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Mastodon - Crack the Skye CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.11 | 639 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I Still Don't See It

My first couple of listens to this album gave me that "hey I might have found an extreme metal album that I actually like" feeling, but then I gave it the earphones and reading the lyrics test and it failed quite miserably. I have a difficult time with most extreme metal vocals as I don't particular care for the death metal growls or the incessant atonal screaming. While listening to this album the first couple of times I was pleased that the vocal style mostly didn't bother me. However, with this listen for preparing the review with the earphones on and the lyrics book open I realized how horrible the singing really was. It wasn't so much that they growled or that they screamed but more so that the singing just didn't match up with the music. The voice reminds me at times of Layne Stayley from Alice In Chains and at other times of Ozzy Osbourne, both vocalists who I think were/are great. The problem was that this voice just didn't seem to match up well with the music. I constantly had that feeling that one gets when you are listening to music on your car stereo with the windows down and the car next to you is blasting music that gets intertwined with what you are listening to. I don't really know of a great way to explain it other than to say that the vocals just don't fit the music for me. It just seemed as though one person sat down and wrote lyrics and started singing them in one room and the rest of the band members were in separate rooms playing their instruments to the beat of their own drummers so to speak and then the producer took all of these separate parts and combined them and called it a song without actually making sure that the pieces of the puzzle fit. My other problem really is that the lyrics really aren't very good and not much thought really went in to filling out the songs with the lyrics. The capital sin here was that on each and every song they would come up with a stanza and then rather than coming up with new lyrics for the rest of the song or adding or completing the story they would just go back to the original stanza and repeat it. I know that many prog fans don't consider lyrics to be that important, and that quite frankly there are many prog bands that just aren't very good at writing lyrics. I love prog music for the music itself and the skill that the musicians have playing their respective instruments, but my favorite prog music is the music that has good lyrics that speak to me, or in the cases of songs with "bad" lyrics where the vocal style is such that it is in harmony with the music that is being played to support it. I'm afraid that in the case of this album neither of these is the case. I see on the album page that there was a bonus disc release with strictly instrumentals, and although I don't have this version, I have a feeling that this would be a case of addition by subtraction. Musically this feels like a 3 star, good but not essential, but overall because I just don't like the lyrics or the vocal style I would have to say that this is a 2 star for fans only of this style of music.

rushfan4 | 2/5 |


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