Mastodon - The Hunter
Label: Reprise Records
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, 45 RPM, Album, 180 Gram
Track D4 ("The Ruiner") is a vinyl-only bonus track.
5/c Stoughton paper-wrapped gatefold jacket with bonus track and lyric insert.
Released: 15 Nov 2011
Style: Stoner Rock, Prog Rock, Heavy Metal
A1 Black Tongue
A2 Curl Of The Burl
B1 Octopus Has No Friends
B2 All The Heavy Lifting
B3 The Hunter
C1 Dry Bone Valley
C3 Creature Lives
D2 Bedazzled Fingernails
D3 The Sparrow
D4 The Ruiner (Bonus Track)
Bass – Troy Sanders
Drums – Brann Dailor
Guitar – Bill Kelliher, Brent Hinds
Mixed By – Adam Hawkins
Producer – Mike Elizondo
Vocals – Brann Dailor, Brent Hinds, Troy Sanders
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Also includes insert of standard album cover art to trigger standard augmented reality experience
The Hunter is the long-anticipated follow-up to 2009's Crack the Skye, one of Mastodon's finest achievements in their career. After exploring the limits of progressive songwriting with complex arrangements, excellent vocal melodies, and a perfect balance between heavy and melodic passages, the band decided to pursue a different musical style with their new release.
This album marks an important step in the band's evolution. It was mixed and produced by Mike Elizondo whose resume includes non-metal artists like Dr Dre, Eminem, and 50 Cent. Worry not, though, the mix is spectacular and the sound clarity amazing (though I prefer the more dynamic production on their earlier work by far). However, Elizondo has definitely pushed Mastodon into writing shorter and less complex songs with heavier emphasis on melodic chord progressions and hook-filled arrangements. There is not a single song that reaches six minutes; the writing is more immediate and to the point. Actually, many of the songs are around the three-minute mark, with "Blasteroid" being even shorter: a punk-infested drive, simple yet powerful guitar work, and melodic vocals balanced out by aggressive singing make up the composition.
The stylistic change in the band's sound and style cannot be entirely attributed to their new producer, however. They also have a new cover artist and they've changed their method of writing. While albums like Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye were painstakingly composed and took a long time to produce, The Hunter was recorded in only a few weeks. Also, the songs were largely written on the road while the band was on tour with Alice In Chains. The album sees Mastodon liberating themselves from conceptual boundaries. Rather than exploring more complex themes and writing everything under that theme, this time around, they've written songs that are independent of each other, songs that stand on their own.
The band's enigmatic lyrics and approach to constructing riffs and melodies is fully intact with a few exceptions. "Curl of the Burl" starts with the line "I killed a man cause he killed my goat," a song whose swaggering groove was possibly inspired by a Queens of the Stone Age track. There are more overt references to their inspirations: I hear lots of Neil Peart-like drum fills by Brann Dailor whose performance is uniformly stunning on this disc. His playing on "Octopus Has No Friends" is impossibly tasty, and his tone is amazing. The song deploys an epic build-up with powerful vocals and deep-in-the-pocket rhythms. The way the cascades of guitars work to the anthemic chorus is nothing short of brilliant.
The band also pays tribute to Pink Floyd in more than one track. "Stargasm" (with lyrics about sex in space!) is informed by Floydian synth swells eventually dissolving under thunderous drum attacks and liquidy instrumental passages while "Creature Lives" is unlike anything they have done before. It mixes tons of sampled voices, lots of keyboard effects, odd tonalities, and deep bass notes to achieve a unique sound with syrupy vocal lines, but honestly, it's not what I expect of Mastodon. I love experimental music, but I consider this one among their least interesting.
The Hunter, the follow-up to Mastodon's critically embraced 2009 album, Crack The Skye, was recorded in the band's hometown of Atlanta, GA as well as in Los Angeles with producer Mike Elizondo.
As with all of their albums, Mastodon (bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders, guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds, guitarist Bill Keliher, and drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor), decided to take a completely different tack and musical approach on their newest venture, but as usual the band does so boldly and with reckless abandon.
have clearly scaled back the epic factor a few notches on their latest full length the Hunter, meaning this new slate of songs features less wandering and less mountainous meandering, the band’s core dynamic remains unfazed.
Blistering duel guitars and crashing waves of thunderous drumming still rule the day throughout, it’s just that now on the Hunter Mastodon handles their business in a more focused manner – in about five or six minutes as opposed to 12 or 13. Though the portion size may be a tad smaller; the Hunter still delivers like a seven course meal rather than some mere ala carte entrée.
Mastodon doesn’t take long in making it obvious that with the Hunter they mean business as opener “Black Tongue” hits like a tidal wave, employing razor-sharp guitar leads that fuel overwhelming anthemic moments, proving early that the band has lost nothing since their 2008 release Crack the Skye.
The Hunter delivers the heavy again and again, unleashing towering riffs and an unmatched blazing guitar attack (“The Octopus Has No Friends,” “Curl of the Burl”), though from time to time the band tosses a monkey wrench into the works via keyboards and clean vocals (“the Creature Lives”).
The late comer “Spectrelight,” a track that features the help of Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, challenges for the title of most heavy, and those looking to consume every last second of the Hunter will be rewarded thusly in the form of the album’s most brilliant solo, which comes on the closing track “the Sparrow.”
Mastodon - Curl of the Burl
Mastodon - Black Tongue
(on Later Live with Jools Holland) 18th Oct 2011
Mastodon - Spectrelight
Mastodon - Blasteroid Live @ the Ace of Sapdes
i was there it was the best concert ive been to right next to tool
Mastodon - The Hunter (The Official Trailer)
The Hunter" by Mastodon official trailer featuring a taste of the song "Black Tongue." Animation by Aaron Hymes