Sound — 9
Well this is Mastodons 5th effort (If you count 'Call Of The Mastodon') and their 3rd concept album. If you didn't know already, Remission is based on fire (although not a concept album), Leviathan is based on Water and Blood Mountain Ground. Crack The Skye is based on an element called 'Ether' which is mainly what space is. I feel that Mastodon have created a different feel for each album and this is deffinatly different to other Mastodon albums. It has more of a space feel to it and is allot more melodic. Blood Mountain was no doubt there most progressive effort to date and Crack the Skye has probably beaten that. They have introduced keyboards, more percusion and acousitc guitars mixed with electric. There is a guest appearance from Neurosis Scott Kelly (who also appeard on albums such as Leaviathan and Blood Mounatin) on the albums title tarck.
Lyrics — 8
The concept of the story is complicated, Brann Dailor said "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. He is lost in space and is sucked into a wormhole. Spirit's send him to a Russian cult and use him as a Divination and they find out his problem. 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) Rasputin tells the child to leave and go home. Rasputin needs to get him back into his body before it's too late. But they end up running into the Devil along the way and the Devil tries to steal their souls and bring them downthere are some obstacles along the way." Pretty complicated story huh? As for the singing, there is deffinatly more melodic vocals and catchy chouruses on this album. Just listen to Oblivion or Divinations to see what I mean. There are allot of different singers on the album to make a change from just Troy singing. For example, drummer Brann Dailor sings for the first time for Mastodon in the verse for Oblivion. Brent (Hinds) sings the chorus for the same song. The verse to Divinations is shared by Troy and Brent. Brent has always done allot of singing for the band, as heard on Capillarian Crest from Blood Mountain. Scott Kelly who has appeared on previous Mastodon albums sings on Crack the Skye. He deffinatly suit's the song as the band said it is the heaviest song on the album.
Overall Impression — 9
This album only has 7 tracks, but I'm gonna review them all for ya anyway. 01.Oblivion: starts with a relativly slow riff by Mastodons standards, but then picks up. Brann sings the verse and gives quite a strange effect. He has a clean vocal style and is allot different to Troy and Brents style. The chorus is brillianty catchy which you wouldn't expect from Mastodon. This song has one of my favourite Mastodon solo's. It's really bluesy and that's what I love. 02.Divinations: I fell in love with this song as soon as it came out and they made a video for it! I couldn't wait for the album to come out. The things I love about this song is the catchy verse and then going into a melodic chorus. This song also has a good solo. 03.Quintessence: I'm not really sure what to say about this song although it is brilliant... If that makes sense? Lol. My favourite part of the song is the 'Let it go' part before going into another melodic chorus 04.The Czar: this song has four parts to it: I Usurper II Escape III Martyr IV Spiral and it goes on for 10 mins. Usurper has a great intro, it gives a feeling of being in space before going into the verse. This then breaks into Escape and picks up the pace with a great riff. 05.Ghost Of Karelia: starts with a percussion intro and breaks into a great main riff. The only part I don't like in this song is the 'Whoah' bit in the verse. You'll see when you hear it lol. 06.Crack The Skye: the title tarck has one of my favourite riffs on. In the intro. The verse has Scott Kelly from Neurosis on vocals to give a heavy effect for the song. It mixes well with the Double bass from Brann and the low guitar tuning. When Troy comes in with the singing it gives a great effect, again very melodic. It's a great build up song for the epic closer. 07.The Last Baron: well for those of you who loved Hearts Alive from Leviathan, here is another 13 min epic. It may not have as many riffs as Hearts Alive but it certainly closes the album perfectly. It starts with an acoustic riff and Troy starts singing only 8 seconds into the song wheras on Hearts Alive it takes him over 2 mins for the singing to start. There is a bit in the midle of the song that I don't like. it's a really progressive riff and kinda just mental shreddy riffs. But the ending to the song finishes on a great epic solo from Brent. And yet again, the Mastodon lads do not dissapoint! I strongly reccomend any Metal or Rock fan to buy this album! And if you can try to buy the special edition with the bonus dvd, it's worth a watch. I'm glad I blew my money on this album!