MASTODON

(UNITED STATES)

THE HUNTER

(2011)
LABEL:

ROADRUNNER RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Psychedelic, Rasping vocals, Screaming vocals, Theatrical
"The acme of Mastodon began with "Crack The Skye" and crystallizes around "The Hunter". A reference simply impossible to ignore."
NUNO777 (09.11.2011)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The first contact with this new album of Mastodon is this bewitching cover, which evokes movement and rage. With Crack the Skye, many had predicted a stagnation in the creativity of the band and especially an inertia in their capacity to surprise. This fifth album of the Atlanta combo is the occasion of some novelties in the composition and the interpretation of the tracks since the drummer Brann Dailor holds a more important place there. The second novelty is the abandonment of the elementary references that gave a conceptual side to the other albums of the band. The result is a more immediate and accessible record than its elders, with less progressive constructions and less brutality. 

The Hunter marks an evolution already initiated by Crack The Skye with always more melody and a technique better distilled within the tracks. Only the last title of the album exceeds five minutes whereas Mastodon was accustomed to much longer tracks. The Hunter is a pure metal disc with many psychedelic atmospheres, rich and full of finesse. The rage is found in the pachydermic riffs, heritage of the sludge and stoner roots of the group, and in the vocals even more worked out than in the past. 

The first track "Black Tongue" is an ultra-tight prodrome (I recommend the video of the track which shows the making of the cover sculpture) which indicates that Mastodon has purified its tracks. If there is no weak title, a few stand out. In the middle of raging tracks like "Basteroid" and "Spectrelight" we find more atmospheric and psychedelic songs ("Stargasm" or "Creature Lives") and a poignant ballad ("The Sparrow"). The combination of the three singers (Hinds, Sanders and Dailor) offers a diversity that is found in only a few bands and the choruses are extremely well crafted. 

For each major record there are songs intended to embody the creative richness of the group. The devastating "Octopus Has No Friends" (and its little brother "Bedazzled Fingernails") offers an explosive guitar riff and an infernal groove for 3 minutes 48 of pure euphoria. Another nugget, "Thickening" is a very progressive track in two phases, a luminous instrumental introduction and a more conventional structure with sparkling vocal harmonies. The arrival of a new producer, Mike Elizondo, although more hip-hop oriented, gives this record a sound close to perfection. 

The Hunter is a demonstration. One can reasonably talk about the metal record of the year. An album destined to become an unavoidable reference in the years to come. The acme of Mastodon began with Crack The Skye and crystallized with The Hunter.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Black Tongue-03:26
02. Curl of the Burl-03:40
03. Blasteroid-02:35
04. Stargasm-04:40
05. Octopus Has No Friends-03:49
06. All the Heavy Lifting-04:31
07. The Hunter-05:18
08. Dry Bone Valley-04:00
09. Thickening-04:31
10. Creature Lives-04:41
11. Spectrelight-03:10
12. Bedazzled Fingernails-03:08
13. The Sparrow-05:32

LINEUP:
Bill Kelliher: Chant / Guitares
Brann Dailor: Chant / Batterie
Brent Hinds: Chant / Guitares
Troy Sanders: Chant / Basse
   
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