MASTODON — The Hunter (review)

MASTODON — The Hunter album cover Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
The Angry Scotsman
A mix of old and new.

I will always be a die hard old school Mastodon fan, (Leviathan being one of the first metal albums I listened to) that over the top, mind shattering madness and, barely, organized chaos. I enjoy their later 2 albums, don't get me wrong, just not as much. The more progressive, streamlined, psychedelic and accessible style of sludge metal.

So I was pleasantly surprised upon my first listen of "The Hunter" to find it is a mix of old and new Mastodon. It's a bit of a throw back to crazy Mastodon, but still in the more streamlined style. It's psychedelic sludge metal, filled with a plethora of vocals, is still prominent. Indeed, the vocals range from clean singing to shrill screams, grungy singing and yelling. Dailor's drumming, though nothing like the fill laden, chaotic style I loved so much, touches upon said style at times. The guitar work is heavy, and runs the spectrum...covering everything from melodic to insanity.

"The Hunter" is also much hookier and overall accessible than anything Mastodon has previously done. For many progressive minded fans this may cause cringing, but fear not. Shorter, more to the point song writing is not a bad thing. Sometimes it's fine to just hang around town and not go on an epic journey. Besides, accessible is one thing but musically this is no pop album, technical skill abounds.

As noted by others, the album doesn't take itself too seriously either, always great to see some fun in metal, (or music in general) especially after the grandiose and powerful "Crack the Skye".

Oh, this has nothing to do with the music at all but sweet Jesus look at that album art! One of the best things I've seen in a while, it reflects the insane nature of the album and seems a bit silly almost, but I'm guessing that's the point. Also, it's pretty damn metal \m/

Another great album from Mastodon, "The Hunter" takes a bit of everything they've done and mix it up into one great meal, served in easy to handle dishes. I almost didn't hear it at first but there is some crazy guitar work going on, textured perfectly with more straightforward songwriting. Great vocal performance all around to boot. One of the top 10 metal albums for the year.

Four Stars
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