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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

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Mastodon shed their progressive technical brilliance and replace it with mediocrity.

Mastodon are capable of some excellent albums as they proved with the ground breaking "Crack the Skye" and before that "Blood Mountain". I put this on eagerly expecting more masterful technical metal but was rather disappointed. It was rather a noisy distortion, not as technical or proficient as other material. This album was louder but the guitars are really fuzzy psych and there is a lot of screaming and layered vocals. There are not that many lead breaks, none of which stand out, and hardly any of the songs stood out as classics, they all just blended together.

Nothing jumped out for quite some time till we got to 'Stargasm' that had some nice spacey atmospherics and psychedelic vocals. 'The Hunter' is a fairly good song with good riffing. 'Dry Bone Valley' had some awesome riffing and cranked along nicely. This really is nothing like previous Mastodon though, very accessible FM sludge meta with repetitive pump-your-fist-in- the-air anthems. The vocals are always multi tracked and sound the same throughout. The lyrics are pretentious and silly though humorous at times. The riffs are not that creative. There are no virtuoso lead breaks.

Best song finally comes well into the album, 'Creature Lives' with weird laughing and synth soaked spaciness. It moves to a nice acoustic feel, and the lyrics are a little strange but work; "I saw the creature fall into the swamp from which he spawned, I heard them laugh and say they never liked him anyway, I tried to talk to them to help you on your feet again, they laughed and said to me the swamp is right where I should be." Ok it's not Shakespeare but this stoner rock is okay with me. I especially love the creative use of a choir sound, and the sustained crunching distorted chords. Even the lead guitars are sounding wonderful on this.

It is followed by the blasting abrasive 'Spectrelight' which is just an awful noise, complete with barf up your breakfast shouting vocals. 'Bedazzled Fingernails' is next, and it has an odd time sig that agrees with my tastes. The vocals are better, the lyrics are worse, "lay me down, stand my ground, taking a life, I see it flash before my eyes." Next is "The sparrow" and the one line in it is, "pursue happiness with diligence, aaaah, aaaaah, aaah, aaaah, aaaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaa- aaaaaa-aaaaaaahhhh." Sound advice, guys. This instrumental is actually rather good, acoustics, atmospheric spacey soundscape and dreaminess in the structure. The lead break is very good on this, really outstanding. A pity that the album has some gems but is overall very mediocre, and it doesn't grow on you, quite the opposite.

It was a real sleeper album for me and I was expecting something to blow my head off. Sadly it is a new direction for the band. They have sucked out all the technical progressive time sigs and replaced them with stoner psych acid rock, and its not a compelling listen. I don't hate it but I checked the collaborator's reviews thinking I was being too harsh and saw that most were forgiving enough to give this 4 stars or 3. I will settle for 3 for the overall content which is still well played if not prog or inventive.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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