Mastodon is probably one of the most successful metal bands in recent memory, and for good reason. The Atlanta-based metal band is famous for a willingness to experiment with different sounds for each track they creat, all the while maintaining a solid metal-base to their music. This incredible range and willing to experiment gives them a sound unlike any of their contemporaries, and has earned them a devoted following. In a decade that has seen rock and metal hijacked by hipsters and emos, Mastodon is one of the few bands of the last ten years to not only manage to make a name for themselves as a metal band, yet still remain unpredictable as to what they will come out with next. So when Nick pointed out that they were due to release a new album this month, I got excited, and immediately offered to do a review.
I’ll begin with the good. Just as you can expect from Mastodon, every track brings a different sound to the table, yet the entire album is solid and a great listen. A few tracks in particular stand out, in particular ‘Black Tongue’ and ‘Curl of the Burl’, yet I could easily listen to the whole album on repeat, which is a testament to the album. The energy is great, the band continues to work magic with their guitar work, and every song has a differnt feel. They continue to step over whatever bountries they feel like, and as usual, thier music is the better for it. About the only bad thing I can say is fans of the bands previous work may be put off by the shift the band has taken here, but I’m fairly certain you’ll warm up to it.
So overall, while drastically different from the past few albums Mastodon was released, it is still a high quality metal album. The album itself may divide the fans at first, but at least I say the band is better than ever, and I think alot of the fans will agree with me. While the album really didn’t have any standout hits, I think that has more to do with the fact the entire album manages to be of a high quality, a rare feat in a world where so many albums are filled with filler and a few decent singles. As a whole, it’s different, it’s high quality, a great listen, and easily one of the best albums I’ve heard this year.
The Hunter gives us another serving of classic Mastodon that somehow manages to stand out from thier prior work, and the result is superb. I urge fans of metal or fans of Mastodon itself to give the album a chance – or at the very least, pick up the songs ‘Black Tongue’ and ‘Curl of the Burl’ off of iTunes, I remain confident you’ll buy the rest shortly after. With The Hunter, Mastodon has proven yet again they are one of the most dynamic metal bands out there, and have created an album lives up to that reputation, and for metal heads like me, that’s music to my ears. I highly recommend it.