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Mastodon is a band, that I didn't really get into until their last Full-length, "Crack The Skye". I found that I didn't really like their early stuff until much later. To be honest, they are a band that grows on you. I also found that these guys can really play some strange music. That is no different on "The Hunter". This record hits notes that are like Blue Oyster Cult, Sabbath and even stuff that sounds like their own style of metal. The new album couldn’t have come sooner, because “Crack The Skye” is starting to get worn out in my brain…
The new album starts out with the first single, Black Tongue, which to be honest is probably the weakest song on the album. It is a great song, so that’s just showing how good the album is. The instrumental parts of this album were so good. All of the members feed off each other flawlessly. I was impressed with how intense the music could get, then change pace next song and play very soothing and mellow melodies that make your soul tremble.
The thing about Mastodon that has always astounded me is that all of the members know how to sing and do so in almost every song. Many songs (i.e. Oblivion, “Crack the Skye”) have all of the members harmonizing. It really is a great sound. This record is no different. There were a few songs with one singer at a time and many with multiple people harmonizing. I have always been a fan of Brent Hinds’ voice. He sounds like Ozzy without that whine that can often get on your nerves. Curl The Burl is the song that really stands out when you want to listen to his voice. It’s a really well done song, much like the others on the album.
As I explained earlier, there are great instrumentals on this album and they flow well. The guitars, bass and drums are all heard very well and all feed off each other amazingly. I really dig how the bass is so loud in half the songs, that you feel it in your stomach. The drums get so fun (coming from a drummer) that I often find myself drumming along. As for the guitars – holy shit. All I have to say is that they really show the experimental side of this band. They use not only some really weird chords, but also some really weird structures in their music. It all flows, though, which makes it one of the best sounds out there. Experimental music that doesn’t sound like pretentious hipster bullshit or annoying noise music? Yes please.
To be honest, fans of “Remission” won’t like this. This album is not heavy. It has some heavier songs, but compared to “Remission”, this is like vanilla sorbet. Fans of “Leviathan” may or may not like it, but fans of “Blood Mountain” and “Crack the Skye” will really enjoy this record. It’s really a different listening experience, in a good way. I think this may go down in the Mastodon hall of fame.