Mastodon: The Hunter

Utilizing the best elements of “Crack the Skye” and “Leviathon”, Mastodon have released a real return to form record. Not to say that the band needed to get back to their roots, but after the massive departure the band made with their last record (“Crack the Skye”) and even though it was very critically praised, it’s nice to see the band bring back some of the defining elements of the band (found on albums like “Leviathan” and “Blood Mountain”) coming back into the forefront of of the bands sound (especially of those who made not have been totally convinced by “Crack the Skye”).

Like I said earlier, the biggest thing about this album that I noticed right from the get go was that the old guitar tone was back, which really pleased me, not to say that I didn’t like the tone of the guitars on the last album, I just prefer the original guitar tone because I’m so used to hearing it on all of their records. Everything about it is just so heavy and dirty. The guitars sound like massive amounts of tar are slowly being poured all over your body and the drums sound like a herd of elephants charging at you. I just love the sound that Mastodon have created and I think that they sound as good as they’ve ever been (except when they scored the “Jonah Hex” soundtrack. Yeah…let’s just forget about that).

I’ve been a fan of everything this band have ever done and this album is certainly no exception. Another really great album from one of the best metal bands of the modern age. This album is inundated with fantastic songs like “Black Tongue”, “Curl of the Burl”, “Stargasm”, “The Hunter” and “Creature Lives” (Which has some funny lyrics if you listen to it). Lots of the song titles are slightly ridiculous and so are some of the other lyrics to some of the other songs, but then again, Mastodon have never had the deepest lyrics and were never the best poets, but despite the apparent comedy of some of the songs (“Stargasm”, “Octopus has No Friends”, “Creature Lives” and “Bedazzled Fingernails”) they all kick major ass. The only problem I have is with the band in general. They have this new album with a ton of great songs to add to their live show, but the problem is, they are one of the worst live bands around, which truly confuses me. How can a band as good as Mastodon be so crappy live? I’ve actually never seen the band live but i’ve heard unanimous reviews all around the board and they all conclude that this band is horrible live, which is a real shame considering their massive appeal and their massive songs.

Oh well, there really is not a lot more to add to this review. If you are familiar with Mastodon and are a fan of their previous albums, whether it be “Crack the Sky” or Blood Mountain”, it doesn’t matter because you’ll love this album no matter what. It’s that good. When December rolls around I want to see this album in most people’s top 20 lists. (Sorry this review is so much shorter than most reviews). It’s a very straightforward record and there isn’t too much new things stylistically going on that would make people reconsider the band or anything like that, so I think it will be unanimously praised. Please let me know what you think.

Luke Helker

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