Album review: Mastodon, The Hunter

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Album Reviews

The latest album from Atlanta heavy metal outfit Mastodon is a masterwork, simply speaking.
These guys are so talented, and they seem to get better with every offering. Their new album is unlike the rest of their catalogue in that they eschew mega-epic tunes for more concise but still heavy-hitting fare.
The album kicks off with a trifecta of awesomeness, as “Black Tongue,” “Curl of the Burl,” and “Blasteroid” hammer home big-time riffs along with hummable choruses. “Stargasm” employs one of the key tricks in the Mastodon playbook, providing ever-changing tempos and seemingly making two tunes in one.
“Octopus Has No Friends” shows amazing fretwork by guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher. These guys are two of the best in the business, as are drummer Brann Dailor and bassist Troy Sanders.
Title track “The Hunter” is a touching tribute to Hinds’ brother, who died of a heart attack while hunting. They even go Beatles on us with the lyric “all the love I make is equal to the love I take.” This track, along with album closer “The Sparrow” (dedicated to the wife of the band’s accountant) display the band has heart to go along with its heavyness.
Other highlights include thrasher “Spectrelight,” the ultracool “Thickening” and the campy swamp thing tale “Creature Lives.”
There’s not a bad track here, and a lot to love. I haven’t stopped playing it since I purchased it last week. Buy it immediately.

Sod rating: **** 1/2

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