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Mastodon - The Hunter CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.72 | 388 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
2 stars Two years after 'Crack the Skye', Mastodon returns with a more straightforward album, maintaining the melodic and technical approach from previous albums but sticking to shorter and more immediate songwriting. And I believe that's exactly the problem here, it makes a very good impression at first but as soon as the second listen the simplicity of most the material becomes more explicit, to an extent where continuous listens made me wonder what the heck I though was good about this album at all.

They hit it off quite all right though. 'Black Tongue' is a catchy roller coaster with nice eastern tinged riffs and melodies. The spacey and psychedelic effects are a constant element throughout the album. The stoner of 'Curl the Burl' is more down to earth and a clear omen of less proggy things ahead. This wouldn't be a problem if the material was good, but most of the songs are simply dreadful with their cliched alteration of tech-y brutal sections and melodic breaks that reveal a plainness and cheesiness unseen with Mastodon. The endlessly repeated one-line choruses like 'You're on fire', 'I'm on my way back home', 'Just close your eyes','creature lives',... are tuneless clones of one another, bringing in the sort of ordinary pop-rock features I don't want to hear at all. A shame really as some of the psych-tinged sludge music on this album is actually quite good, but all the shout-along emptiness is too hard to bear.

At its best moments the album tones down the melodic attempts in favor for a moodier Floydian approach that works quite well on songs like 'The Hunter' and 'The Sparrow'. Mastodon is best when they avoid bringing our attention to their vocals, which are whiny and uninspired, and not adding anything interesting at all. Too bad they are all over the place this time.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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