Mastodon are heavy. Even their slower more progressive style of tunes leave you feeling powerful and make you want to punch god in the face. Mastodon presents The Hunter. A mix of old and new writing, The Hunter delivers the goods to older and newer fans. Black Tongue and Curl of the Burl are great examples of this. Great song writing and catchy as hell (Curl of the Burl was stuck in my head for days after I saw the music video for the first time) these two songs start us off perfectly. The vocals on this album are definitely going to be tough for them to pull off live, with a wider range than Crack the Skye, the singing style is wicked and almost different on each individual track! Singing, harmonizing, screaming, yelling….these gents do it all and it sounds amazing on the record. I hope Brent Hinds is able to pull off his vocal duties while nailing his guitar riffs. This has got to be his most challenging album yet! Hear him scream on the track Blasteroid, feels like the old Mastodon days doesn’t it?
Stargasm, Octopus Has No Friends, All The Heavy Lifting and The Hunter are Mastodon going back into their Crack the Skye chest and pulling out some brilliant tunes. Adding a touch of thickness and heaviness to them and you have some great new Mastodon. They are branching out a little further than their last two releases but still not too far to make drive the listener to hit eject and toss the album out of the window. This album grips you and forces you to listen from beginning to end. Each song is generally interesting and different from one another. Yet Mastodon make this album flow so smoothly, it’s one of the weirdest progressive albums this year. It’s also one of the best. The talent and balls put into this album set themselves ahead of the pack. Continuing on we have Dry Bone Valley and Thickening next and they both are rockin tunes. Did anybody else hear Axl Rose on Thickening? I swear I heard Axl Rose singing during the course of this song.
Next up is the only song on the track I do not like, Creature Lives. It’s just goofy…opening with a laughter, some strange Pink Floyd “I smoked too much” noise then into a joyful little tune. It’s as if a church campsite joined around the fire and sang this silly song. It doesn’t even sound like Mastodon. It’s just durp-tastic, not truly adding anything to the album at all.
The good thing is Spectrelight comes on and it’s straight back to headbanging awesomeness. This song is friggin amazing and I can’t wait to see this performed live. Bedazzled Fingernails is another good heavy track bringing the album closer to an end. Concluding The Hunter is a wonderful track that sounds like it was done during the Crack The Skye process. The Sparrow is great, Mastodon could put out an entire album like this (Besides Crack The Skye, I mean all instrumentals man) and I would love every second of it.
Pros: Quality music, excellent vocals (I love how the vocals are on this album)
Cons: Music is not as catchy as some of their previous work, something is missing and I can’t quite place my finger on it…
4 out of 5
Best tracks: Curl of the Burl, Stargasm, Octopus Has No Friends, All of the Heavy Lifting, The Hunter, Spectrelight, The Sparrow