I will start by saying that there are several ways that people deal with a new release by one of their favorite bands.
- Not even giving it a chance, because you didn't like "Blood Mountain" (your loss on that one too)
- Listening to it, not liking it initially because of their love for the former albums, but then forcing themselves to listen until they like it, then eventually getting over themselves and loving the shit out of it.
- Understanding that the band may have progressed and appreciating the album but not really liking it as much as the other material because it may have gone in a direction in which they don't like.
- Pulling an "Adam Schnell" and listening to 40 seconds of one song and writing it off because it's not Leviathan or Remission, and even if you did ever like it you could never tell anyone because you'd have to put your dirty hippy foot in your mouth for laying down an immense pile of shit talk.
Since this album came out I have seen all these progressions. I personally pulled a "2". By the third listen, I was fucking hooked, and that was without the last track, which turned out to make it even better. Basically the only shit I've been listening to for the past few weeks is the latest Buried Inside and this new Mastodon album.
My first impression is that this album wasn't as heavy as their earlier material, and this still is true. But if they just kept making "Remission" over and over, everyone would be bitching about how they're boring now.
With this album, Mastodon has secured themselves as one of the elite bands of heavy music for years to come. They fused a little prog rock, 70's rock, and even a little jam-ish type shit into their signature twisting riffs and immense sound. Upon each listen I keep stumbling across nuances that I previously didn't catch the last time.
One main thing that shines is how the vocals really come alive in this album. Harmonization, powerful notes, and stepping away from their normal vocals to me says they have a lot of balls. And it worked out for them, it may take a while for the vocals to grow on you but you'll see that the entire band does a really good job on this album. Also, you may be reminded of Ozzy occasionally.
And if you think this album isn't heavy, you're either stupid or you haven't listened to it all the way through. "Quintessence" and "Crack The Skye" are heavy as fuck in totally unconventional ways, while maintaining the flow and story of the album. And "Crack the Skye" is made even better by the guest vocals of Scott Kelly of Neurosis fame.
The album is another concept album, covering the story of a paraplegic man time traveling. as Brann Dailor explains:
There is a paraplegic and the only way that he can go anywhere is if he astral travels. He goes out of his body, into outer space and a bit like Icarus, he goes too close to the sun, burning off the golden umbilical cord that is attached to his solar plexus. So he is in outer space and he is lost, he gets sucked into a wormhole, he ends up in the spirit realm and he talks to spirits telling them that he is not really dead. So they send him to the Russian cult, they use him in a divination and they find out his problem. They decide they are going to help him. They put his soul inside Rasputin's body. Rasputin goes to usurp the czar and he is murdered. The two souls fly out of Rasputin's body through the crack in the sky(e) and Rasputin is the wise man that is trying to lead the child home to his body because his parents have discovered him by now and think that he is dead. Rasputin needs to get him back into his
To wrap it up before I ramble on and on about this album, I will say this this is about as perfect as an album can get, from start to finish. There is not really a weak spot to be found. If Mastodon continues to write music this good, they will go down in history as one of the most influential and i