Mastodon - Crack the Skye (Cover Artwork)


Mastodon: Crack the SkyeCrack the Skye (2009)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: pure_west102pure_west102
(others by this writer | submit your own)

You know when you hear a new classic. There's a shadow cast over anything you've heard before. Crack the Skye is the monolith that can do that to any recent metal you may have admired. With producer Brendan O' Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam), Mastodon has crafted a .
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You know when you hear a new classic. There's a shadow cast over anything you've heard before. Crack the Skye is the monolith that can do that to any recent metal you may have admired.

With producer Brendan O' Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam), Mastodon has crafted a 21st century holy grail of progressive metal. "Ghost of Karelia" takes you on a flight to space and the space between spaces. "The Last Baron" is a melancholy trip through psychedlic territory, shimmering with motorcycle riffage. The title track begins as what seems to be a heavy offering then blooms into a beautifully arranged and smartly produced piece.

Crack the Skye is the watershed moment in a band's career that grants tenure in the halls of a genre while giving license to break the genre's formula. This is a heavy metal album but also progressive. At some moments, it's a pop album. Other times it transgresses description and establishes what can only be labeled "Mastodon-ian."

This album is a rich tapestry of influences and that is why it is so great in only seven tracks. Mastodon has taken everything they've ever heard and loved and made it their own, not just re-inventing themselves but actually establishing the band's name.

It usually takes some time for a new album to sink in and be accepted as a part of the band's legacy but this album instantly branded itself as not only being of Mastodon but as canon for metal and, time will tell, 21st century music.

It's a different album from previous releases, however. Big fans of Leviathan may need to brace themselves for more craft and less thrash. Blood Mountain disciples will make an easier transition but will notice the marked shift from speed to groove.

For Mastodon, this album should propel them into the stratosphere of timelessness but for long-time fans, this may be a time to raise eyebrows. There are less drum fills, less shred-feasting and less yelling (although a guest appearance from Scott Kelly of Neurosis reminds us of the band's roots).

So don't expect the Mastodon of 2004 or 2006. This is an album forged from experience and emotion, and is therefore unique among the band's previous releases as well as Mastodon's peers' efforts.


People who liked this also liked:
Propagandhi - Supporting CasteMastodon - LeviathanThe Clash - London CallingMastodon - The HunterBaroness - Yellow & GreenDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeMastodon - Blood MountainAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl Rose

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
lookbackandlaugh (May 11, 2009)

A little disappointed that they are venturing from being one of the better bands of a certain genre (progressive and thrashy) to a genre that has plenty of bands that I'd rather listen to.

I'll stick to Wavering Radiant.

hayman (May 10, 2009)

I'm lovin' this album at the moment. Good times.

Jeevz (May 10, 2009)

The dude below me said it all, approach this with an open mind.

LurkingAsshole (May 10, 2009)

This is a huge letdown. The production is absolutely stellar but the spark that made Mastodon on of the best heavy bands of the past decade just isn't there except for brief moments throughout. Gave it countless spins over the course of a several weeks but it just didn't grab my attention as I'd hoped and, quite frankly, expected. This makes Blood Mountain seem like Remission. I'm going to chalk this up as a major label "sophomore slump" release but I'm hoping they haven't jumped the shark.

the4footpartysub (May 9, 2009)

it's a pretty good album... i'll have to listen to it a bit more though.

RYANGP (May 9, 2009)

This record's a monster. They do a great job of creating different sounding atmospheres in the instrumental sections but also rock the fuck out

thus_spoke_sean (May 9, 2009)

solid record for what it is, and I do like it. But more in the "i listened to it constantly for two weeks" than in a "its a year later and I still love it" kind of way.

invisibleoranges.com put it well, they are now a gateway metal band.

granted this is a great gateway record, but it is what it is.

telegraphrocks (May 9, 2009)

*extends hand for a high five*

*slaps the fuck out of that shit!*

sugarfull (May 8, 2009)

More like "In the Court of the Crimson Mastadon", amirite?

*extends hand for a high five*

TROOF (May 8, 2009)

This is growing on me. The vocals take some getting used to for sure.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (May 8, 2009)

It's no Blood Mountain, but pretty good for what it is.

Chadreligion (May 8, 2009)

There are a couple of songs that are killers, are but the rest just seems a little over top the top. Somehow, I knew that this band would end up watering itself down. At some points, the newer stuff sounds almost generic, for lack of better word.

Cheesetits (May 8, 2009)

Yes, the vocals can be cheesy at times, not sure why they decided to let that guy do more of the vocals this time around, but after a couple of listens this cd gets better. Still though, not their best.

cantinflas (May 8, 2009)

CTS fucking rules and seeing them play it live made it even better. this band dominates.

mikexdude (May 8, 2009)

So just because this is punknews you think you have to include Bruce Springsteen's name in this review! Psh. Score's for pearl jam and mastodon.

spacemanspliff (May 8, 2009)

I loved all their previous records, though Blood Mountain was the only one I could listen to over and over and over. Crack The Skye is just kinda...boring. If the whole album were more like "Divinations", it would be way killer. I was pretty disappointed.

Dante3000 (May 8, 2009)

Should be called, "Crack open the singers face".

nocigar (May 8, 2009)

not very good, at all.

Dayspring (May 8, 2009)

Definitely their worst album. Extremely disappointing. I agree with the comment about the vocals; they are terrible.

jamespastepunk (May 8, 2009)

A bit wildly positive for an eight score.

This entire review sounds like a press release, but your user history says you've been here a little bit longer and you've commented on some pretty obscure shit. What gives?

Laurier (May 8, 2009)

The boring drumming has kinda killed this album for me.

TheMarc (May 8, 2009)

Great, great record!

preston (May 8, 2009)

This record has been bouncing off of me. I feel like I have no opinion on it whatsoever.

LinoleumMagazine (May 8, 2009)

This record just keeps getting better and better. It will be a top 5 record for 2009 fo sho!

The DVD that came with the limited edition is really cool too. It really shows you how much these guys put into making this album and watching them in action is just jaw dropping.

telegraphrocks (May 8, 2009)

I love Remission, Leviathan, and Blood Mountain, so I bought this the day it came out, yet for some reason still haven't even put it in my CD player.
I don't know why...

TheMike (May 8, 2009)

I would love this album if it weren't for the vocals. I can't really choose an appropriate rating right now.

Whoostin (May 8, 2009)

I'm a huge Mastodon fan and was very disappointed with this album. I don't think any Mastodon record should have less thrash. Blood Mountain was awesome and this album puts me to sleep.

red_eye_inc (May 8, 2009)

This album rules

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