MASTODON’S CRACK THE SKYE: THE OFFICIAL METALSUCKS REVIEW
Better late than never. Because albums this good deserve to go on the record. Seeing as I’ve procrastinated on writing this piece for two months, let’s make it quick and snappy.
If you like Mastodon purely for the mosh, you will probably not be too crazy about Crack the Skye. If you like Mastodon because of their proggy, weird, bizarro nature you will really, really like Crack the Skye. Count me in the category of the latter. It’s the album they’ve been alluding to for their entire career, a masterwork by a band at the absolute top of their game, pushing the boundaries of metal and unafraid to experiment with music in ways that may alienate their core fan base. It’s a trippy, adventurous work — though without a doubt still quite heavy and distinctly Mastodonian — that ends up a full album‘s album, not just because of the conceptual nature of the lyrics but because of the flow of the music. No one writes records this involved anymore. The production (courtesy of Brendan O’Brien, who for the most part appears to have let Mastodon do their own thang uninhibited) is world class, and the performances are next level, especially in the lead guitar department. Though for the most part I believe that music reviews should focus only on the music itself, it’s worth noting that the packaging and presentation of Crack the Skye are absolutely stellar, and it’s worth considering these aspects as part of the music itself because they underscore just how finely Mastodon pay attention to every last detail of everything they do. Crack the Skye is phenomenal start to finish, and in this humble blogger’s opinion it is Mastodon’s best, most musically developed record yet.
So, for only the second time in MetalSucks history:
(five out of five horns)