Mastodon - The Hunter (2011)
(progressive metal / sludge metal)
The fallen leaves of Crack The Skye rattle under your feet while you tramp the forest floor of the autumn with a steady pace. The long melodies of the summer are far gone from your mind, like anything else. Your focus is keen on one thing, your game. With the rifle latched against your shoulder, your eyes screening the wooden wastelands for the slightest sign of movement, your feet moving forward in a unnoticed manner. The acute bark of a dog. Your muscles tense, your senses sharpen. A bulky caribou strides in front of your eyes and your finger finds the ever-so soothing trigger of the gun.
The heavy introductory appearance of Black Tongue bursts out violently and shreds all hope apart. The direction of the album has been set to short, striking, dynamic. Singular spectacles skattered around the woods with Curl Of The Burl following the genesis of the album with a radio-friendly chorus that you can't help enjoying. The forbidden fruits of Mastodon have all been adjusted into a tight pack of wolves. The Hunter has been born.
The non-conceptuality of The Hunter strikes down hard as a fresh new wind in an autumn storm. The album is easy to listen to, there are no unnecessary breakdowns, the flow is powerful, dynamic even and Drailor's vocals blend well into the overall sound with Creature Lives being a vocal vantage point for him.
The title track of the album and Thickening exemplify the musicianships of Hinds and Kelliher with sounds of their guitars slowly drilling into your face.The heavy riffs splintered with sharp solos make the majority of the album a pleasure to listen to.
Mastodon's bullet never hit the target with The Hunter but the sound is definitely not just a dog whistle driving your inner self to the edge of sanity. A sludge metal shotgun - the shot explodes onwards as a blunt entity, splinters into shards of single heavy pieces of metal and strikes the target triumphantly straight into the heart.