Rating:
9.0
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
24 March 2009


Disc I [CD]
01. Oblivion
02. Divinations
03. Quintessence
04. The Czar
    1 - Usurper
    2 - Escape
    3 - Martyr
    4 - Spiral
05. Ghost Of Karelia
06. Crack The Skye
07. The Last Baron

Disc II [Limited Edition DVD]
+ Making Of "Crack The Skye"
+ Track-By-Track Band Commentary
+ Photo Gallery


Crack the Skye, the new opus from the Atlanta, Georgia quartet is an absolutely stunning release.

The band continued the sort of 'elemental' theme that has been present in their last couple releases, Remission (Fire), Leviathan (Water, duh), and Blood Mountain (Earth). Now, with Crack the Skye, the supposed fourth element, Air is represented.

The album itself centers around the concept story of a paraplegic who engages in astral travel, who, like Icarus, passes too close to the Sun - which severs his connection with his mortal body and leaves him floating around the universe. Russian monks set in Tsarist Russia encounter this soul while using him in a divination, and after hearing of his plight, implant him in Rasputin's body… when Rasputin is slain, he can guide the lost soul back to his body.

The album is not as heavy as its predecessors, a shift which some may attribute to commercial motives. However, when one looks at other metal bands whose names begin with "M" who made a shift in their sound to appeal to the commercial audience, they did so by softening and simplifying the music. While Crack the Skye is not nearly as pummeling as Leviathan, it's certainly not simplified into radio-friendly tunes.

Mastodon somehow manage to play tunes that capture the sort of etherealness that one would expect on an album with an astral travel rooted theme, but simultaneously have a degree of density to them. There is a lot going on, yet somehow it all fits. Their evolutionary path follows the same trajectory as bands like Enslaved and Nachtmystium, which have unleashed their inner 70's prog fan and allowed it to influence their current stylings. Songs are expansive and very atmospheric - the album is not entirely digestible in one listen, each subsequent spin through the cd tray will reveal previously undiscovered pieces to the musical puzzle. It's definitely a grower.

If you have your heart set on something that sounds like Remission, you will be disappointed. If you're willing to accept a softening of the sound for sake of walking down avenues previously unexplored, you might find Crack the Skye right up your alley.

For those still interested, I'd highly recommend purchasing the special version that includes the "Making of…" DVD. It's an entertaining watch, and seeing the thought processes involved in the creation of this record will certainly deepen your appreciation of it.

Favorite Tracks - "Quintessence" (I love the heavy riff/chorus that comes slamming in) and "Crack the Skye" with the guest appearance of Neurosis' Scott Kelly and his unmistakable roar. That said, thanks to the story and flow, this album is one of those that is better listened to from start 'til finish rather than popping up from time to time on your iPod's shuffle function.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Mastodon
Album: Crack The Skye


 



Written on 11.04.2009 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



Comments page 2 of 2

‹‹ Back to the Reviews Pages: 1 [2]
Comments: 64  
Users visited: 559  
Search this topic:  


Uirapuru - 20.06.2009 at 15:58  
Quote:
when one looks at other metal bands whose names begin with "M" who made a shift in their sound to appeal to the commercial audience, they did so by softening and simplifying the music..


Smooth LOL
lord artan - 20.06.2009 at 20:55  
I love this band
Oblivion is best song in album
tea[m]ster - 07.08.2009 at 16:31  
Recently got into this band. This CD is amazing. Fast yet structured and they all can play! Best song on the album is "The Last Baron"
Entropic Silence - 29.08.2009 at 12:28  
I'm all for metal bands doing the odd softer experiment, and I enjoyed this one. Excellent album to sleep to.
EntityOfMalice14 - 29.08.2009 at 22:33  
At first i never really gave this album a chance at all. not until about a month later something really clicked. and now i must say its an interesting and great listen
distorted rage - 13.09.2009 at 13:36  
Good album, but a bit overrated imo. The vocals are the weak link to me.
Super_Greg - 02.10.2009 at 11:12  
Written by distorted rage on 13.09.2009 at 13:36

Good album, but a bit overrated imo. The vocals are the weak link to me.


^^^
BitterCOld - 28.10.2009 at 01:27  
I was right in that it was about AIR.. ether was just another way of referring to it.

An interview with Brent Hinds... around the 2:30 mark he mentions air.
Derwood - 28.10.2009 at 04:05  
I listened to this again today for the first time in a couple months. It still gets my vote for biggest letdown of the year.
Marcel Hubregtse - 28.10.2009 at 17:21  
Written by Derwood on 28.10.2009 at 04:05

I listened to this again today for the first time in a couple months. It still gets my vote for biggest letdown of the year.


Finally I am not alone on that then. I find it okay but was expecting so much more of them.
DoomGuard - 13.11.2009 at 21:42  
Written by distorted rage on 13.09.2009 at 13:36

Good album, but a bit overrated imo. The vocals are the weak link to me.

I'd have to disagree my friend, i haven't liked any Mastodon until they released this album, the vocals did a big part of drawing me in, but if your a long time Mastodon fan then i have no place speaking for this is their only spectacular album imo
!Mac! - 12.12.2009 at 19:59  
Written by DoomGuard on 13.11.2009 at 21:42

Written by distorted rage on 13.09.2009 at 13:36

Good album, but a bit overrated imo. The vocals are the weak link to me.

I'd have to disagree my friend, i haven't liked any Mastodon until they released this album, the vocals did a big part of drawing me in, but if your a long time Mastodon fan then i have no place speaking for this is their only spectacular album imo


Blood Mountain and Leviathan are really good records. But you're right -- this is the first Mastodon record to take it to another level. It's a sign of what's to come. They could be on the verge of being the best in metal for the next decade.
Panterica - 06.02.2010 at 15:26  
Written by Uirapuru on 20.06.2009 at 15:58

Quote:
when one looks at other metal bands whose names begin with "M" who made a shift in their sound to appeal to the commercial audience, they did so by softening and simplifying the music..


Smooth LOL


Yeah, Really good one
Panterica - 06.02.2010 at 15:27  
Written by DoomGuard on 13.11.2009 at 21:42

Written by distorted rage on 13.09.2009 at 13:36

Good album, but a bit overrated imo. The vocals are the weak link to me.

I'd have to disagree my friend, i haven't liked any Mastodon until they released this album, the vocals did a big part of drawing me in, but if your a long time Mastodon fan then i have no place speaking for this is their only spectacular album imo


Same here, before this album I didn't like them at all, but now after hearing this I'll give them another shot

Advertise on Metal Storm
Pages: 1 [2]


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Mastodon - Crack The Skye 7.5 24.09.2011 by musicalkaratekid
Reviews Mastodon - The Hunter 7.5 28.09.2011 by Lit.
Metal arena Remission - VS - Crack the Skye 6 05.10.2010 by Guib
Articles Between the Baroness and Mastodon. In Tucson. Let's Get It On! 5 13.05.2010 by afu
Reviews Wolves In The Throne Room - Black Cascade 4.5 04.05.2009 by jupitreas



Hits total: 11345 | This month: 99