Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 Catch-up - Skye's the limit


METAL mammoths Mastodon and their March LP Crack The Skye were suggested as a potential Album Of The Year across on the Sound Off forum, as well as being tipped by myself as one to watch in January.
And with critical plaudits for the album, a conceptual romp through Tsarist Russia, coupled with support on the forum and a previous album, Blood Mountain, that I fell head over heels in love with, it's fair to say my anticipation was high on approaching this record.
However I was left thoroughly disappointed.
Given the theme of the album, I shouldn't have been surprised by the prog rock approach here, but the elements of stoner rock and freeform jazz hinted at in Blood Mountain's brutal metal have been eradicated.
Instead plodding Ozzy Osbourne vocals over inpenetrably dense, introverted riffing pervades.
Both in scope and technically Crack The Skye is a truly awesome body of work, and worth experiencing - however I'm not sure whether Mastodon made this album for the listeners, or just for themselves.

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