Thursday, January 7, 2010
Album of the Year...
Crack the Skye by Mastodon
In the contest for album of the year, there's a front-runner, a favorite and an underdog, and they are all one and the same, because there really is no contest. It is Mastodon all the way.
Mastodon's fourth album Crack the Skye, completely rocked my socks off for the better part of the year. From the opening track, Oblivion, to the finale, The Last Baron, this album does not disappoint. Shit, the album is about a quadriplegic who has the power of astral travel. This unnamed protagonist travels too close to the sun, burning up his umbilical cord which tethers his ethereal form to his actual body. As a result he falls into oblivion...and this all takes place in the opening song. Along the way he travels to Czarist Russia, and with the help of Rasputin, eventually travels back to his own body...Yeah, holy fuck, talk about a concept album. Along the journey, as the listener, much shredding and absolute face melting guitar work is encountered, not to mention the band's most overall solid effort...this is one album that is a must have.
I had the privilege of seeing this band play live twice in 2009. Both times alongside a solid cadre of fellow metal fans. Both times they played this album straight through, then added in some songs from their back catalog. Hearing the album played live twice really enriched the album for me. When I listen to the album now, there is a visual aspect that adds to the experience. As I write this post, the album plays in my headphones, and despite the massive amount of times I've listened to this album, it still sounds fresh, and new things can be encountered on each track. But I have gushed about the music enough. I will let Mastodon handle things from here...
Well, this post wraps up my 2009 Reviews...from here on out look for new material, including reviews and postings about books, graphic novels, music and much more.