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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 This is definitely Mastodon's proggiest album yet, especially when you compare it to the Call of the Mastodon EP or Remission. They have been primarily a metal band. Yet in their previous albums Leviathan and Blood Mountain they have led slightly away from pure bone- crushing metal to adding some slight technicality to their music. However, it couldn't really be related to prog until this album.

This album has the least amount of tracks, yet each of them last longer than Mastodon's albums traditionally do. The shortest song on here is about three and a half minutes while the longest song lasts thirteen minutes.

The album starts off with Oblivion, introducing us to a traditional Mastodon opening riff. Oblivion strikes me as something different because it is the only song that the drummer Brann Dailor (an excellent one at that) sings for. His voice is definitely the most melodic of the four band members. His voice soars and energizes before switching over to the normal singer. The next song is the single Divinations, which opens up with Brent Hinds banjo playing. It then afterwards delves into typical Mastodon.

Quintessence gives us something new to the table as opposed to Divinations, where the album starts to get the more ethereal feel to hit. It then leads into the ten minute epic The Czar, which is a fantastic song that builds up to a great climax. It also perfectly portrays the ethereal elements of the album. Ghost of Karelia is also another fantastic song. Crack the Skye features powerful vocals by Scott Kelly. The song (and the album as a whole) is dedicated to Brann's sister Skye, who committed suicide when she was fourteen. Knowing this makes the song even more powerful.

And then we come to the last track, the Last Baron. I have incredibly mixed feelings for this song. There were some parts of it that were good, yet the song itself was just overblown. They were able to make the long songs work with The Czar, but not with this. It definitely is "proggy", but it takes a lot of patience to get through.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this album. It shows great evolution and ideas on Mastodon's part, even though they plan to go back to the traditional sound on their next album. This album should be an interest to prog metal fans or anyone who likes rock with spacey elements.

thesleeper72 | 4/5 |


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