Mastodon – Crack The Skye
Of all the albums released in 2009 by my favorite artists this is probably in the top 2. Mastodon had done 3 previous “concept” albums with elemental themes (earth, air, fire), and this latest release is supposed to cover the Aethyr element. The songs are awe-inspiring from all angles: the music is technical and extremely complex while still maintaining structure and focus (I can appreciate this as a musician); the lyrics are clear while still being cryptic enough for interpretation; and the tone of the music just moves me. As I listen to some of the riffs over and over again I can’t help but think, “WOW, how do they write this stuff?!?”. It’s just absolutely amazing. The album in itself is a complete story with themes of astral travel and out-of-body experiences set in Tsarist Russia, but also doubles as a tribute to drummer Brann Dailor’s sister (Skye) who passed away when she was a teenager. They went on tour in Fall 2009 with Dethklok (fictional metal band from the cartoon Metalocalypse) and played Crack the Skye in its entirety WITHOUT STOPPING. Without a doubt one of the best live show’s I’ve seen in quite some time. The opening song, “Oblivion”, I think captures the spirit of the entire album. From a distinct, attention-grabbing opening, to metal-chug-heavy verses, to smooth and melodic choruses, I think you’ll enjoy this album from start to finish!
*Thanks Chris for this freaking awesome guest post! Also thank you for actually reading this blog! Dan and I honestly appreciate it!