- Audio CD (23 Mar. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Warner Bros.
- ASIN: B001R4MEYI
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,990 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Crack the Skye CD
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Mastodon, like their namesake, are big, hairy and pretty damn unstoppable when they get going. The band's last album, the wonderful Blood Mountain, saw them on the cusp of really perfecting their part prog/part metal, pagan philosophy. but this fourth one sees them come up with an album that may be filled with an almost impenetrable concept, yet contains such an invigorating merger of styles as to make it very accessible indeed.
You'd imagine that Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) would love this band. Dark magic(k), astral travelling and the role of Rasputin in the downfall of Czarist Russia (on the epic centrepiece, Czar) may come across as comic book concepts writ large, but one cannot fault any band who at least try and give people more than songs about their own lifestyles or limited political agendas. Comparisons to the Mars Volta or even Muse's last album are valid here. Mastodon break free of crushing stereotypes to make Crack The Skye in turns fearsome and beautiful. There's even a banjo at the beginning of the single, Divinations.
It's to the constant detriment of 'metal' as a label that lazy journalism dictates that it's somehow comical, monolithic and essentially unintelligent. Yet it would be interesting to see say, Coldplay or U2 come up with something this ambitious, intricate and still downright rocking. This is the sound of band stretching themselves to their limit and giving us more than we probably deserve.
The adoption of Springsteen's current producer of choice, Brendan O'Brien, may seem odd for a band who use the 'stun' setting on their guitars as often as possible. But O'Brien's as comfortable with the 'classic pop/rock' of Matthew Sweet as he is with the four-to-the-floorisms of AC/DC. A careful listen reveals textures and effects so brilliantly myriad as to make the album one which gives something new on every listen.
This is a great leap forward for the Atlanta foursome and should be heard far beyond the confines of the Kerrang! readership. Inventive rock: who would have thought it in this day and age? On this evidence, unlike their namesake, they won't be extinct soon. --Jerome Blakeney
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Top Customer Reviews
Somehow Mastodon have also simultaneously reinvented themselves and stayed true to their trademark sound at the same time. The jangly, awkward riffs are the same and the complex jazzy drumming is the same, but the music has a fresh, cleaner and at first glance more 'listenable,' air to it; in addition to this the production is amazing, the artwork is in keeping with the tone of all Mastodon artwork to date and once again the album is a concept album. No doubt a few fans in Remission T-shirts will still label this album as a sell out despite the fact that this is Mastodon's least commercial offering to date due to the length, density and originality of the music.
Fans of the direction Mastodon started to take with Leviathan and especially with Blood Mountain will welcome Crack The Skye as the next logical step; praising the numerous guitar solos, haunting clean vocals and entertaining lyrics. Everything you'd expect in terms of passion and performance is represented here and represented in stronger doses than ever before. The album is bursting with new ideas, with exciting bass lines, complicated time shifts and yet all the force you'd expect from the band who wrote Remission.Read more ›
If you are a fan, the development of this band's sound and approach to making songs continues to delight. They have moved along a path that manages to maintain their trademark complexity and ferocity, whilst continuing to pitch musical curveballs of melody and, at times, beauty. We now have a number of distinct voices, tighter production with improved recording and some tasteful keyboard work that provides atmosphere and colour to proceedings. This album, more than its predecessors, truly befits the term "progressive metal". For more info see the other reviews of the CD.
The DVD that ships with this Special Edition is one of the best I have seen. I am always fascinated by the different processes that musicians use to produce their music, and realise their creativity. Through the DVD we are told the story of the writing, rehearsal and recording stages of Crack the Skye. Along the way we see footage recording the artists adding guitars, vocals and drums to tracks on the album - we get a real feel for just how good these guys are at what they do.
The thing that makes this "Making of the album" DVD one of my favourites is that the guys are interviewed or filmed separately in such a way as the differing personalities and approaches to making music become evident. This in itself points to why Mastodon's output over the years has been so eclectic and varied.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some epic epic epic tracks on here...Awesome...simply awesome...on repeatPublished 5 months ago by Scud Lewis
It has taken me a while to get into Mastadon, since being recommended them by a friend years ago, I wasn't too keen on The Hunter album, but I decided to try this album as it is... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wayne
Probably a desert island disc for me. Love pretty much all Mastodon stuff but this has it all. Beef, melody and spazziness.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer