Album 0129: Mastodon – Crack The Skye

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Progressive Sludge Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Oblivion (05:47)
2. Divinations (03:39)
3. Quintessence (05:27)
4. The Czar

    I. Usurper
    II. Escape
    III. Martyr
    IV. Spiral (10:54)

5. Ghost Of Karelia (05:25)
6. Crack The Skye (05:54)
7. The Last Baron (13:01)

Total Length: 50:06

Note: There is a second disc (The Score) that is an instrumental version of the entire album. Track times are mostly the same, and I will be talking about those at the end like last time. Total length for both discs is 01:40:55.

Oblivion is fantastic, I love the different vocals used throughout the song, and the chorus is haunting. There are really neat little bit of percussion buried in there as well. Divinations is great as well, with the same style of vocals and an awesome surf guitar solo that completely changes the mood of the song. Quintessence is fairly good, but by this point in the album I’m getting a bit tired of this style, which is realized in the next track.

The Czar has a slower intro, building up more and more before going into awesome. Very good song. Ghost Of Karelia shows off how cool the production and layering on this album is. It honestly wouldn’t be the same if it was just drums, bass, and guitars. Crack The Skye has some pretty neat moments. The little section with the robotic vocals feels very Cynic.

The Last Baron is a huge song with lots of great parts. The last few minutes aren’t entirely necessary, but it’s no big deal. Pretty fantastic effort from the band, I really do like how they have evolved and kept changing over the years. They are kind of the metal equivalent to Rx Bandits in that regard. I realize other bands change styles constantly as well, but I feel that there is a parallel in the starting points and directions both of these bands took.

The instrumental version work very well. I do miss the vocals at some points, most notably during the choruses but it’s cool how well the songs stand up without them. I wonder what their writing process was. Dream Theater songs work so well as instrumentals because they intentionally write the songs without ever thinking of vocals, so maybe this is a similar deal. This album does keep growing on me, despite my very initial aversions to Mastodon years ago.

Final Rating: 9/10

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