Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Mama, don’t let them take her
Don’t let them take her down
Please tell Lucifer he can’t have this one
Her spirit’s too strong…
I can see the pain, it’s written all over your face
I can see the pain, you can make it all go away
Ladies and gentlemen; Mastodon’s brand new giant “Spectrelight” featuring Scott Kelly: -Ari
This is The Hunter’s track by track preview which was posted by MusicRadar some hours ago, I haven’t listed Black Tongue and Curl Of The Burl as you’ve heard them yourself, plus it was confirmed that Scott Kelly is featured on the song “Spectrelight” (MusicRadar’s report was Bill Kelly which is obviously a mistake), anyway this is it:
Fifteen seconds of battering rhythms plunge us into a dream-like verse, a momentary respite before a punishing chorus, one in which Sanders screams as if he’s got his foot - or worse - caught in a bear trap. At the 2:35, Blasteroid is a shorty, but it’s stacked with action-packed guitar bursts that serve to further the song’s hilarious meaning. And just so you know, it’s about a video game that mixes asteroids with hemorrhoids. What’s not to love?
According to Brann Dailor, Stargasm is about having sex in space, or the feeling of what that might be like, and after a super slow-mo beginning the song explodes in a warp-speed orgasm of raging guitars that are juxtaposed with Alan Parsons-like vocal treatments amid sci-fi sonic treatments. In a super-cosmic bridge, Sanders sings, “And then we shift into overdrive/ but you’re not here/ and your legs and the stars collide/ you’re on fire.” With that, the band takes off into another dimension of metal splendor.
5. The Octopus Has No Friends
All right, so this might, in fact, be the best title in the Mastodon canon (so far), and it’s rightly named, for it sounds as if the entire band is operating with more than a few extra limbs - the jagged guitar parts and drum patterns are multidimensional. The whole song seems to float, riding on its own wave, and even a monstrous, Blue Oyster Cult-like, mid-section guitar pattern can’t sink it.
6. All The Heavy Lifting
This baby kicks a donkey’s ass from the word go and never lets up until the trippy, prog-rock heaven of a bridge, which is slendiferous with meteors of guitar lines and desperate, faraway vocal melodies. Before that, however, it’s a cauldron of roiling rock that does just what the title says. Major stuff.
7. The Hunter
Chiming guitars yield to a crushing wall of churning rhythms, a variation on Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters that reveals its own sonic wonders, highlighted by layered, hallucinogenic vocals and a David Gilmouresque guitar solo. This is one big-time achievement, a song that will become a staple of Mastodon’s live shows for years to come.
8. Dry Bone Valley
A thick, rich stew of sludge rock - no, that’s not a diss - that underpins psychedelic, dissonant vocals. The overall sonic impact will leave you feeling as though you’re in a graveyard rather than a desert, and the hair-raising solo is righteously ghoulish. The band’s pronounced, intuitive sense of dynamics are downright magical.
9. The Thickening
One of the most confounding works Mastodon has ever produced is also one of its most compelling. After a steady passage of molten, fist-pumping metal, the band dives headfirst into wicked stoner rock. Piercing guitar solos burst through the mix, colliding with the ever-changing rhythmic scheme. Like a ghost in the night, Sanders sings, “Straight out of nowhere/ buried deep in my past/ straight out of nowhere/ hoping you’ll be the last.” It all drifts off rather chillingly in a ripple of distortion.
10. The Creature Lives
A grand sweep of keyboards ushers in a somber, mid-tempo growler that is startling for the naked, unadorned vocals of Troy Sanders. The entire piece seems to build towards a grandoise arrangement, an earth-mover in which the band works as one unstoppable force. It all ends before you know it, and you’re left shaking you’re head, wondering what you just heard. What was that giant, lumbering beast? Just push repeat and relive the glory.
Whoa, here’s a face-ripper that doesn’t let go. Scott Kelly guests on what is described as the ‘metal section,’ but really, the whole song is about wild, crazy-ass aggression. Brann Dailor assaults his drums like they done him wrong. Listening to him go completely ape is one of the supreme treats (and there’s many) of The Hunter.
12. Bedazzled Fingernails
A three-minute work of art. Over one of the most complex, stupefying riffs Mastodon have ever composed, guttural vocals rise up and rule the day until the bridge rushes in, and the instrumental wallop is so strong, it’s bound to evacuate bowels around the world. As the album winds down, Dailor becomes more and more unhinged behind his kit, and that’s a very, very good thing.
13. The Sparrow
Written in memory of a close friend of the band who died of cancer, The Sparrow drifts along on a plush bed of acoustics. “Pursue happiness with diligence,” the band intones from the great beyond, with gentle and affecting atmospherics bathing their words. Midway through, the metal kicks in, an overwhelming cloudburst of sound, topped off by a slow and deeply emotional, blues-soaked guitar solo. A poetic end to a poignant song, and a career peak for a major-league band.
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Blast this loudly in the memory of a love one you have lost.
Matt : I had to ask; Mastodon. Obviously you know the guys, you guested on the last three albums; I was going to ask you which of those was your favourite if you had one?
Scott Kelly: It would be “Crack the Skye” for sure, because that song was a really, really heavy song to do. That song was about Brann’s sister and how she passed away, and it was a story that I was very familiar with from knowing Brann. When he decided to do that, he called me up to talk to me about it and said “this is what I wanna do” and “I really, really want you to sing the song” and I said, you know “sure, I will”. I took it really seriously and I emailed with Brann’s Dad a couple of times and just talked to him about Skye, and then he sent me a photograph of her actually, and I sat there and looked at that photograph of her and just kinda meditated on her and on all of the situation, and the family and then actually set all that shit up in the studio and recorded the song with her picture there, and I just really tried to do it as real as I felt I could. So that one definitely is the one.
The boys with Scott Kelly from Neurosis