. The very first track Black Tongue
brings you to what is considered once again the neo-Mastodon of heavy metal. Although the track shows the return of the rapid paced drumming, and proves the band is still good with production, that's about all it does. It does take a little bit for the album to take off. I can tell you that right now. The very next track Curl of the Burl
goes on to prove that any theories about Mastodon’s rapidly approaching lack of faith are indeed true. The track slips and falls over itself so many times, it almost isn't even worth looking into. Black Tongue
didn't contain too much to be excited about, but even it held up better than this track. Luckily, this would be about as far as Mastodon goes without their heads. From here on, it would be a wild ride.
was the first track I heard off this album. Considering I am a huge fan of Mastodon, I automatically liked it. But now that I’ve delved into this album more and more, I can see just how much of a rocking track this is. The intro riff is magical, and the clean vocals (which are still active on this album from Crack the Skye
) truly compliment the verse. The chorus on the other hand brings back beautiful memories of the olden days of sludge. Screaming at the top of his lungs, Brent takes away the song nicely. The song is short, but at the same time, it is sweet and to point. Probably one of the best this album has to offer, even in its limited time slot.
Once The Hunter
grows on you a bit, you'll find that the album starts getting more hypnotic as you approach the halfway point of it. The Octopus Has No Friends
, (thumbs up if you think this should've been the next single, instead of Dry Bone Valley
) exemplifies the not-quite-so-trance-like of Mastodon, but damn it's cutting close. The self-titled track of this album is also another highlight, as well as the best description offered yet of how Bill Kelliher would perform if he was on more drugs than Ozzy. This progresses so nicely and calmly, therefore admitting the title of longest track on the album. Creature Lives
is yet another good example of the hypnotic, brain-stirring side of Mastodon that we didn't get enough of in the previous album. With one of the most seizure inducing intro's to any of Mastodon's songs, and breaking off softly into a small interlude of mellow guitar and bass, you'll find that this track will suck you into an inescapable void of self-preservation. I mean, just listen to the verse, and listen as the guitars behind this majestic voice blare in. And my god what is that? A solo? Indeed it is. Another highlight of an album that just needed to be explored thoroughly to truly appreciate.
The Final track of this album The Sparrow
, is probably the most nostalgic track of the album. Not in itself of course, but the fact that every Mastodon album has at the end of it, the most mellow and intriguing song of the album. This may not be a thirteen minute instrumental masterpiece like most fans would be familiar with, but it comes relatively close to the appropriate mood, and is easily the most impressive display of Mastodon on this album. It is definitely the best way to end the album, to say the least.
is often a misperceived album. Either it is overrated, or terribly underrated. I personally feel as though the album falls right in the middle of the playing field. It's certainly the worst Mastodon album to date, but it's still pretty good. Dry Bone Valley
is a weak track in origin, and it kills me that this was selected as the next single along with the other worst track on the album Curl of the Burl
. The bringing of Scott Kelly into Spectrelight
was alright, but in the end, unnecessary. And on top of all that, the drumming is severely recycled on this album. You could recognize the same drum loops on every track. And I would be a bit biased if I didn't say that a few of the riffs on this album weren't weak, especially in Stargasm
, which don't me wrong, is a beautiful track. But it doesn't give off the energy you'd expect from a track with such a bold name. Although Mastodon is clearly rejecting their obvious track, they still construct a decent album that's worth enjoying more than once.