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Mastodon - Crack The Skye CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.11 | 619 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Bill Kelliher describes the concept of this album as: "It's basically the story of a quadriplegic boy who's in a wheelchair, who leaves his body, enters the spirit realm and flies too close to the sun. He's tied to his body by this golden umbilical cord that burns off, so he's just kind of floating aimlessly through space. He flies through a worm-hole and astral-travels back to Czarist Russia, where there's this cult performing a divination-they're like a secret sect out in the woods performing a seanace kind of thing-and they call his spirit into the body of Rasputin, who's part of this cult, right before he's murdered in order to warn him. And Rasputin sacrifices his life for this child's spirit through a crack in the sky, back through time and space, and brings the boy back into his body and he's completely healed". Drummer Brann Dailor came up with most of the ideas and lyrics. His sister Skye committed suicide at age 14 and that is why the "Skye" in the title of the album is spelled that way, a tribute to her.

"Oblivion" opens like a METALLICA song unfortunately. The vocals remind me of a cross between Ozzy and Layne Staley. I just can't get into this track. "Divinations" is much better. It actually opens with banjo. Banjo ?! Yes banjo. A nice heavy sound follows and the drumming is fantstic ! The vocals are better too. A good uptempo song. "Quintessence" is good to start out but they reminds me of a 90's Alternative band on the chorus. I can't get past this plus it's too commercial sounding. "The Czar" is an amazing track. It opens with bass-synths and stays fairly restrained until before 4 minutes when it kicks in. Nice. Great sound ! Impressive guitar throughout this one.

"Ghost Of Karelia" is another highlight. A good heavy track with some cool sounding guitar playing over top at times."Crack The Skye" features guest vocalist Scott Kelly (NEUROSIS) spitting out the lyrics after a minute. He trades vocals with Brent throughout. Another killer tune. "The Last Baron" is the over 13 minute closer. It opens with acoustic guitar as vocals and a heavy sound take over quickly. This sounds really good. A change in style after 3 minutes. An outstanding rhythm follows. Themes are repeated before 7 1/2 minutes. Blistering guitar 11 1/2 minutes in that lasts for a minute.

"Oblivion" and "Quintessence" are two songs (1/4 of the album) that I just don't like at all. The other songs are really excellent. I just can't give 4 stars to an album when I dislike that much of it no matter how outstanding the rest is.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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