CD review: Mastodon’s “The Hunter”

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I listened to “Blood Mountain” each night before I went to bed for a two-month period when I was 16.  astodon had achieved perfection. I was utterly astounded by the melodic epic-ness and all I wanted was to press the replay button on my busted old CD player. I had no idea there was so much more to be found in the hard rock genre since Mastodon had been my introduction.

My tastes strayed away from the intensity of Mastodon as I grew older.  I began to listen to more rap for a while, and more techno.  During that phase, “Crack the Skye” came out and I was not impressed.  The song length scared me off so I didn’t give it any real chance to woo me.  I continued to err in my musical taste until today.

Today, “The Hunter” was released. At the ripe old age of 20, I am again ready to receive the message of Mastodon.  While I listen to the album, how about I give you a little background on the album.

“The Hunter” is Mastodon’s fifth studio album and it was released September 27th, today for me, but a few days ago for you.

How’s that for background?  I listened to the whole thing five times while looking for interesting background, but there really was none to be found. Mastodon has been consistently famous for a while now. They tour, they sing. That is not what we are discussing.

This album rocks. “The Hunter” is just as good as “Blood Mountain” was, maybe even better.  My one issue with “Blood Mountain” was the marginally-obnoxious repetition in its song structure, but it seems that Mastodon probes the minds of its fanbase in order to make better music and more money. There is not too much of the wandering listlessness from “Crack the Skye,” nor is there the stepladder structural redundancy of “Blood Mountain.”

When the debut track is named “Black Tongue,” you know you’re listening to the heaviest of metal.  Mastodon doesn’t mess around with song naming; every track title fits the song and accurately describes the mood of the song as well. The conceptual progress of “The Hunter” is steady and impressive, but the storytelling is not so intricate that it confuses, as has been the issue in the past with conceptual albums.

There are so many good songs on “The Hunter” that I would have to list them all to tell you my favorites. The special edition of the CD does have “Deathbound” and “The Ruiner,” which are both bonus tracks, but they are not a part of the progressive narrative of the album, so the bonus songs are just a nice topping you don’t necessarily need. The whole album is worth listening to, really. It’s a super solid heavy metal production with a fantastic adventure in store for you.

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