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Crack the Skye CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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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Product Description

Product Description

MASTODON

BBC Review

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The trend from Leviathan and Blood Mountain is for the music to be evolving every time. Each album gets richer, bigger sounding and dare I say it for some Metal fans more melodic. Crack the Skye follows the trend perfectly. Its still got a hardcore heart, but anyone focussing on that element is missing the point. Mastodon are about the music and not the label. For me this album is grown up metal. Sometimes the harder the music the less the affect. You need the light to appreciate the dark. This album has both in spades. Every listen I can't help but be impressed with the sheer talent of the musicianship and vision and scope of the sound. The sound quality is awesome, some really great production on this album, as with their last two. This album should go down as an all time great.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know how Mastodon do it, but once again they've managed to release an album that tops their previous effort as career highlight; Mastodon just keep getting better and better. Crack The Skye takes the ball 'Blood Mountain,' brought and runs with it, The music is even more progressive, even more virtuosic and the material is even more dense.

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.
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By Mr. R. Powell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 April 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I recently had the opportunity to listen to all 4 Mastodon albums in order on a long car journey and it made for interesting listening. You can hear the bands sound evolving. The first album is raw in your face metal, interesting but not for the squeemish. By the time you get to this album the sound has become more commercial (For want of a better word). That is not to say it is commercial, this is not the Black album and won't appeal to non fans of heavy music. And that is not a bad thing, this is still very much Mastodon. It takes a few more listens to get into this album than the previous albums, but it is definitely worth the effort. It is an excellent album but I can't see it breaking them into the really big time, but that's fine they have managed to evolve without sacrificing that essential Mastodon sound. Recommended!!
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Format: Audio CD
Firstly, I love Mastodon. So I am likely to enjoy this album and behind the scenes DVD. But even I was surprised at how often I am listening to, humming or thinking about this album, and re-watching the DVD.

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.
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