Review

MASTODON Crack The Skye

Album · 2009 · Sludge Metal
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5/5 ·
Nightfly
For me, at least up until Crack The Skye Mastodon have been a metal band with some good ideas, moments of brilliance even and improving over each subsequent release. Crack The Skye immediately benefits from having the best vocals I've heard from the band so far. It's also their most progressive album to date and full of cracking songs. They're more melodic than before without sacrificing any of the power and intensity of their performance. There's no getting away from the fact that Crack The Skye is an extremely heavy album, very busy and just when you think it couldn't get any heavier they find a way of raising the power quotient a few notches. The band plays brilliantly throughout with some of the best metal riffs I've heard in years and as usual drummer Brann Dailor is all over his kit with his trademark high speed rolls. Although almost consistently heavy throughout they also bring things down a bit at times and understand the benefits of dynamics as they do on the 4 part The Czar, one of the best tracks on an album full of highlights. Special mention should go to final track and 13 minute long The Last Baron, a restrained beginning masques a rollercoaster ride of a song which at times gets so frantic you expect it to fall apart at any moment. Simply stunning!

Mastodon's Crack The Skye should go down in history as a milestone metal album, the way that Metallica's Master Of Puppets, Slayer's Reign In Blood or Opeth's Blackwater Park are so highly regarded setting a new benchmark and finding new life in a genre that is often tired and repetitive these days. The only 2009 album that I've awarded 5 stars to and the best prog metal album since Opeth's Watershed. An essential release for prog metal and metal lovers alike.
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