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Crack The Skye’s clearly the least immediate release in Mastodon’s oeuvre. Which isn’t to say it’s bad. It just takes a few more close listenings (and, as you’ll soon discover, an acceptance of their increased progginess). Instead of the raw crustiness you found, even amid the most ambitious arcs of Remission, Leviathan, and Blood Mountain, Crack floats by with a — fittingly — (traced in) airier feel. Remember, each record’s focused on an element — fire, water, earth, and now air]. The opener “Oblivion” offers a suitably grandiose, but still raw enough (and heavy) entrance, “Divinations” packs a dirtier wallop (especially live), and Neurosis’ Scott Kelly adds a needed gnarly bluster to the expansive title track. When you venture into the four-part 10-minute “Czar” suite and 13-minute closer “The Last Baron,” you’ll need sit back and take your time without jumping to conclusions. I was dismissive at first, but the collection’s growing on me, and I look forward to seeing where it stands after a few more spins. Begin your own trek at the band’s MySpace.

Crack The Skye is out 3/24 via Reprise.

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Comments (15)
  1. Lou  |   Posted on Mar 17th, 2009 0

    Woooo! I’ve been waiting all year for this! Can’t wait to give it a proper listen.

  2. Yes, this is indeed one of my most anticipated albums this year.

  3. NF  |   Posted on Mar 17th, 2009 0

    This is real good

  4. garyh  |   Posted on Mar 17th, 2009 0

    sky? really Brandon?! it’s AIR. Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.

  5. Eh…Go listen to a stream of Telekinesis’ record instead at http://mergerecords.com/

    • themaxim  |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

      No.

      • I think the real question people should be asking is not “why is Stereogum posting about Kanye?” but “why is Stereogum posting about some metal band with the most pretentious album titles in the world?” Seriously, even if metal didn’t comprise a bunch of self-important, obnoxious, “dark” instrumentation (essential musical masturbation), I don’t think I could get with a band that actually makes albums called “Leviathan” and isn’t the least bit ironic or theatrical about it. Plus, that album art? Definitely going to be nominated for worst of the year. Mastodon album comes out and Stereogum goes apeshit about it? Even takes it seriously? Haha. I guess at least there aren’t constant posts about these guys.

        • Have you ever listened to them? There albums actually are very theatrical, and always have a general story that runs throughout the songs. But since you’re discounting an entire genre of music, I guess it’s too much to ask that you actually take a listen before you condemn them.

        • Your Mom  |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

          Bubba. I guess that name is supposed to be ironic. You are an artist and I’m sure you could write amazing music if you only put your mind to it. I’ll be watching for the birth of your new career.

          Just because loud music frightens you does not mean it’s bad, Bubba.

        • steve  |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

          Mastodon possess plenty of irony and self-awareness. Their whole uber-metal shtick was the same basic M.O. of smart heavy bands like The Melvins, Godheadsilo, and Karp from the last couple decades. I know where you’re coming from though… I was vehemently anti-metal for years until I dropped my own musical prejudices.

  6. C-Notes  |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

    I do like this album more than Blood Mountain so far. But it’s not looking like it could top Leviathan. Few metal records could.

  7. Burg   |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

    Hey Bubba.

    Come on…don’t be stupid. You don’t connect with Metal …great…no big deal. Don’t try to put yourself on some kind of pedestal though.

    You wish you could masturbate that well (musically that is ….no arguments anywhere else)

    What do you call a fela kuti track (longer than any Mastadon track) …musical masturbation?

    What do you call Miles Davis’s music? Dark musical masturbation?

    Come on Bubba. Let Stereogum report on music, you don’t have to like everything. I don’t.

  8. Louie  |   Posted on Mar 18th, 2009 0

    Seriously Bubba, if you think a title like Leviathan is pretentious then maybe you’re just illiterate or not very well read. Also, as far as musical masturbation goes I find this is the way metal haters generalize all metal…masturbation. Just because your pea sized brain can’t patiently wrap itself around the concepts involved doesn’t mean it’s masturbation. “Dark instrumentation” while sounding like an intelligent thing to say is actually a pretty vague statement. I agree with Burg and remind you Bubba that much classical music is full of “dark instrumentation”…enjoy your Kanye like the other million sheep.

  9. sb  |   Posted on Mar 25th, 2009 0

    Fortunately, Bubba, your long string of insignificant words does not convince anybody. Although a vote score of -21 does.

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