Review: “The Hunter” by Mastadon

By: Nick Moghaddam Staff Writer

If there is one thing that Atlanta-based metal band Mastodon is known for, it’s their continuing trend of going their own way when it comes to making music. In the critically acclaimed album “Crack The Skye” back in 2009, they moved toward a more progressive sound that set them apart from other metal bands.

So how exactly does Mastodon top what is widely believed to be their best work? With the release of “The Hunter,” an album that trades longer, more progressive songs for shorter songs that still manage to show off the band’s skills.

Right from the opening you can hear Mastodon’s energy in the track “Black Tongue,” which sets the tone for the entire album. Particularly in songs such as “Blasteroid” and “Stargasm,” Mastodon produces melodies that consistently progress to an amazing conclusion.

The album continues with a nod back to the sound of “Crack The Skye” with the title track, “The Hunter,” the second longest track on the album, showing that they haven’t forgotten where they came from in regards to their musical ability.

Following that track is “Dry Bone Valley,” where the drumming of Brann Dailor is shown off at its best. In this album, there are no boundaries to what Mastodon can do.

“The Hunter” is an impressive composition and shows that a shorter track length does not lessen the quality of Mastodon’s music. As for personal recommendations, I would suggest the songs “Octopus Has No Friends,” “The Hunter” and “The Sparrow,” which shine as the best examples of what this album has to offer even to unfamiliar listeners.

So whether you’re a fan of Mastodon, or just someone who’s looking to get into metal, “The Hunter” is certainly not an album to miss out on.