Album Review
Mastodon - The HunterMastodon – The Hunter

I do not think you could put a sole label on Mastodon’s style of music, it draws of such a large range of genre’s I don’t think it’s possible; sludge, progressive, stoner, metal, alternative rock, all combined together to produce some of the finest unique blend of music in existence that is only distinctive to Mastodon, it will never be confused with any other artist. From the bands very first full length studio album “Remission” back in 2002, heavy metal fans worldwide knew they were staring into the eyes of a growing beast with its heart set on global domination, in fact I think they’re very close to achieving that. Last effort, 2009’s “Crack the Skye” was received phenomenally by critics and was branded album of the year by multiple publications and websites; after this exceptional rise to stardom riding off the success of that album, we are dealt latest effort “The Hunter”.

The band’s first 3 albums were pretty heavy, where as “Crack the Skye” toned it back on focused on taking listeners through a journey by using intricate guitar work and quite mellow tones, which was absolutely freaking awesome but it just means that the direction of “The Hunter” is pretty open and could take near enough any direction it wants. The first 3 tracks of the album “Black Tongue”, “Curl of the Burl” and “Blasteroid” are on the surface extremely upbeat songs, the underlining however is really dark natured and evil which is an interesting change of pace but really shows off the parameters that Mastodon’s material can hit.

The title track; “The Hunter”, is a sinister little devil that marks the half way point of the album. A soft song that is deceivingly sweet when really it’s quite evil layered with ominous tones and sinister vocals all building up to the tasty guitar solo at around the 4 minutes mark which carries through to the end of the track. The only other track on the album that matches the same style as that and it happens to be the only other song that surpasses the 5 minute marker is the final track “The Sparrow”; this song however takes the sinister vocal approach one step further with some choir-esque gang vocals which ring out alone for the songs conclusion.

Let’s not leave out the heavy side of the album; “Octopus Has No Friends”, “All The Heavy Lifting” and especially the albums biggest bruiser “Spectrelight” which features Scott Kelly from Neurosis providing guest vocals. Starting with “Octopus Has No Friends” which is my favourite song from the entire album, it’s just less than 4 minutes of some really trippy and fast technical guitar work alongside with a really strange atmospheric tinge to it which is surreal, “All The Heavy Lifting” takes off from where the previous finishes with the atmospheric edge but with a more distinctive slower riff, beautiful couple of songs. The icing on the cake would have to be “Spectrelight” because it’s extremely damn fast, ridiculously heavy and the vocal work Scott Kelly puts down here compliments everything the band’s vocals have managed to produce throughout the album.

There you have it, Mastodon has followed up and album of the year, with what I think could be another album of the year. How they keep producing really fresh technical albums I will never logically understand, all I can pray to God is that they keep them coming and that I can get a ticket to their UK tour next year!


Review by James Webb
 Band Members
Mastodon - Band
Troy Sanders
Brent Hinds
Bill Kelliher
Brann Dailor
 Track Listing
1. Black Tongue
2. Curl of the Burl
3. Blasteroid
4. Stargasm
5. Octopus Has No Friends
6. All The Heavy Lifting
7. The Hunter
8. Dry Bone Valley
9. Thickening
10. Creature Lives
11. Spectrelight
12. Bedazzled Fingernails
13. The Sparrow
 Band Related Links
Mastodon Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?