I just can’t stop listening to this album. Just meticulous, melodic and amazingly musical. Maybe its me just getting older, but while I love Mastodon’s older material, the death metal growl just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Crack the Skye is musical through and through.
Each track is a multi layered story, which requires many listens to hear what they have put together. The influences come through… you can hear everything from classic metal, to thrash, to Holdsworth, to zillions of other small queues drawn from the greats of metal and progressive rock…they’re all in there. The guitar work is so perfect, there are very few thrash passages because the music they are playing is so sophisticated and interwoven, they don’t need much in the way of showboating to get the point across.
The vocals are also totally on, with each song having a mood established by the lyrics and vocal tones. The drums are driving, pounding, grounding, and they never let up… I still can’t stop listening. The song Quintessence is a great example of how themes, ideas, and musical styles are woven together with amazing musicianship and original writing.
All in all, I enjoy this album immensely. It is some kind of amazing event, that happens very seldom. Pagan’s Mind and Circus Maximus do this to me also, with hyper complex themes and virtuosic musicianship too. Bravo Mastodon….