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mastodon thehunter
Artist: Mastodon
Title: The Hunter
Genre: Progressive
Release Date: 23rd September 2011
Label: Roadrunner Records

Album Review

For what seemed like a little eternity to many, , the critic's darlings MASTODON have worked on the follow-up to 2009s 'Crack The Skye', highlighting more Progressive Rock elements than they had done ever before. Though technically flawless I never could get access to the album, contrary to its predecessors, most notably 'Leviathan'. The band's announcement that the album would be “not so much proggy as riff-oriented and a little more stripped down” then made me prick up my ears. The first track heard off 'The Hunter', called 'Black Tongue' absolutely kept that promise, though stripped-down certainly doesn't apply to the track's drum section, really. Dailor's fills breaks and twists make it a real challenging effort carrying darkness in its heart. Does put you in mind of some of the 'Leviathan' tracks indeed. 'Curl Of The Burl', the second single lifted off the album, probably is MASTODON's version of a sing-a-long track in 70s rock fashion. Mostly straight and backed by a top-notch production this one's bound to become a real anthem.

'Stargasm' kicks off in the shimmering darkness of space on weightless , ethereal chords, soon to be accompanied by laid-back drum work that abruptly gets a kick in the ass and goes into propulsion mode. Guitar mostly are toned down to evoke sense of of a nearing danger with melodic intermezzos interwoven. He title track builds on a sombre theme of oppressing melodies and slow rhythms with one of the best vocal deliveries on the record. The theme is as dark as the title's background is. It's dedicated to Brend Hind's brother “who unexpectedly passed away while hunting during the making of the album” Just as the title 'Dry Bone Valley' indicates, this one is dry rock mayhem injected with a plethora of breaks to keep you on your toes. 'Creature Lives' is introduced' by some heavy electronic gadgetry. Followed by y lovely folk-ish and simple melody. The centre part of it, however, is the adult t bedtime story being told in a kind of poetic forum. Interesting way of building a song but one that takes some getting used to.

If there's one particular track that can be deemed a neck-shaker on the new MASTODON record it's 'Spectrelight'. It gallops at high-speed and kicks you straight in the guts if you don't. My personal highlight has been kept for the end of the track list though. It is 'The Sparrow'. As mythological as the name sounds, so does the track. It is covered in foggy ambience, joined by crystalline, reverberating guitar lines and a wistful voice that keeps on singing “Pursue happiness with diligence” The tracks is the album's most intense for me and has some surprises in stock for you that I will keep a secret now. Listen to it yourself folks. The decision to take a less proggy, more compact route on 'The Hunter' suits MASTODON well and marks another progression for the band that evolves on every of their albums. On the new one they're sometimes as dirty and gritty as it gets; the next second they're as clean as a bell. A game of contrasts is being played on 'The Hunter' and MASTODON know how to play it to won.


01. Black Tongue - 3:27
02. Curl of the Burl - 3:40
03. Blasteroid - 2:35
04. Stargasm - 4:39
05. Octopus Has No Friends - 3:48
06. All the Heavy Lifting - 4:31
07. The Hunter - 5:17
08. Dry Bone Valley - 3:59
09. Thickening - 4:30
10. Creature Lives - 4:41
11. Spectrelight (feat. Scott Kelly) - 3:09
12. Bedazzled Fingernails - 3:08
13. The Sparrow - 5:30


Brann Dailor - Drums, Vocals
Brent Hinds - Guitar, Vocals
Bill Kelliher - Guitar, Vocals
Troy Sanders - Bass guitar, Lead Vocals


Cover Picture

mastodon thehunter


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Extras: -
Total: 9 / 10

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