|I flew beyond the sun before it was time Burning all the gold that held me inside my shell Waiting for you to pull me back in I almost had the world...||See the rest of the song lyrics|
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Alternative PressThe music is as ambitious as the plot, but more coherent. [May 2009, p.116]
First off, a warning: the best way to encounter Mastodon's Crack the Skye for the first time is with headphones. Reported to be a mystical -- if crunchy -- concept record about Tsarist Russia, this is actually the most involved set of tracks, both in terms of music and production, the band has ever recorded. "Ambitious" is a word that regularly greets Mastodon -- after all, they did an entire album based on Moby Dick -- but until now, that adjective may have been an understatement. There is so much going on in these seven tracks that it's difficult to get it all in a listen or two (one of the reasons that close encounters of the headphone kind are recommended). It may seem strange that the band worked with Bruce Springsteen producer Brendan O'Brien this time out, but it turns out to be a boon for both parties: for the band because O'Brien is obsessive about sounds, textures, and finding spaces in just the right places; for O'Brien because in his work with the Boss he's all but forgotten what the sounds of big roaring electric guitars and overdriven thudding drums can sound like. The guitar arrangements on tracks like "Divinations" and "The Czar," while wildly different from one another, are the most intricate, melodically complex things the band has ever recorded. There are also more subtle moments such as the menacing, brooding, and ultimately downer cuts such as "The Last Baron," where tempos are slowed and keyboards enter the fray and stretch the time, adding a much more multidimensional sense of atmosphere and texture. Still, Crack the Skye rocks, and hard! Its shifting tempos and key structures are far more meaty and forceful than most prog metal, and menace and cosmological speculation exist in equal measure, providing for a spot-on sense of balance. Some of the hardcore death metal conservatives may have trouble with this set, but the album wasn't recorded for them -- or anybody else. Crack the Skye is the sound of a band stretching itself to its limits and exploring the depth of its collective musical identity as a series of possibilities rather than as signatures. And yes, that is a good thing.
ChrisMar 26, 2009Stunning work from these guys--again. Much praise is due to Mastodon for pushing the envelope.
Apr 24, 2012This album is a masterpiece from start to finish. Mastodon continue to redefine the progressive metal sound. I feel this will be the albumThis album is a masterpiece from start to finish. Mastodon continue to redefine the progressive metal sound. I feel this will be the album all other Mastodon albums will be judged by for years to come.… Expand
TimSMar 31, 2009This album is absolutely amazing. It is unlike any of their past works, in that it lacks, for the most part, the heaviness that mastodon had This album is absolutely amazing. It is unlike any of their past works, in that it lacks, for the most part, the heaviness that mastodon had back in the Remissions/Leviathan days. It replaces the fire with a more mellow, spaced out sound, with plenty of groove thrown in. The progression in sound, though, is a good one, and i think many people will agree.… Expand
JoeS.Aug 31, 2009Best album from the best metal band alive. Need I say more?
Oct 21, 2015I owe a lot to this album, as it was the album that introduced me to metal. When I first encountered it, it was a complete accident. I firstI owe a lot to this album, as it was the album that introduced me to metal. When I first encountered it, it was a complete accident. I first discovered Mastodon when I heard Brent Hinds would be playing Ryan Dunne in a movie dedicated to him. I put this album on and was blown away, and I haven't looked back since. It was quite a drastic leap for me as I was mostly into Psychedelic rock, but this album changed me. It is a masterpiece from start to finish and pays homage to the metal forefathers of the past. This is a must listen for music fans alike.… Expand
paulcJun 16, 2009Wow. i haven't been this hooked on a metal album in a long time. great melodies, brutal passages and an interesting theme. their best Wow. i haven't been this hooked on a metal album in a long time. great melodies, brutal passages and an interesting theme. their best yet by a long shot.… Expand
SmenkharonJun 12, 2009Huge disappointment for me. Too much melody and not enough rhythmic pounding. Prog-ish noodling instead of compelling riffing. Weak vocals. Huge disappointment for me. Too much melody and not enough rhythmic pounding. Prog-ish noodling instead of compelling riffing. Weak vocals. Nowhere near the replay value of the last three discs.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
|Girly-Sound to Guyville [Box Set] - Liz Phair|
|Music from Big Pink [50th Anniversary] - The Band|
|Appetite for Destruction: Super Deluxe Edition [Box Set] - Guns N' Roses|
|Room 25 - Noname|
|Imagine: The Ultimate Collection [Box Set] - John Lennon|
|Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album - John Coltrane|
|Safe In The Hands Of Love - Yves Tumor|
|Chris - Christine and the Queens|
|An American Treasure [Box Set] - Tom Petty|
|Dirty Pictures, Pt. 2 - Low Cut Connie|
|Joy As an Act of Resistance - Idles|
|I Loved You at Your Darkest - Behemoth|
|Dirty Computer - Janelle Monáe|
|Be the Cowboy - Mitski|
|Soil - Serpentwithfeet|
|Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny|
|The Wake - Voivod|
|Oil Of Every Pearl's Un-Insides - SOPHIE|
|(After) [Live] - Mount Eerie|
|Fenfo - Fatoumata Diawara|