MASTODON — The Hunter (review)

MASTODON — The Hunter album cover Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Phonebook Eater

“The Hunter” is a collection of short, earnestly crazy songs.

Mastodon, it’s easy to say so, are the biggest Metal band, appealing even to a more mainstream crowd. Ironically, they were able to do so with their most progressive album to date, “Crack The Skye”. The album was infinitely praised, and it was indeed a great album. It was hard to follow up such an LP, and in general to follow up the four part concept Masotodon had created with their previous and only four works (Remission=fire, Leviathan=water, Blood Mountain=earth, and Crack the Skye=air), but they managed to stay on track and to still be creative, original, and thought-provoking.

“The Hunter” was intended and surely is the most straight-forward of all Mastodon efforts. It was a wise choice in my opinion, not because of a need to reach a different crowd, but to expand their sound, and they accomplished in a way that I honestly did not expect. These songs have that usual, energetic feel that Mastodon always gave us, but the melodies are simpler, the songs much more in quantity and much shorter, (no one of them more than five minutes). However, this album has enough variation to be called Progressive Metal, thanks to bizarre sounds in some points, many time changes, or simply different guitar effects,. This last instrument has always been dominant, in the most absolute way, in this band’s music, ad it is so even with this album, having that sludgy tone that is familiar to anyone who knows this band. Musically, in the end, they haven’t changed much in sound, but their way in interpreting and executing the music has.

“The Hunter” is a collection of short, little crazy songs, that however are at the same time very serious. The faster songs, basically, are like cracks of fireworks, while the slower songs, well, they’re just fireworks in slow motion. It’s an incredibly dynamic album, very solid, very memorable, with brilliant musicianship and brilliant songs. “Black Tongue” is a strong, powerful song, that makes you want to start breaking stuff, while “Stargasm” moves in an almost sensual way, and “Octopus Has No Friends”, despite having a silly title, has a kind of serious tones you wouldn’t expect. “The Hunter” is a nice slower song, “Creature Lives” reminds of a strange mix between the cheerfulness of Christmas songs and the cheerfulness of Devin Townsend.

An album that is pretty easy to listen to, with many memorable tracks, and with a great sound that we anyway are used to hearing from this band. A good turn for Mastodon, I hope they again release albums as good as this or as the previous ones.
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