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A more refined record - 98%

AlexRoy666, April 26th, 2014

Mastodon is one of the only bands in metal today where you don't know what kind of album they will make next. Each record they seem to top the last one, and craft something new and exciting. With a career spanning six albums, their musical output is broad and goes into different directions in terms of music and concepts. Mastodon's music

One thing that the band has always loved to do is to write long and complex epics a more prominent example is the band's 2009 opus, Crack the Skye. With their music, Mastodon have always pushed the envelope, but with this sixth studio outing, the band decided to take a step back and write shorter, more relaxed tunes while retaining the traditional Mastodon vibe. What's on the record is an impressive collection of tunes that manages to broaden the band's sound even further. In doing so, I feel that The Hunter is by far Mastodon's most accessible album. Here you have a good blend of straight forward rockers like "Dry Bone Valley" and "Curl of the Burl" to more complex tunes like "Creature Lives" and “The Sparrow". While cutting down on long epics, Mastodon where album to make something refreshing while keeping the core of their sound intact. There are several standout tracks most notably “Octopus Has No Friends" and "All the Heavy Lifting" as well as the title track.

The overall vibe on the album is relaxed and layed back. The band focused more on writing shorter songs and the music doesn't overbear on the listener. In other words, this is an easy album to listen to and despite the absence of standout epics, has everything that you'd come to expect from the band. The Hunter emphasizes on the guitar attack by guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher as well as vocals provided by all members. The result is a record that is a rocking slab of very good heavy metal. This is the work of a band that is confident with what they accomplished, and they embrace each new risk with confidence.

If you're new to the band, and are looking for a place to start, The Hunter is a perfect entry to the rest of their broad catalogue due to the fact that it showcases all the elements that have made Mastodon such a great metal act. The album is heavy as hell, and pushes the limits to what this band can do in the studio.