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Home » Music » Hard Rock & Metal » Progressive Metal

The Hunter

Artist: Mastodon

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Label: Roadrunner Records

Background
Mastodon have never really done anything the “conventional” way. The Atlanta-based band formulated their own brand of highly-skilled hard rock over a decade ago when others were rehashing 80s metal, and went on to mastermind a string of complex concept albums.

The Hunter is yet another universe bending, high energy masterpiece from the band that helped shape hard rock for the 21st century with their previous albums: Remission, Leviathan, Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye. Though each consecutive album has transcended the one before it in terms of expectations, musical innovation and sales, The Hunter is the band’s most ambitious to date. Mastodon continue to explore the outer limits of their own imaginations and as a result, deliver an album that stands apart -- even in Mastodon terms.

The album is full of surprises—from melodic, close harmonies to downright demonic growls—but predictably, the musicianship is leagues beyond what anyone would expect to find on such a hard-hitting album. The Hunter is also the band’s most emotionally charged record to date. Tragically, Brent Hinds’ brother died of a heart attack in 2010 while on a hunting trip. And so the band dedicated the album to Hinds’ brother, an avid hunter.

Continuing their tradition of breaking tradition, Mastodon decided to team up with Mike Elizondo (50 Cent, Eminem), a highly respected producer more synonymous with hip hop than metal. And again, Mastodons penchant for taking risks has paid off.


Tracklisting:

1. Black Tongue
2. Curl Of The Burl
3. Blasteroid
4. Stargasm
5. Octopus Has No Friend
6. All The Heavy Lifting
7. The Hunter
8. Thickening
9. Creature Lives
10. Spectrelight
11. Bedazzled Fingernails
12. The Sparrow



Performer Notes
  • After the spacy triumph that was Crack the Skye, Mastodon are returning to their sludgier, more riff-oriented roots on their fifth studio album, The Hunter. Shying away from the far-out prog of their last album, this album should deliver a dose of the raw, driving power that made Leviathan a modern metal classic.

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.68) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "THE HUNTER demonstrates how contemporary radio rock can still be made with imagination, precision and a majestic sense of force."

Rolling Stone (p.72) - Ranked #38 in Rolling Stone's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "[A] killer rock-radio record."

Spin (p.73) - "Songs like 'Curl of the Burl,' the galloping 'Specterlight,' and the kinetic, catchy 'Blasteroid' keep the riffs simple without lapsing into banality."

Entertainment Weekly (p.74) - "[The] hybrids mutate awesomely, creating one burly, beastly adrenaline spike." -- Grade: A-

Alternative Press (p.125) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Execution matches ambition in the beautiful 'Creature Lives,' which adds a new dimension to the band's classic rock side..."

Format:CD (0 Disc)
Country:USA
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:26 September, 2011

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1 review(s)
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ash gangisetty on
 
Some initial words on the DVD content of the Limited Edition version: If anyone is expecting a long "making of" documentary like the one included in the "Crack the Skye" package, you may be a little disappointed. Yes, it does include such a program, but it is very short compared to the previous release, clocking in at only a few minutes. Beyond that, a song by song commentary is also included, but it is only Brann Dailor sitting outside on a chair (presumably at night time), giving his thoughts on each track. No other band members appear in these segments. The music videos included are the "Black Tongue" clip, which was available online for some time and is essentially just the artist creating the album cover's wood statue/head. Also included is the totally hilarious "Deathbound" video, which is a grand violent spoof of the old children's show, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood". Oddly, again Brann is the only one who appears, and only in the very beginning before the puppet mayhem begins. The remaining video is billed as a "psychedelic visualizer", and it is only for one track, the song "Stargasm". For some reason I believed that this trippy screen production would accompany the whole album, much like the website version, but sadly it does not. That wraps it up. No official video to "Curl of the Burl" or anything else. I don't want to express that anything here was not well done, but there is just not enough content compared to the previous release.

As for the album itself, at first take the songs are shorter and perhaps less developed than those on "Crack the Skye", but the brutal intricate beauty is well intact. Brann's drumming is truly epic in scope. The full sonic assault is occasionally melded once again with spaced slower movements, making the album as a whole flow as a timeless voyage.

Overall, the album is not as urgent or edged as "Blood Mountain" or earlier releases, but certainly a work of art from masters of the craft. A great addition to the Mastodon body of work.

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