Rating:
8.1
Mastodon - The Hunter
27 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!"

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


Band profile: Mastodon
Album: The Hunter


 



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



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Lit. - 28.09.2011 at 18:49  
Quote:
"The Hunter" features a riff which harkens back to "The Czar: The Usurper" on their last release.


Really? Cause to me it sounds alot like Crack the Skye (The song).
Maybe I just don't listen to The Czar too often.
Death_95 - 28.09.2011 at 18:58  
Written by Lit. on 28.09.2011 at 18:49

Quote:
"The Hunter" features a riff which harkens back to "The Czar: The Usurper" on their last release.


Really? Cause to me it sounds alot like Crack the Skye (The song).
Maybe I just don't listen to The Czar too often.

I think it sounds like The Czar.
Unhealer - 28.09.2011 at 20:44  
Awesome record, nice review.

This album is pretty much a recollection of all the styles Mastodon had through all their career (expect for Remission maybe) displayed on this set of straight-forward songs mostly.

This album is pure fun, expect for some "deeper" moments like Stargasm, The Hunter and The Sparrow.
JD - 29.09.2011 at 00:01  
Good review.

I heard the album it's a classic rock(mostly) and I'd give it a 9, anyway 8.1 is fair I guess.
Troy Killjoy - 29.09.2011 at 01:26  
Written by JD 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.
Introspekrieg - 29.09.2011 at 03:37  
Great review... this album really gets me pumped, some good running music until it get all Floydian... then I start to lose oxygen to my brain.
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.09.2011 at 11:23  
The band have finally found the way up again after having gone down with every album after remission. This one is so much better than Crack the Skye.
Only downpoint are the horrendous clean vocals especially when they sing together and try to harmonize.
malaikat - 29.09.2011 at 15:44  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.09.2011 at 11:23

The band have finally found the way up again after having gone down with every album after remission. This one is so much better than Crack the Skye.
Only downpoint are the horrendous clean vocals especially when they sing together and try to harmonize.


OFFTOPIC
Sometimes, Marcel, I wonder do you even listen to the same music as all of us. I have yet to meet a person that has more diametricall opinion than you about almost everything, in comparison to almost everyone.

TOPIC:
A spot on review, although I would rate it higher - I was mildly dissapointer with CtS, and this is the Mastodon I loved during Blood Mountain release. Anyway, my definite vote for album of the year! *take that Opeth*
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.09.2011 at 15:46  
Written by malaikat on 29.09.2011 at 15:44

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.09.2011 at 11:23

The band have finally found the way up again after having gone down with every album after remission. This one is so much better than Crack the Skye.
Only downpoint are the horrendous clean vocals especially when they sing together and try to harmonize.


OFFTOPIC
Sometimes, Marcel, I wonder do you even listen to the same music as all of us. I have yet to meet a person that has more diametricall opinion than you about almost everything, in comparison to almost everyone.



What's so weird about my opinion on Mastodon? I know loads of people who regard Mastodon't albums as I do.
malaikat - 29.09.2011 at 15:54  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.09.2011 at 15:46


What's so weird about my opinion on Mastodon? I know loads of people who regard Mastodon't albums as I do.


Nah, man, I mean your opinion(s) in general, nothing personal.
Btw I think you are the first person I know to preffer Remission over every other Mastodon album - but, different strokes for different folks.
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.09.2011 at 16:46  
Written by malaikat on 29.09.2011 at 15:54


Nah, man, I mean your opinion(s) in general, nothing personal.
Btw I think you are the first person I know to preffer Remission over every other Mastodon album - but, different strokes for different folks.

I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best. Perhaps even a majority. It's even the highest rated album on MA with the most reviews.
malaikat - 29.09.2011 at 16:52  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.09.2011 at 16:46

Written by malaikat on 29.09.2011 at 15:54


Nah, man, I mean your opinion(s) in general, nothing personal.
Btw I think you are the first person I know to preffer Remission over every other Mastodon album - but, different strokes for different folks.

I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best. Perhaps even a majority. It's even the highest rated album on MA with the most reviews.


Really? Well, ok then. I mean, yes, it's a great album, but Leviathan and Blood Mountain are just almost legendary to me.

PS - Although I don't give a flying sh*t for MA reviews since I read UltraBoris and a few others. There's something called difference of opinion, and there's being a self-proclaimed pseudointellectual. Don't like those other guys, they always ruin my trips to MA.
!J.O.O.E.! - 29.09.2011 at 16:56  
Written by malaikat on 29.09.2011 at 16:52



Really? Well, ok then. I mean, yes, it's a great album, but Leviathan and Blood Mountain are just almost legendary to me.

PS - Although I don't give a flying sh*t for MA reviews since I read UltraBoris and a few others. There's something called difference of opinion, and there's being a self-proclaimed pseudointellectual. Don't like those other guys, they always ruin my trips to MA.

The good thing about MA reviews is when you start getting more than say, ten, reviews the morons that write some of the reviews end up canceling each other out. The Zero and Ten scores nullify each other and you start getting a good average.
Windrider - 29.09.2011 at 18:33  
Well, the track titles are worth a 10, like Curl Of The Burl, Bedazzled Fingernails and, of course, the most metal title ever: Octupus Has No Friends
Opethian - 29.09.2011 at 19:00  
Nice review BitterCold! I personally love this album. Octopus has No Friends is by far my favorite track. This really shows the band evolving while still keeping their modern sound I would give this a solid 9

Mastodon
Troy Killjoy - 29.09.2011 at 19:16  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.09.2011 at 16:46
I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best.

Plus I think Marcel says it's the best Mastodon album. So you know it is.
Marcel Hubregtse - 29.09.2011 at 19:17  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.09.2011 at 19:16

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.09.2011 at 16:46
I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best.

Plus I think Marcel says it's the best Mastodon album. So you know it is.


I am always right
Paradox0 - 29.09.2011 at 22:44  
Written by Lit. on 28.09.2011 at 18:49

Quote:
"The Hunter" features a riff which harkens back to "The Czar: The Usurper" on their last release.


Really? Cause to me it sounds alot like Crack the Skye (The song).
Maybe I just don't listen to The Czar too often.


This is exactly my problem with this album. There are far too many riffs taken from Crack the Sky to the point that it sounds stale. It kind of reminds me of Arch Enemy's Khaos Legions; to much reference to past works and not enough genuine originality. Look I REALLY loved Crack the Sky (was one of my top picks of 09) but there no point to me to simply chop up, restructure it and then call it a new album.
Hybreda - 30.09.2011 at 00:24  
OH HAI GUISE! YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG!

Not really, well, kinda, but did that to get your attention (and if you read this, you did! huzzah!)

Anyways, one thing for sure, the Hunter experience dramatically changes when you play it while driving, you have to get a bit pumped and aggressive.. well at least it's the case with the traffic here I like it much more than CtS and BM because it's more catchy, go out run around get naked crazy, delivering all the goodies in a packed amount while leaving nothing in the air. Still not a Leviathan for sure, but definitely Leviathan 2.0 in the sense that it has that strike and go attitude, while having the maturity encompassed by all their past albums!

Mom thinks all songs sound the same, gotta make her opinion change!

Oh and, I never embraced Remission as I have embraced Leviathan.. something is so different, so energetic that it makes you want to go on a violent trip (which you can satisfy by going to the gym.. hell yeah, it's great to have everyone looking at you like you are mad Blood Mountain was an immature step towards CtS while trying to nurture the metal side with the prog roots.. CtS blew my mind, but got cold and tiring pretty fast because the songs lost their nature of catchiness and only stood with epicness.

Mastodon is like an energy drink, and you don't want to chug a whole keg of it; grab a shot and you're on the move!

But all in all, great review, kinda worth like 8.5 or 9.0.. Have given it around 30 replays while driving.. Trying to change the playlist else I will not like it anymoar
BlueMobius - 30.09.2011 at 01:10  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.09.2011 at 19:16

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.09.2011 at 16:46
I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best.

Plus I think Marcel says it's the best Mastodon album. So you know it is.


I'm going to have to go with Leviathan. The songwriting is just way better and it's still really heavy.


On topic:
I'm really digging the new album. It's really a good mix of all that Mastodon is ... And goodness is Spectrelight a beast of a song. The bonus DVD is pretty great too. It's nothing long or special, but Brann is hilarious on it.
afu - 30.09.2011 at 03:53  
I think it's in the high 8's, so I rounded up to 9. I really like it.
Daniell - 30.09.2011 at 13:38  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 29.09.2011 at 19:17

Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.09.2011 at 19:16

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 29.09.2011 at 16:46
I know vast amounts of people that cite Remission as Mastodon's best.

Plus I think Marcel says it's the best Mastodon album. So you know it is.


I am always right


Maybe in the densely populated premises of your own apartment

What I think is that Mastodon have never failed so far. Be it Remission or Crack the Skye, I appreciate all their albums. As I appreciate this one. Simpler than the predecessor, but to make up for it, more intense and in-your-face. Mastodon is one of the brightest stars on the metal heaven without doubt.
Fredd - 30.09.2011 at 18:40  
Fair review, decent album.
JÄY - 01.10.2011 at 02:38  
If youre reviewing the special edition, maybe use that cover? its definitely nicer to look at.
Panterica - 01.10.2011 at 16:44  
Sounds interesting
Opethian - 04.10.2011 at 03:46  
Oh theres one that really disappointed me, it was that the 'Bonus Tracks' for the Deluxe Edition werent on Disc 1, there on the DVD. Just like Heritage .. Just a heads up for those planning on buying the Deluxe Edition
@gent_-_orange - 04.10.2011 at 04:01  
Written by Opethian on 04.10.2011 at 03:46

Oh theres one that really disappointed me, it was that the 'Bonus Tracks' for the Deluxe Edition werent on Disc 1, there on the DVD. Just like Heritage .. Just a heads up for those planning on buying the Deluxe Edition

Its one of my pet hates yet I bought the deluxe edition anyway... Mostly for the artwork.
Opethian - 04.10.2011 at 17:57  
Written by @gent_-_orange on 04.10.2011 at 04:01

Written by Opethian on 04.10.2011 at 03:46

Oh theres one that really disappointed me, it was that the 'Bonus Tracks' for the Deluxe Edition werent on Disc 1, there on the DVD. Just like Heritage .. Just a heads up for those planning on buying the Deluxe Edition

Its one of my pet hates yet I bought the deluxe edition anyway... Mostly for the artwork.


the dlx cover is 10x's better , i agree
afu - 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.
BitterCOld - 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...
afu - 08.10.2011 at 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.
MrMojoRisin - 09.10.2011 at 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.
BoxCar Willy - 30.10.2011 at 05:06  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.09.2011 at 01:26

Written by JD 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....
BoxCar Willy - 30.10.2011 at 05:08  
"...but only if your zip code has a really cool station..."
mine played curl of the burl yesterday
Daniell - 12.11.2011 at 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.
scapeplan - 05.02.2012 at 18:43  
Actually, this album does have an element: Wood. The Captain Planet album will be their next one.
RAVASTATOR - 03.06.2012 at 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.
CrossIv - 27.10.2013 at 22:21  
Dreamy album <3:banger:

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