Mar 24, 2009


Occasionally, I like to discuss what I have been listening to on my not-iPod, and since I've already done a pseudo-expose on Coheed & Cambria, I can't very well do them again.

So instead I've chosen MASTODON. Good thing, too, since Mastodon's new album, Crack the Skye was released yesterday.

Mastodon, as an entity, is extremely difficult to explain. They are (and you will find subject-verb agreement problems all over the place when I talk about bands, because "Mastodon are" just sounds funny) a postmodern-ish metal-ish band, with vast, textured albums that more often than not contain a single theme cast through various lenses throughout.

As depicted in the cover art above, Leviathan, which is ostensibly about the book Moby Dick, differs from Crack the Skye, which, to the best idea of anyone, is about either Tsarist Russia or Rasputin. The lyrics can be awfully abstract, as can - honestly - the music.

I can't speak to the lyrics, because I can scarcely give you more than one word from any given song, because I'm so enthralled by the structured chaos of the songs and the offbeat guitar harmonies produced therein. Right now, I'm giving Crack the Skye a good listen-through, and I'm mesmerized. It's not like most metal, which hits you over the head with message, or musicality, or structure, etc.

Not the same with Mastodon. Nuance abounds, and I'll guarantee that you won't like every song the first time through listening to any of their albums (although every thing on the new record is pretty solid), so you have to give it a few spins. It's sort of like a hard-to-digest movie. You might have to give it a few listens before making a judgment. I did the same thing with Blood Mountain and, specifically the song "Colony of Birchmen" for a month or so.

To begin with, listen to "Colony of Birchmen" from Blood Mountain and "I am Ahab" and "Megalodon" from Leviathan. And, to be honest, perhaps you should give the new album, Crack the Skye, a listen all the way through. It's...something else. And, not to be a total Georgia Jingoist, but you should probably support the GA Metal, because these guys are (somewhat) from Atlanta. Plus, it was pretty kick-ass for them to do a song for the ATHF Movie.


  1. Crack the Skye is almost ridiculously good. I couldn't stop listening to it yesterday. Plus, the album I got from iTunes includes instrumental versions of the 7 tracks.

  2. It's an amazing album. These guys are almost too BA for their own good.