PDA

View Full Version : [Smoke] Crack The Skye review and discussion thread


JRA
03-26-2009, 08:11 PM
Overkiller and other Mastodon haters need not apply :D


Speaking of Mastodon haters, if you hated the "twangy riffing" that was all over Blood Mountain, then you'll probably hate this too. Actually, it would be more accurate to say if you hated Blood Mountain, you'll hate this too.

This album is to Mastodon as to "Into Glory Ride" was to Manowar. Not much in the way of speed (though Mastodon never really was a speedy band, aside from a few Crusher Destroyers here and there), and there is a shit ton of slower stuff delving into psychadelic territory. Whether this has to do with Brett Hinds writing this album while jacked up on painkillers on other drugs after an ill-fated night at Las Vegas remains to be seen. Yea, this isn't going to be an album that is going to grab you by the throat and force you to headbang (with the possible exceptions of the middle sections of "The Czar" and "The Last Baron") But, at least upon first listen, it was fun to listen to.

One thing to note is that the vocal melodies (and consequently, the lyrics) are front and center in this album, this is a little weird for me, as usually the vocals are grunts and thus the lyrics have no meaning to me (I once told Brad the only Mastodon lyric I know is "into the black hole, searching for crystoooool"), so I would always be paying attention to the kick-ass instrumentation. But because the vocals and lyrics are not only front and center (possibly in the mix), and they're extremely melodic, it practically takes away from the instrumentation, therefore it takes a backseat. So whether or not the instrumentation is any good (Last Baron aside) will have to be discovered on repeated listens remains to be heard.

I am completely in love with "Oblivion," though that may have to do with this being the fifth time I've heard the song so far. If I was any less sane I'd call it the best song they've ever done.

I'll also say this, there does not seem to be any filler here. On all other Mastodon albums there was at least one track that could be thrown out the window, from the long irritating borefests like Trilobite, to all the "Outros" of the previous three (Joseph Merrick, etc.), each album before this just wasn't quite perfect. I can't say anything like that here...yet.

Fun fact: The line "I tried to burrow a hole into the ground, breaking all my fingers and nails from my hands" is a reference to a time that Brann Dailor was tripping on acid and tried to dig up his sister's grave two weeks after she committed suicide. I read about it today in Revolver. :D


Your thoughts?

powerslave_85
03-26-2009, 08:23 PM
Fun fact: The line "I tried to burrow a hole into the ground, breaking all my fingers and nails from my hands" is a reference to a time that Brann Dailor was tripping on acid and tried to dig up his sister's grave two weeks after she committed suicide.Holy shit! That's fucking insane.

It had to grow on me, more than their other albums did, but I like it a lot. It seems like a logical progression for them, so I don't really mind that they're a lot more proggy now. You're definitely right about the vocals. My favorite song right now is probably "Ghost of Karelia." I don't quite like it as much as Blood Mountain, and it's nowhere near Leviathan, but it's still a great record.

zgodt
03-26-2009, 08:25 PM
I love it. I think most of what you say is accurate (but draw the line at Manowar parallels). It sounds exactly like Mastodon, and at the same time doesn't sound like other Mastodon albums. Slower, more deliberate, somehow more cohesive (smooth transitions in sound/tempo from song to song). I think that what the instruments are playing underneath those relatively melodic vocals is satisfyingly weird and intricate. Some of the lyrics seem pretty dumb.

powerslave_85
03-26-2009, 08:26 PM
Some of the lyrics seem pretty dumb.Yeah, but they've never been good. They were just easier to ignore before, haha.

zgodt
03-26-2009, 08:35 PM
Yeah, but they've never been good. They were just easier to ignore before, haha.
I think there's some decent lyrics on Leviathan.

Div
03-26-2009, 08:36 PM
Overkiller and other Mastodon haters need not apply :D



i'm going to post in this thread anyway. i think that its pretty boring. i dont "get" new mastodon and why theyre so revolutionary. their first EP was their best release, the mixing sounded so much more raw, and the samples at the beginning of each track added another level of interest to them.

"i took the butcher knife and held it up to her neck and i said, 'if you wanna live ta see tomorra you better start fryin them eggs a little bit better than what youve been fryin em, im tired of eatin sloppy slimy eggs'"

JRA
03-26-2009, 08:39 PM
and the samples at the beginning of each track added another level of interest to them.

"i took the butcher knife and held it up to her neck and i said, 'if you wanna live ta see tomorra you better start fryin them eggs a little bit better than what youve been fryin em, im tired of eatin sloppy slimy eggs'"

Fuck samples.

So then make your own eggs. :cool:

Div
03-26-2009, 08:59 PM
Fuck samples.

So then make your own eggs. :cool:


I'm talking about my life, I can't seem to get that through to you. I'm not just talking about one person, I'm talking about everybody! I'm talking about form, I'm talking about content! I'm talking about interrelationships! I'm talking about God, the Devil, Hell, Heaven!

Do you understand!?! Finally?!?!

JRA
03-26-2009, 09:11 PM
I'm talking about my life, I can't seem to get that through to you. I'm not just talking about one person, I'm talking about everybody! I'm talking about form, I'm talking about content! I'm talking about interrelationships! I'm talking about God, the Devil, Hell, Heaven!

Do you understand!?! Finally?!?!

I've addressed this in the "Now Playing thread."

zgodt
03-26-2009, 09:12 PM
i'm going to post in this thread anyway. i think that its pretty boring. i dont "get" new mastodon and why theyre so revolutionary. their first EP was their best release, the mixing sounded so much more raw, and the samples at the beginning of each track added another level of interest to them.

"i took the butcher knife and held it up to her neck and i said, 'if you wanna live ta see tomorra you better start fryin them eggs a little bit better than what youve been fryin em, im tired of eatin sloppy slimy eggs'"

To investigate your hypothesis, I am listening now to "Shadows That Move." (I only have a few tracks of their pre-Leviathan stuff.)

Sure it sounds more raw than their later work, if that's your preference. It also sounds less distinctive / more like other metal bands. At least to me.

Now listening to "Workhorse." A damn good song. Much more direct and aggressive than their newer stuff. But not nearly as daring / innovative in terms of texture or tonality.

JRA
03-26-2009, 09:15 PM
To investigate your hypothesis, I am listening now to "Shadows That Move." (I only have a few tracks of their pre-Leviathan stuff.)

Sure it sounds more raw than their later work, if that's your preference. It also sounds less distinctive / more like other metal bands. At least to me.

Now listening to "Workhorse." A damn good song. Much more direct and aggressive than their newer stuff. But not nearly as daring / innovative in terms of texture or tonality.


For research purposes, my favorite pre-Leviathan songs are Mother Puncher, We Built This Come Death, the aforemtioned Workhorse, and Call Of the Mastodon

EvilCheeseWedge
03-26-2009, 10:06 PM
So, I've never really investigated Mastodon beyond the song "Blood and Thunder," which gets a regular rotation on my iPod. I was reading about this album, and it intrigues me. I'm wondering if it'd be a good point to jump in, or if perhaps I should start back a bit, say with the rest of Leviathan, and work my way forward...

Div
03-26-2009, 10:13 PM
the songs on Lifesblood, although also appearing on Call of the Mastadon, are mixed differently for that album. Lifesblood's versions just sound better IMO, and samples always make things more metal.

Maiden33
03-27-2009, 07:47 AM
This thread should be moved to the "Album Reviews" Subforum.

JRA
03-27-2009, 07:54 AM
This thread should be moved to the "Album Reviews" Subforum.


I thought I placed it in there. Oops.:eyes:

Yea, what he said.

DethMaiden
03-27-2009, 08:04 AM
This album definitely has a few too many Dream Theater moments, but it is pretty damn good. It will definitely take longer to fully sink in than the last few.

And I rank the albums currently as Leviathan > Blood Mountain > Remission. I have no idea where to place Crack the Skye just yet.

JRA
03-27-2009, 08:56 AM
So, I've never really investigated Mastodon beyond the song "Blood and Thunder," which gets a regular rotation on my iPod. I was reading about this album, and it intrigues me. I'm wondering if it'd be a good point to jump in, or if perhaps I should start back a bit, say with the rest of Leviathan, and work my way forward...


Definietly get Leviathan first.

b_halperin
03-27-2009, 12:07 PM
as of now, my ranking is as follows:
1. Blood Mountain
2. Crack the Skye/Leviathan
3. Remission

ADD
03-27-2009, 01:33 PM
This album definitely has a few too many Dream Theater moments, but it is pretty damn good. It will definitely take longer to fully sink in than the last few.



Don't hear the Dream Theater at all, if anything some of it reminded me of the Mars Volta.

First listen through I was kinda 'meh', but I could tell it'd be a grower and now I'm totally hooked on it. The first time I was listening wanting it to be different, but you have to just listen to what's there and judge it by what it is. It's a great progressive rock album with an awesome concept and top-tier execution. The vocals take some getting used to but in general I like them, it suits the vibe. I didn't like the production at first either (the guitar tone namely), but that's exactly what they were going for and again it fits the spacey psychadelic vibe. This isn't in-your-face metal, this is a pretty nuanced album, with the goal being the general atmosphere that the record unfolds. The pacing is great, the songs are great, and the theme is awesome. They aren't phenomenal lyrics, but the lines you can make out are to the point and emotive.

There are only really two parts on the album that I cringe at, those being the choruses to Divinations and Quintessence (the "No escape"/"Letting go" parts........jeez :hecho: ). The most bitchin parts are the Pink Floyd-esque solo in Oblivion (along with the verses, helluva chord progression), the heavy parts of The Czar (when that section is introduced with that delibrate heavy riff does anyone else think it sounds kinda like Savatage? :eyes: ), the intro to Ghost of Karelia (love how they use that motif and variations on it throughout the album) and Crack The Skye (almost a Western feel), and of course the ending section of The Last Baron, ending the album with a perfect juxtaposition of straight-forward Thin Lizzy bouncing riff yet clearly with a somber/distant vibe. awesome.

The words "matured" and "refined" are usually total bullshit adjectives used to hide the fact that a band has lost its balls and/or creativity, but that describes Mastodon right now in the best sense of those words. 4 excellent albums in a row is something that few bands at any level have achieved, and all with a distinct yet familiar feel that stamps it as their own sound.

JRA
03-27-2009, 02:36 PM
Don't hear the Dream Theater at all, if anything some of it reminded me of the Mars Volta.

First listen through I was kinda 'meh', but I could tell it'd be a grower and now I'm totally hooked on it. The first time I was listening wanting it to be different, but you have to just listen to what's there and judge it by what it is. It's a great progressive rock album with an awesome concept and top-tier execution. The vocals take some getting used to but in general I like them, it suits the vibe. I didn't like the production at first either (the guitar tone namely), but that's exactly what they were going for and again it fits the spacey psychadelic vibe. This isn't in-your-face metal, this is a pretty nuanced album, with the goal being the general atmosphere that the record unfolds. The pacing is great, the songs are great, and the theme is awesome. They aren't phenomenal lyrics, but the lines you can make out are to the point and emotive.

The most bitchin parts are the Pink Floyd-esque solo in Oblivion (along with the verses, helluva chord progression), the heavy parts of The Czar (when that section is introduced with that delibrate heavy riff does anyone else think it sounds kinda like Savatage? :eyes: ), the intro to Ghost of Karelia (love how they use that motif and variations on it throughout the album) and Crack The Skye (almost a Western feel), and of course the ending section of The Last Baron, ending the album with a perfect juxtaposition of straight-forward Thin Lizzy bouncing riff yet clearly with a somber/distant vibe. awesome.

The words "matured" and "refined" are usually total bullshit adjectives used to hide the fact that a band has lost its balls and/or creativity, but that describes Mastodon right now in the best sense of those words. 4 excellent albums in a row is something that few bands at any level have achieved, and all with a distinct yet familiar feel that stamps it as their own sound.


I wholeheartedly endorse this, especially the sentence in bold.

Spiral_Slave
03-27-2009, 03:30 PM
I really like the album. Yeah I miss the heavy shit like Iron Tusk or The Wolf Is Loose, but hell it's still great for what it is.

ADD
03-27-2009, 05:55 PM
For people craving the Remission/Leviathan sound in an album seriously check out the new Kylesa one Static Tensions.

Maiden33
03-27-2009, 06:08 PM
the heavy parts of The Czar (when that section is introduced with that delibrate heavy riff does anyone else think it sounds kinda like Savatage? :eyes: )

I'm slightly intrigued.

powerslave_85
03-27-2009, 07:17 PM
I'm slightly intrigued.
You should maybe give this album a shot. A least a song or two. Their vocals are a lot more melodic now, you might like it.

DethMaiden
03-27-2009, 08:55 PM
You should maybe give this album a shot. A least a song or two. Their vocals are a lot more melodic now, you might like it.

Seconded. "Oblivion" and "The Last Baron" in particular I'd say.

JRA
03-27-2009, 09:31 PM
I'm slightly intrigued.

While I've never heard any Savatage, I think that middle section sounds more like Rainbow's "Gates Of Babylon" than anything else. :eyes: (Note: No, I do not mean they ripped that off!)

TonyD
03-27-2009, 11:34 PM
Good first review, I thought I would be the first one to review it since I had heard 3 of the songs about 6 months ago, and the complete album minus the last track for the past month, but you summed it up pretty well there.
I liked the instrumental outros for the most part, though.

I'm somewhat of a Mastodon fanboy, but every now and then some of their lyrics still make me want to cringe (By the light of the moon/you must escape into the deep black hole of the night/fight the devil inside/enemies poison deep within my second sight/wasting valuable time).
They're trying to pass off that the story is about a paraplegic boy, but it's pretty clear to everybody in this point who it is supposed to be centered on. Once again, there are plenty of holes in the plot that can only be filled by mushrooms or bong resin.
Any ranking of their albums isn't a judgment of quality as much as an order of personal style preference.
For anyone that doesn't know, Brann, Bill and Troy were writing at the same time Brent was, and they have almost a whole album worth of material that they described as the heaviest they have ever written.
Any ranking of their albums isn't a judgment of quality as much as an order of personal style preference.

I'm talking about my life, I can't seem to get that through to you. I'm not just talking about one person, I'm talking about everybody! I'm talking about form, I'm talking about content! I'm talking about interrelationships! I'm talking about God, the Devil, Hell, Heaven!

Do you understand!?! Finally?!?!

That was the best one lol.

For people craving the Remission/Leviathan sound in an album seriously check out the new Kylesa one Static Tensions.

I don't think it strikes the same chord, but it is one hell of an album. To me it can be described as High on Fire if you replaced their Motorhead element with hardcore punk.

SomewhereInTime72
03-29-2009, 01:15 PM
Heard this album yesterday. It's pretty good I guess. It reminds me a lot of Blood Mountain, except a little less aggressive, and a lot more melodic. Overall, it's an improvement, I guess. I just lost my passion for this band when Blood Mountain came out, though. I can't see this album being any more than "good." Not a bad think but since this album is already so obsessed with, I feel like my opinion is differing from a lot of peoples. :dorky:

ADD
03-29-2009, 03:43 PM
I've listened to this album a lot, probably more than Blood Mountain when it first came out, and I think overally it will hold up better than that album. Totall different than the first 2 though.

DethMaiden
03-29-2009, 04:39 PM
I think it's probably my favorite album this year thus far, just because it invites re-listening so much. I'm catching new shit every time and by the end of the year I'll know all the words and all the nuances and it'll probably be a classic in my mind like the rest of theirs. They're pretty good at getting me excited.

JRA
03-29-2009, 05:12 PM
I've listened to this album a lot, probably more than Blood Mountain when it first came out, and I think overally it will hold up better than that album. Totall different than the first 2 though.

So it must be pretty fucking good then since you called Blood Mountain album of the year. :tongue:

ADD
03-29-2009, 10:10 PM
So it must be pretty fucking good then since you called Blood Mountain album of the year. :tongue:
Yeah but that year had less competition than this year :D The new Cobalt record is still the best new thing I've heard in '09, but after that its probably Crack The Skye.

powerslave_85
03-30-2009, 09:43 AM
Man, I really love "The Last Baron." There aren't many 13 minute songs I can listen to over and over again, but this is an exception. That vocal melody is so damn catchy.

Leviathan
04-03-2009, 12:18 PM
This album is definitely a grower.
Impresses after a few listens.
Best tracks are Ghost of Karelia and Oblivion.

JRA
04-07-2009, 07:31 PM
As of right now, here's my "Dream Crack The Skye tour" setlist.

OBLIVION
BLOOD & THUNDER
CRYSTAL SKULL
QUINTESSENCE
DIVINATIONS
CIRCLE OF CYSQUATCH
MOTHER PUNCHER
WELCOMING WAR
THE LAST BARON
SLEEPING GIANT
GHOST OF KARELIA
IRON TUSK
WHERE STRIDES THE BEMEOTH
THE CZAR
SHADOWS THAT MOVE
===============
MARCH OF THE FIRE ANTS

es156
04-07-2009, 07:46 PM
As of right now, here's my "Dream Crack The Skye tour" setlist.

You don't think that they will play the new CD straight through?

JRA
04-07-2009, 08:25 PM
You don't think that they will play the new CD straight through?

Why would they? Pretty much all of their albums have been linear concept ones and they've never done that.

TonyD
04-07-2009, 08:52 PM
Why would they? Pretty much all of their albums have been linear concept ones and they've never done that.

Well they are for this one.

es156
04-07-2009, 09:10 PM
Well they are for this one.

:light:

JRA
04-08-2009, 05:57 AM
Well they are for this one.

Where did they say that?

TonyD
04-08-2009, 10:16 AM
Somewhere on their site. I can't recall exactly where.

ADD
04-08-2009, 11:26 PM
This album feels like more of a 'concept album' in the traditional sense than Leviathan or Blood Mountain so I can see the rationale behind playing it live start to finish.

mastodon421
04-22-2009, 02:28 PM
Great Record. I still think Blood Mountain is better but this an edgy,progessive and in someways pretty record. Oblivion,Divinations and The Czar are my fave tracks. Mastodon is my favorite band and this is another fantastic record.

Fe Maiden
07-28-2009, 03:49 PM
OK a little help here:eyes:

I've heard Divinations and Oblivion and actually liked them both! No growling vocals. Is the rest of the album like that?

What about the vox on Blood Mountain?

I know Leviathan has some pretty harsh vocals and I really did not care for that. No offense to anyone who likes it but it's just not my thing!

JRA
07-28-2009, 04:21 PM
OK a little help here:eyes:

I've heard Divinations and Oblivion and actually liked them both! No growling vocals. Is the rest of the album like that?

What about the vox on Blood Mountain?

I know Leviathan has some pretty harsh vocals and I really did not care for that. No offense to anyone who likes it but it's just not my thing!

There's definitely some harsh vox on Blood Mountain here and there, but I think the only song on Crack The Skye with harsh vox is the title track.