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Mastodon - The Hunter CD (album) cover

THE HUNTER

Mastodon

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.80 | 340 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Starhammer
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I killed a goat, and I liked it...

I've yet to hear 'Remission', but I personally see 'Leviathan' as the Mastodon's sludgiest moment, then with 'Blood Mountain' they cranked up the tempo and technicality before toning down for their most refined, and greatest achievement to date, 'Crack the Skye'. So where does The Hunter fit in to this series in terms of quality and style? I guess it depends a lot on what you personally expect from a Mastodon release, but I find it to be on par with 'Leviathan'.

I have read several reviews which criticize this album for being oversimplified with too many shorter, radio friendly(?!) songs, I even read something that claimed Mastodon were 'sell outs'. I can fully appreciate this point of view, after all, only two of the tracks are longer than five minutes and The Hunter is definitely their most accessible album to date. However, whilst Mastodon certainly have a signature sound, their style never sits still for very long and this willingness to adapt and evolve make them one of today's most exciting progressive bands.

The 'hit singles' taken from The Hunter may not be the most complex pieces Mastodon have ever written, but the hard hitting Black Tongue and the lyrically brilliant Curl of the Burl still place them in a different league to the vast majority of modern rock and metal. I actually find them to be more admirable than the more 'nostalgic' tracks such as All the Heavy Lifting and Spectrelight. When considering prog in a traditional sense I don't find The Hunter to be quite a deep as 'Crack the Skye', but it still features some interesting approaches to songwriting, both sonically and structurally. Take Creature Lives for example which sounds like a cross between "On the Run" by Pink Floyd, and a half-speed version of the indie rock band, Arcade Fire.

On a side note, the deluxe edition is worth getting if of only for the cover art, which is roughly a thousand times better than the standard edition.

The Verdict: A step in the right direction.

Starhammer | 3/5 |

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