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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Divinations' - Mastodon (Single)

Suffice to say, Mastodon surprised quite a few people with the visceral 'Crack The Skye.' Taking their progressive sludge metal and throwing in a heap of psychedelic spacial effects, it quickly became one of the year's most acclaimed hits. From that album comes 'Divinations,' a short but sweet burst of energy that demonstrates what 'Crack The Skye' is all about within a short amount of time.

Beginning with an intentionally out-of-tune banjo, things get heavy pretty quickly with the band's trademark guitar tone and heaviness. Before long, the vocals come in to kick off the verse; while the singer may suit the sound of the music, it is still not a style of vocal work that appeals to my ear much. Halfway between clean singing and growling, the vocal style would not sound out of place in hardcore punk, which makes it feel a bit out of place on a progressive metal track. However, when the chorus comes, the battle between growling and clean singing is won by the latter. A soaring vocal melody is coupled with an optimistic sounding, frantically technical guitar riff to make a moment of real beauty in the song.

In any case, 'Crack The Skye' never entirely convinced me as a result of it's flaws and it not necessarily coinciding with my tastes, but 'Divinations' is a great track. While certainly not essential listening by any league, the instrumental version is definately interesting to hear, even for someone who doesn't necessarily consider himself a fan of the band.

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Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 | Review Permalink

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