Album Review: Crack The Skye

Crack The Skye by Mastodon
8.7 of 10
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Download this album from Amazon

Mastodon is one of the best metal bands that came out during this decade. I know I’ve mentioned this too many times but I can’t stress it enough. The band’s musicianship has awed me ever since the first time I’ve heard them, four years ago. The magnitude of their style and technicality is just so broad that they’ve managed to produce three amazing albums, each with a different kick, that had out done each other. Now, almost three years since Blood Mountain, Mastodon returns with their fourth studio album, Crack The Skye.

If you listen to Mastodon’s entire oeuvre, from Remission to Blood Mountain, you’ll know that the band is always reshaping their music on every album, trying to one up their previous work with the current. Such is also the case with Crack The Skye. But the change of their music in this album might leave a lot of fans enraged. Because, in Crack The Skye, Mastodon eschewed most of the bells and whistles that made their past albums mind blowing, leaving us with a highly produced record that is a step down from their heavy sound.

I, however, love Crack The Skye. It's true that the screams and growls of vocalist, Troy Sanders, were minimized and replaced with clean, melodic vocals. Even the the complexities of the guitar works from their previous albums were filtered out from this one, leaving us with straight-forward 4-chord riffs. But their new sound -which is comparable to stoner metal bands like The Sword- still displays the band's skill and technicality. The only thing sacrificed in this album -in exchange for a much refined, more radio friendly sound- is their raw power.

To sum it up, Crack The Skye is like Mastodon's "Black Album". It is not as heavy or as complex like their previous albums. It is much more refined but still shows the band's creativity and technicality. While I don't think this album will bring Mastodon success like what the Black Album brought Metallica, I still think, it is accessible enough that the band might earn many new fans (and lose a few of their old ones). So, if you haven't heard Mastodon yet. Then, now is the time to listen to them. If you're an old fan, however, just give it a try. You may still like them.

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