• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Mar 24, 2009
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 189 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 189

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  1. Apr 24, 2012
    10
    This 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.
  2. JohnA
    Sep 21, 2009
    10
    From rapid crushing riffs to shimmering melodies Crack The Skye has it all, something for everything. The interplay between Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds with the vocals ia fantastic, and the guitar solos are astounding. There's twists and turns, here Mastodon take you on a thrilling journey through beautiful soundscapes.
  3. Smenkharon
    Jun 12, 2009
    4
    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.
  4. SteveK
    Apr 18, 2009
    5
    This album is same old generic metal made slightly more interesting with Mastadon's excellent abilities to rock hard. It's structured differently but it's a tired sound, mainly. Longer, toned down, slight song changes, same old chug chug little mastadon-lick here isn't that creative. Listen to the best of this year so far, Zu. You will hear how metal sounds when This album is same old generic metal made slightly more interesting with Mastadon's excellent abilities to rock hard. It's structured differently but it's a tired sound, mainly. Longer, toned down, slight song changes, same old chug chug little mastadon-lick here isn't that creative. Listen to the best of this year so far, Zu. You will hear how metal sounds when it's actually progressing. Expand
  5. codyk
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    This album is amazing. The first time I heard it I was a little weary because it is NOTHING like the past 3 albums. With this all being said you can listen to Crack the Skye and not hear a bad thing about it. I am going to see them May 5th and I hope they play the whole album from start to finish.
  6. JoeS
    Mar 31, 2009
    9
    Another great album by Mastodon. Of all the bands in today's music scene, very few can get you as excited for a new album as Mastodon can. This one is a very ambitious, epic release, and they have pulled it off masterfully. "Divinations" is the closest thing on the album to a straght-on rocker in the style of "The Wolf is Loose" or "Blood and Thunder". Most of the other tracks are Another great album by Mastodon. Of all the bands in today's music scene, very few can get you as excited for a new album as Mastodon can. This one is a very ambitious, epic release, and they have pulled it off masterfully. "Divinations" is the closest thing on the album to a straght-on rocker in the style of "The Wolf is Loose" or "Blood and Thunder". Most of the other tracks are more mellow and atmospheric, suggesting influences from all over the musical spectrum. Mastodon's songwriting really shines on this album - they are without a doubt the modern masters of the concept album. Although this one is great, I slightly prefer the sound of their previous 2 albums, which had a good balance between the screams and the clean vocals (this album has almost entirely clean vocals). Anyway, I give them props for trying something new and expanding their sound, although I would prefer if their next release was a little more "metal". Expand
  7. KazemE
    Apr 24, 2009
    10
    An album that gets better each time you listen to it. What makes it better is that they released it with an instrumental version: Same music, sans vocals. Brilliant.
  8. KevinR
    Apr 3, 2009
    9
    Though more focused on experimentation and prog-rock style than previous Mastodon work, Crack the Skye is an absolutely grandiose album. More than anything, it shows that Mastodon has that rare ability in metal to transcend its own genre, putting them on a stage with such luminaries as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Anthrax.
  9. RichardH
    Mar 27, 2009
    10
    Fantastic. A natural progression of their work, in many ways it is their best. It may not be quite up there with Leviathan in terms of classic status, but this album is damn close. It only gets better with repeated listens, and the DVD (for the most part) truly enhances the experience. The lawnmower scene in the DVD is friggin weird, though. *shrug*
  10. DianaF
    Mar 27, 2009
    10
    This band has not failed me yet.
  11. JonnyD
    Mar 28, 2009
    9
    its different. its epic. just listen. 3 times will let you decide if u want to go 4.
  12. PR
    Apr 1, 2009
    10
    Best metal album since Blood Mountain. I can hear the metal purists name calling Mastodon as "sell outs"... I don't know why Metacritic isn't putting any full 100/100 Crack The Skye reviews on the list. There are plenty. And from well known sources too.
  13. RandyM
    Apr 10, 2009
    10
    While, arguably, not as good as "Blood Mountain", Crack the Skye is still an amazing metal album. Mastodon may be the premier metal band of this generation. Period.
  14. JoshK
    Apr 9, 2009
    10
    An absolute sonic masterpiece. "Oblivion" is an instant rock classic, "The Czar" is yet another spiraling ten minute plus Mastodon epic which, in the same album, is topped by the steamrolling 13 minute "The Last Baron". "Divinations" is a harkening to heavier Mastodon, but after several listens the atmosphere of this album grows and gloomy, ghastly tracks like "Ghost of Karelia" leave me An absolute sonic masterpiece. "Oblivion" is an instant rock classic, "The Czar" is yet another spiraling ten minute plus Mastodon epic which, in the same album, is topped by the steamrolling 13 minute "The Last Baron". "Divinations" is a harkening to heavier Mastodon, but after several listens the atmosphere of this album grows and gloomy, ghastly tracks like "Ghost of Karelia" leave me listening over and over again and wondering what the hell Mastodon will do next. Expand
  15. JohnS
    Jun 13, 2009
    10
    The best album I have heard in a long, long time.
  16. DanielH
    Jun 16, 2009
    10
    Awesome, absolutely awesome. Remids me of the first time I heard Metallica's "Ride The Lightning". Kazem is right, it gets better every time you listen to it.
  17. DannyF
    Jul 7, 2009
    10
    Amazing! Just lite up a joint and slip into Oblivion. I'm glad Mastodon doesn't pump out the same album every time! Every album has been skillfully crafted, and Crack The Skye displays the band beautiful textures and song crafting ability in fine detail.
  18. ThomP
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Logical next step for Mastodon. Solid from top to bottom, and The Czar is UNBELIEVABLE.
  19. DanielM
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    Just read the Q magazine review to see why this has as low a score as it does. Reviewers talk about how incredible it is and then say thats a problem.
  20. Chris
    Mar 26, 2009
    10
    Stunning work from these guys--again. Much praise is due to Mastodon for pushing the envelope.
  21. Schmidty15
    Mar 27, 2009
    9
    Somewhere between the Allman Bros and Slayer lies Mastodon. They're the most refreshing band in metal music these days.
  22. PaulL
    Mar 27, 2009
    9
    We'll be listening to this in twenty years time. That's all I have to say about it.
  23. jessel
    Mar 28, 2009
    10
    Screw the hardcore devotees that will call this a sellout because of their own mindless opinion of what THEIR band should sound like!
  24. DylanH.
    Mar 30, 2009
    9
    I've always liked Mastodon... but this album is one of their best... Slit your lungs with Blood and Thunder Mastodon Rocks.
  25. A.Taylor
    Mar 31, 2009
    8
    Great metal album, this album gets better with each listen, true talent shines through with the bands new album.
  26. JasonW
    Apr 9, 2009
    10
    One of the best albums I have heard in awhile. The songs are all thoughtful and technical beyond much of what is out today. It is a nice departure from the norm these days. Still classic Mastodon for me.
  27. ChipC
    May 12, 2009
    10
    More music, less screaming. Great tunes played by great instrumentalists.
  28. OlegK
    May 9, 2009
    9
    Must Or Don't listen? No question. This is a relic! Certainly worth a cracking the Hinds' brain in Vegas!
  29. paulc
    Jun 16, 2009
    9
    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.
  30. MikeI
    Jul 22, 2009
    10
    Easily a 10 for just pure replay value. It's tough to find any weak points in this album. I haven't heard a record this good in a long time like most others have stated.
  31. PatrickD
    Jul 25, 2009
    10
    Mastodon can now place themselves among the elite with the recording of Crack the Skye, emotion can be felt throughout the entire Disc, from funky basslines to pounding guitars to the tag team sonic fury displayed by Bill Keliher and Brent Hinds. It all leads to one of the, if not the Best metal albums of the last decade.
  32. JesperM
    Mar 26, 2009
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. More homogenous in sound, more melodic, more ambitious on a grand scale (as always .. every time I wonder how far they will go next time). They have learned to sing and write proper songs, and the sheer musical talent on display is awesome. Played with the conviction of a band doing excactly what they aimed to do. Instant classic. Frankly, this one deserves an 11.
  33. TimS
    Mar 31, 2009
    10
    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.
  34. bradj
    May 17, 2009
    10
    Amazing cd, i get more from it with each listen~ this is "Master of Puppets" good, and pretty close to "Reign in Blood" good!
  35. MarkK
    Jun 28, 2009
    8
    For a metal band to actually progress beyond low grinding toneless riffing and belch singing is quite rare, so Mastodon immediately caught my attention. They are coming across as a band who explore new musical textures with known instruments and techniques and seem to be taking metal as just one more ingredient in their overall musical pot, which is something special and seems strangely For a metal band to actually progress beyond low grinding toneless riffing and belch singing is quite rare, so Mastodon immediately caught my attention. They are coming across as a band who explore new musical textures with known instruments and techniques and seem to be taking metal as just one more ingredient in their overall musical pot, which is something special and seems strangely honest. This record itself trades low end punch for beautiful melodies and freak outs, everything well executed and very well recorded and mixed. My personal favorite has to be Oblivion, which sums up perfectly what they were going on about in this record, a feeling of depth and perception in a mix of heavy playing and elegant evocative melodies. Expand
  36. JoeS.
    Aug 31, 2009
    10
    Best album from the best metal band alive. Need I say more?
  37. Nov 22, 2010
    9
    No matter what you may think of Mastodon's music there is no doubt that the lyrics in the songs of Crack the Skye delve very deep and is rich in their story. In this critic's opinion, musically, it is a masterpiece of stoner/prog metal and a transcendent tone that almost brings euphoria to the attuned ears.
  38. Jul 10, 2011
    8
    This album had the ability to grab and hold your attention through out, each sound flows fluidly into the next and each new riff is more awesome and fulfilling than the last.
  39. Jan 6, 2016
    10
    Crack the Skye is filled to the brim with fantastic heaviness and incredible prog music. It's also brilliant musically, showing off the band's impressive musical ability. It's Mastodon's masterpiece, and one of my favourite albums.

    97/100 (rounded to 10/10).
  40. Jul 17, 2022
    10
    timeless psychedelic prog metal, not much more to it than that. The instrumental version of this album is almost even better if you can find it
  41. Jun 5, 2018
    8
    Pretty tight concept album where the mirror the journey of our protagonist with the suicide of the lead singer's sister. Also world war one russia and rasputin are here.
  42. May 17, 2013
    10
    Instant masterpiece for the band. Following 2 incredible albums in leviathan and blood mountain, Mastodon takes things to an entirely new level of song writing and inspiration. The best of the themed elemental albums and a magnificent precursor to what was still to come, in the hunter. Overall great band.
  43. Jul 16, 2018
    10
    More accessibility if compared the previously albums, bringing more well-tuned with everyone in band singing and playing even better. Creativity and innovating still remains, beside interesting album's theme (Czarist Russia). If isn't better than Blood Mountain, both albums are outstanding, it's very difficulty decide one of these ones.
  44. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    Hand down the best metal album ever! Opening with oblivion and closing with the last baron is a experience you will not forget.trully mastodon claimed the metal crown with this one.
  45. Jun 22, 2014
    10
    I remember the first time I heard Mastodon it was Colony of Birchmen and Sleeping Giant. I was extremely impressed with the amount of blended progressive sound in the songs. After listening to all the other albums I was a bit disappointed that I never got the same feeling. Then after years of not keeping up with the band, I heard about the release of the Hunter coming. I decided to lookI remember the first time I heard Mastodon it was Colony of Birchmen and Sleeping Giant. I was extremely impressed with the amount of blended progressive sound in the songs. After listening to all the other albums I was a bit disappointed that I never got the same feeling. Then after years of not keeping up with the band, I heard about the release of the Hunter coming. I decided to look them up again finding out they already released Crack The Skye. I gave it a listen and was blown away by opening track oblivion. Practically giving me the same feeling I got from Blood Mountain. After finishing the album I had to listen to it again, then again. The amount of technicality that went into this album is amazing, from the drums to the unique vocals you are given an experience very few bands can attempt. After three years I still considered one of my favorite albums. Expand
  46. Mar 17, 2016
    10
    This album is bloody great. It has prog rock influences, and the riffs are **** heavy: guitars scream through possessed vintage amps fueled by burning valves, while the bass and the drums sculpt frenetic and massive paces. The band wanted to sound fatter and also less metal, but this record can't be labeled to one genre. It's great, that's it.
  47. Sep 12, 2014
    10
    Responsible for getting me back into metal, this is pretty much everything I could hope to hear in an album. Deep, heavy, complex, melodic, technically astonishing and reasonably accessible too.
  48. Oct 21, 2015
    10
    I 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,I 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
  49. Jan 2, 2020
    10
    This album gets the second spot on mastodon catalog in my opinion (after blood mountain)
    It represents a dramatic change of style by the band, they got even more progressive and abandoned some of the sludge production
    The Last Braron is in my opinion the highlight of the album, such an epic masterpiece
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Blender
    80
    Mastodon present a prog-metal concept that would make Stephen Hawking bang his head.
  2. If this all sounds a bit heavy going, Crack the Skye offers plenty of simple pleasures as Mastodon heap on the musical melodrama, with a more-is-more approach to fretwork that's bound to see them liven up moshpits when they support Metallica this summer.
  3. There will be naysayers among the band's extreme, tatted legions. But Crack the Skye is an awesome display.