9.20.2009

Listen Up

Crack The Skye, Mastodon :: *(5.0/5.0)
Crack The SkyeAnother concept album, but that's par for the course with these guys. And the fact that Mastodon has these stories/concepts are a big selling point for me.

The epic sci-fi/fantasy metal that fills the appetite more than just thrashing guitars and screaming. They've come a long way from Remission. And that may be one of the reasons I latched onto this band. Because I knew that — I could just hear that — they had more going on than just your typical run-of-the-mill metal band. I could sense the potential.

This album has quite a bit Actual "Singing" on it — albeit with help from studio effects. But they don't feel like any sort of pop/Brittany Spears/Lady Gaga thing. Keyboards that really add to the mythic quality of the music are thrown in too. Channeling 70's prog rock and their own personal demons.

It's the Story that make this album... The story of Brann, the drummer's, sister. The story of Brent, the singer/guitarist, almost dying. Story of the actual lyrics and concept. And maybe it's just because I'm a fan and found out all of this stuff before I listened to it. Maybe it's because I'm a fan and shelled out for the CD/DVD version with the documentary of the Making Of this album... But really, I wanted the DVD because I know the guys are funny and I knew it would be entertaining.

I had no idea that Bill, the guitarist, was such a big Star Wars geek, or that Brent had a Creature From The Black Lagoon collection.

There's lots of guitar solos. Lots of intense drumming... But this still feels like an almost laid-back kind of album. At least less of a Full Frontal Assault than their previous albums.

There was an instrumental version released as an iTunes exclusive, and I just had to get a hold of it... Didn't pay for it though, because I already bought the premium version, so that made no fucking sense to me. But I have it, and it is now a valuable addition to my "Writing Playlist" on my iPod.

Favorite Tracks: "Divinations", "The Czar", "Ghost Of Karelia", and "The Last Barron"...


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