Archive for the ‘Mastodon’ Category

My Top 5 Album Covers (For Now)

August 16, 2009 2 comments

Oh, the essential album cover. It’s quite possibly the most important part of an album outside of the music itself. It’s the one thing that can make someone browsing the local music store go, “Hm… this looks interesting. I think I’ll buy this,” and end up putting fifteen more bucks in the artist’s pocket. Always nice. I, personally, cannot stand to go without the album artwork being displayed on whatever media player I’m using – on or off my computer. So, I’d like to visit some of my favorite album covers, and why they captured my interest to the point of listening to the album.

#5 – The Black Parade

My Chemical Romance’s third album was definitely their best work, and it had the oddest covers of the three. The little Skeleton-Drum Major dude was rather a cheerful guy, considering he was dead. The inside covers look even stranger, and the way the tracks are listed on the back is creative and unique. It’s a little misleading, as I wouldn’t expect an album with that guy on the front to potentially save my life with it’s awesomeness.

#4 – Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder
I’ll be blunt: I have no fucking idea what’s going on here. Cradle of Filth’s eighth studio album makes as little sense as it’s cover, but damn does that cover catch your eye. The five-faced dude in the center, and the numerous monsters and disturbing children surrounding it make one creepy-ass scene.

#3 – Ultra Beatdown

While many criticize Dragonforce for the fact that all of their songs sound almost exactly the same: It’s fun music. Their 2008 release, Ultra Beatdown, features that armor-clad chick with the huge-ass gun. Guns and boobs, what else do you need to make customers – at least male ones – pick up your album? I know it grabbed me. This was a fantastic album, too.

#2 – Year Zero

Trent Reznor (A.K.A. Nine Inch Nails) may quite possibly become one of the most influential figures in modern music. His daring acts, such as releasing his last album for free, have led him not only to the top of the headlines, but also to the top of the sales charts. Year Zero, the album before his free one, was an extremely impressive endeavor. The strange alien hand-thing coming from the sky that holds the spot on the cover is complicated, and makes… pretty much no sense. But it’s cool to look at.

#1 – Crack The Skye

To put it simply: I love Mastodon. As I explained in my review of this album (previous post), their bizarre mix of different genres brings an amazing sound, and some of the most impressive things we’ve seen from metal artists in the last decade. Crack The Skye‘s album art caught my attention from the moment I saw it heading their MySpace page. It’s colorfulness and bizarre artwork well represents the album itself, and confuses you, just like the album. Were I looking at this in a store, even if I had never heard of Mastodon before, I still would have bought this album simply because of how crazy it’s cover was.

… so, that’s it. For the record; I’m gone at band camp till Thursday. So no posts until about Friday, maybe Saturday. Not sure yet. G’bye, kids!

Album Review – Crack The Skye

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Mastodon is a rather complicated band. They fail to fit into any specific genre, as their unique blend of Prog. Rock, Symphonic Metal, and Power Metal brings out a very imaginative sound that completely separates them from the norm. Crack The Skye is the latest endeavor from Mastodon, and it’s by far their best work.

From the beginning, Crack The Skye proves to be something truly amazing. The opener, Oblivion, captures your attention with some amazing blending of the three different vocalists. They switch off seamlessly, and quickly lead themselves into a vocalized game of Catch. Tossing the parts back and forth, leading into the chorus with glory. This awesomeness continue through the entire album, and the occasional screaming portion doesn’t take away from the smoothness of their voices. On lyrics; there is a wonderful performance out of whichever member(s) of the band do the writing. The words fall straight into one another, and form amazing stories and messages that are simple, but oh so sweet.

The thing that pulls Mastodon away from the typical metal band so much are the instrumentals, and they continue that in this new addition to their discography. The guitarists play like they really, truly want to be heard, and nothing quite beats the Banjo solo at the beginning of Divinations. The drummer doesn’t abuse his bass too much, as many other metal bands are victim of (*cough* Cradle of Filth *cough*), and keeps some good variation in his playing, but never gets boring. None of the instrumentalists that also have vocal parts (Three of the four members) seem to be hindered by the multiple parts, although that may have been a recording trick. No matter, it’s still kick-ass.

To put it in TL;DR form: Crack The Skye is without doubt, glorious. It will capture your attention from start to finish, and loses quality at very few moments throughout. Get this album, you will not regret it.

Key Tracks:
  • Oblivion
  • Divinations
  • Crack The Skye

Categories: Mastodon, Metal, Review