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Mastodon - Crack The Skye CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.11 | 619 ratings

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4 stars Crack The Skye is an excellent release by Mastodon. Although there are plenty of metal bands that have groove, heaviness, along with a mystical aura, none achieve the vibe that comes along with this album. Among the heavy and melodic guitar, most of the album contains haunting singing by 3 of the 4 band members, all used in a variety of ways to help embellish the song as much as they can. Along with that you can hear traces of keyboard in a few parts, most notably in the intro to "The Czar". Of course, the metal elements definetely stand out the most, since the standard guitars, bass, and drums never stop for a ballad or quieter song. That does not mean there is no atmosphere, of course.

The album begins with the first three songs being mostly straightforward hard rock songs, "Oblivion", "Divinations", and "Quintessence". All three contain great driving melodies, catchy choruses, and a good level of experimentation. These three will please any metal/hard rock fan, though they certainly won't alienate those who can't stand brutal music, since they're pretty accessible and could easily be heard on mainstream hard rock radio.

The rest of the album is more progressive once "The Czar" comes in. "The Czar" is a lengthy, building piece with enough riffs to fill an entire rock album, with several different moods to complete it. It should please any fans of post metal, extreme metal, and heavy prog.

The album continues to mix in atmospherics and experiment with the heavy tones. "Ghost of Karelia" is definely a highlight among an album of highlights, with mystical guitar sounds and constantly changing time signatures. It gives an almost oriental vibe, just before some heavier guitars come in. After that is "Crack The Skye", which brings the album back to the more sludgy Mastodon roots.

The greatest part of the album has to be "The Last Baron" though. It begins with haunting singing above epic guitar strumming and powerful drums, and just builds. Through its entire 13 minute length it goes through emotional flowing atmostpherics, energetic and agressive thrashing, and complex technical insanity. The album would not be complete without it.

In summation, this record is essential towards anyone who is a fan of heavy prog or progressive metal, with atmospheric leanings. In fact, I would say it is reccomended towards any fan of prog, since it is not an extreme album and most of the album is filled with enjoyable and progressive melodies.

topofsm | 4/5 |


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