Mastodon - The Hunter review


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Band: Mastodon
Album: The Hunter
Release date: September 2011

01. Black Tongue
02. Curl Of The Burl
03. Blasteroid
04. Stargasm
05. Octopus Has No Friends
06. All The Heavy Lifting
07. The Hunter
08. Dry Bone Valley
09. Thickening
10. Creature Lives
11. Spectrelight
12. Bedazzled Fingernails
13. The Sparrow
14. The Ruiner [limited-edition bonus]
15. Deathbound [limited-edition bonus]

With The Hunter, Mastodon are out of their element. Or rather out of elements. Fortunately, after releasing albums loosely themed about fire, water, earth, and air, the Georgia quartet ignored Metalstormers' pleas for a Captain Planet album to tie it all together.

So as for the new album, the immediate TL;DR is this: If you were expecting Leviathan 2.0 or Remission MMXII, you'll likely be disappointed. If you were cool with Crack The Skye, it's a safe bet you will enjoy this one as well.

The band continues with the direction taken in CTS, which is to say less with the sludged-up noisecore or whatever, and more with the 70's prog loving alternative rock/metal approach. While less METAL! than their first few albums - this means almost entirely clean vocals and dialing the distortion down - these guys are all extremely talented musicians capable of crafting some awesome songs that can be both complex and catchy. Just because they toned it down doesn't mean they dumbed it down.

Tracks like "Curl Of The Burl", "Dry Bone Valley", and "Blasteroid" are upbeat and tuneful enough that you'll find yourself singing along… yet still have musical complexities to give them depth and keep you intrigued.

In addition to those rockin' tunes, the band changes up with "Stargasm" and the title track which capture some of the same hypnotic style as Skye… hell, "The Hunter" features a riff which harkens back to "The Czar: The Usurper" on their last release.

Their penchant for the weird goes well beyond silly-sounding song titles as well… "The Creature Live" starts off with some Whovian-Pink Floyd circa 1970 trippy synthesizers (and chuckles) before going into a sad, lighter (smartphone) hoisting ditty about a swamp creature who, like the Octopus, seems to have no friends aside from the singer/narrator, backed by a choir to enhance the sorrow… woe is us.

The mood gets a nice 180 immediately after the sad tale and those craving their older works do get tossed a bone in form of "Spectrelight" - a pummeling tune that will have you waving a harpoon around like the good old white whale chasing days of Leviathan.

The band seems to embrace the more open concept and just bounce, stylistically, all over the place across the album. This album is chock full of songs that are ripe for radio play… but only if your zip code has a really cool station.

Well, and they can somehow get past Brent Hinds snarling "I wanna drink some fucking blood/I wanna break some fucking glass!"

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 28.09.2011 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 38   Visited by: 625 users
08.10.2011 - 01:40
Written by BitterCOld on 07.10.2011 at 07:26

Written by afu on 07.10.2011 at 07:17

I was grabbing food at Walmart tonight and checked out the music section. The CD is edited. I was fucking MAD! Gonna have to drive across town to Best Buy.

or you could go to Zia...

I live out by NW Saguaro National Park, Zia is a lot closer. I also was not aware of it. Thanks.
09.10.2011 - 06:21
Sounds like Mastadon are attampting to jump the shark tank with this release. Definatly more commercial and thats just fine. Just dont tell me how great it is cause its not. Dissapoining is the word that comes to mind. Oh well, at least I know what to expect from mastadon next, maybe Load, Reload or Turbo or something along those lines.
30.10.2011 - 05:06
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.09.2011 at 01:26

Written by Guest on 29.09.2011 at 00:01
I heard the album it's a classic rock(mostly)

Classic rock? Maybe if you're the kind of person who refers to Black Sabbath as classic rock, ya.

thats funny... i think it sounds like ozzy....
Checkout my band here!
30.10.2011 - 05:08
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
"...but only if your zip code has a really cool station..."
mine played curl of the burl yesterday
Checkout my band here!
12.11.2011 - 13:36
This album is one of the biggest growers this year. I keep coming back to it even though there are loads of releases I want to hear that I missed before. It's a 9 from me now and definitely a contender for my top 10 of 2011.
Now loving:
Tribulation - The Lament
Tribulation - Nightbound
Tribulation - Subterranea
Tribulation - The World
Tribulation - Here Be Dragons
05.02.2012 - 18:43
Actually, this album does have an element: Wood. The Captain Planet album will be their next one.
"Without judgement, perception would increase a million times."~Chuck Schuldiner

Less coherent than Anal Cunt.

Eric Brecht once liked my Facebook comment. Therefore, by the translative property, Chuck Schuldiner like my comment.
03.06.2012 - 22:05
Man, i had an opposite experience with Mastodon on the radio. Triple J told me to be careful or i'd get my, and i quote, "face melted off" by curl of the burl. Hmm.
Don't get me wrong i was stoked to hear Brent & Co. on the radio but GOD those moderight politicunts just ruin everything and make me... portmanteau into insults out of sheer frustration!

I agree with Daniell in that i have constantly been impressed by each of their releases as i listened to them and since Blood Mountain, as they were released. In my opinion this is a truly eskilful and cohesive band with all the right pieces in place, heading in the right direction no matter which direction they go. That, my friends, is a winner.
27.10.2013 - 22:21
Dreamy album <3:banger:

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