Posted by splatteredbloodsouls (43 posts) -

PART 2: MASTODON

If you haven't read Part 1, you can find it here: http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/splatteredbloodsouls/blog/blog-2-music-big-in-2014-part-1-tool/105118/

In Part 2 of this ongoing blog I will be talking about another of my favorite artists who I know will have a new release in 2014.

Mastodon. One of the bands that have stood out for me over the last 5+ years are set to bring out their sixth studio album. There is still no date or name for it but having read interviews, I am excited for more great music and hopefully a return to form.

What do you mean, return to form? you might say to me.

I would tell you that it reads as it's supposed to.

I wasn't the biggest fan of THE HUNTER (Mastodon's most recent record) save for a handful of tracks. It had it's moments but I didn't care for some of these popular new songs. Songs like "Curl of the Burl", "Creature Lives" and "Octopus Has No Friends" grew old not long after the initial 10 or 11 listens. It didn't add up. Not after the album Crack The Skye which I had virtually lived in for a good couple of years. I was amazed at that piece of work both musically and artistically. It was the whole package. I even saw them perform it twice in full.

You often find when a band hits such a high point, there is a possibility that they can't go further or must change direction. I didn't have that feeling with Mastodon, I felt they could keep pulling great ideas out the hat. That was until I heard THE HUNTER in full.

I was blown away at first listening to the new offering but some of the songs began to get really old really fast and now that they have written and introduced that kind of song, songs like -- "Creature Lives" and "Curl of the Burl" -- I expect that this kind of Mastodon song will carry on in future Mastodon records.

It is of course only my opinion and I now that "Creature Lives" is and was well received by many fans and critics. I know It was a nod to classic movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, which the band have stated time and time again how much they love it. Personally I think the track is horribly cheesy. Maybe I misjudged the band. Maybe I am being to harsh.

I also had issue with how proud they seemed of it. In the end I was disappointed in the direction this album took the band but...

...it wasn't all bad.

I absolutely loved opener "Black Tongue" which had a similar impact on me that "Oblivion" had as opener on Crack The Skye. It is one of my favorites from any Mastodon album. Other highlights for me were, "Bedazzled Fingernails" with its tempo shifts and cool bass guitar hooks, elsewhere, "Thickening", "Spectrelight" and "Stargasm" all showed special moments and I guess a new direction that I was happy with to some extent.

For most bands having five or six really good songs on an album would have been enough but as I mentioned before, Crack The Skye was from start to finish a perfect piece of music and you kind of expect that theme to continue. Maybe that is asking too much? Probably.

Talking of theme's

Mastodon have been known for making concept albums. It wasn't until THE HUNTER when they decided to make an album that was "just a collection of rocking rock songs". In a way that explains the change and why it didn't work for me. I didn't want the straight up rock songs but instead of taking a break they wanted to do something and that something just happened to be THE HUNTER. It's release will have pleased some people, old fans and new, but I also know there were plenty of fans who wanted them to stick with what they have been good at for so long

I have read quotes from the band that this new album will be a mixture of all the Mastodon records, so I am expecting the heaviness of the first three albums, along with the progressive nature of the fourth and my hope is that they relegate songs like "Curl of The Burl" and "Creature Lives" from the fifth album to the bottom of the ocean. LOL. I'm serious!

Conclusion of Part 2

I can't see the new album being disappointing but I do expect a few fillers and some of THE HUNTERS influence getting into the idea's machine which is to be expected I guess. I can't wait anyway.

PART 3 COMING SOON: THE SMASHING PUMPKINS

#1 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (3791 posts) -

I re-bought Crack The Skye a couple of weeks ago. So this new Mastodon stuff is news to me. O_o

#2 Posted by csl316 (9499 posts) -

I've come to realize that I need to come into Mastodon albums with no preconceived expectations. I usually end up being disappointed because it's not like this or that, and over time the albums really grow on me.

The Hunter wasn't amazing but a fun listen. I saw them live and they played the whole thing note for note... which was honestly kind of boring. At least I walked past Brent smoking a cigarette outside their tour bus.

Hey, so Crack the Skye was really good. But if it's an album full of Crystal Skulls and Blood and Thunders, I'd take it.