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JRA 03-26-2009 08:11 PM

[Smoke] Crack The Skye review and discussion thread
 
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

[QUOTE=JRA;206411]

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.[/QUOTE]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

[QUOTE=zgodt;206416]Some of the lyrics seem pretty dumb.[/QUOTE]Yeah, but they've never been good. They were just easier to ignore before, haha.

zgodt 03-26-2009 08:35 PM

[QUOTE=powerslave_85;206417]Yeah, but they've never been good. They were just easier to ignore before, haha.[/QUOTE]
I think there's some decent lyrics on Leviathan.

Div 03-26-2009 08:36 PM

[QUOTE=JRA;206411]Overkiller and other Mastodon haters need not apply :D
[/QUOTE]


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

[QUOTE=Div;206420] 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'"[/QUOTE]

Fuck samples.

So then make your own eggs. :cool:

Div 03-26-2009 08:59 PM

[QUOTE=JRA;206421]Fuck samples.

So then make your own eggs. :cool:[/QUOTE]


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!

[b]Do you understand!?! Finally?!?![/b]

JRA 03-26-2009 09:11 PM

[QUOTE=Div;206423]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!

[b]Do you understand!?! Finally?!?![/b][/QUOTE]

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

zgodt 03-26-2009 09:12 PM

[QUOTE=Div;206420]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'"[/QUOTE]

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.


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